Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, & Micah: Day 15

Future Blessing

by

Today's Text: Obadiah 1:1-21, Genesis 27:41-42, Ezekiel 25:12-14

Scripture Reading: Obadiah 1:1-21, Genesis 27:41-42, Ezekiel 25:12-14

I am reading Obadiah from the front porch swing just before dark. It’s raining, as it has been all afternoon, though from my last glance at the forecast, I would have sworn today would be sunny and warm. That’s the way forecasts work—for weather and politics, finances and medical prognoses. They are guesses, by definition. But I still check the weather each day when I wake, to see if something bright or somber brews beyond the clouds.

We’ve heard that knowledge is power, so we look to those with more wisdom and experience than us to divvy out the forecasts. We look to them to tell us what to do, how to think, how to prevent, how to plan. And most of them do their honest best to deliver. Even so, not a single soul can keep the rain from falling.

No meteorologist can predict the path of every storm. No politician has perfect policy. No surgeon can conquer every cancer. No matter how lofty our intellect and noble our cause, none of us is God.

We know this in our heads, but sometimes—oftentimes—our hearts forget.

The Minor Prophets in the Old Testament proclaim God’s judgment on many nations, but the tiny book of Obadiah calls out only one—Edom. Edom is the nation descended from Esau, son of Isaac and twin brother of Jacob. And though Edom’s sins were surely many, Obadiah’s prophecy focuses on one sin that seems to be the root of all their others: pride.

Your arrogant heart has deceived you,
you who live in clefts of the rock
in your home on the heights,
who say to yourself,
“Who can bring me down to the ground?” (vv.3-4).

Edom had grown haughty in their position and power. They felt—and acted—untouchable, invincible. And while they indeed held a privileged position among their neighboring nations, they were not beyond the reach of the sovereign Lord of all nations.

Though you seem to soar like an eagle
and make your nest among the stars,
even from there I will bring you down.
This is the Lord’s declaration (v.4).

History, Scripture included, is filled with rulers and nations like Edom who failed to wield their power wisely. King Saul was lauded as a wise and good king at the start of his reign, but he later turned his back on God, endangering his people and losing his throne (1 Samuel 13). King David was beloved by his people, but his moral failure had disastrous consequences and his own son led a rebellion against him (2 Samuel 11). King Herod was so disillusioned by his power that he ordered a massacre of children in his kingdom (Matthew 2:16).

These examples may feel extreme or distant to our modern sensibilities, but they point to a truth that still stands: There is only one God worthy of our trust, one King worthy of our worship.

The Lord promises that Edom—and all nations—will get their due. They’d mocked their neighbors in distress; they’d lorded their position of power over others; they’d failed to offer justice and compassion. Perhaps we have, too. Thanks be to God for Jesus, the one who lived a life of justice, compassion, and righteousness in our place, then took the punishment for our injustice, pride, and sin upon Himself. Only in Him can we find the peace others seek in power, policy, health, and wealth. Only He gives the blessing and home our hearts long for.

Humans will fall and plans will fail, but the kingdom will be the Lord’s.

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  • No quisteon this is the place to get this info, thanks y’all.

  • The story of Jacob and Esau has always been a hard one for me to wrap my head around. Jacob, essentially, gets the blessing of the Lord, the blessing of the first born and a life of walking in intimate knowledge of the most High God through deception. This deception, prophesied at their birth, create a long feud between the brothers and their people. I’m currently living in SEAsia and inhabit a country that has been deeply hurt by a neighbouring country many years ago. Even though the population that was directed affect has long since passed, the hatred is still vibrant today. I wonder if this was the case with Edom? How much anger was stored in their hearts because of blessings that were “stolen” generations ago? I love that you pointed out that it wasn’t their family feud that the Lord hated greatly, but their pride and arrogance. I still struggle with the Lord allowing Jacob to steal from Esau and their families wrestle with that generational sin for decades. Where was the restoration for Esau, how was his anger and hurt met? Thank you for always bring such great light to the Word, ladies!

    • Kylee

      Agree, I would love to see some light shed on this subject as the Jacob/Essau feud has always been a head-scratcher to me! WHY was Jacob allowed to steal his blessing? WHY did that behavior get rewarded?

  • I did the same for my kids. My daughter is almost 23 and son is almost 19. However I am trusting Jesus for His work in their lives. My daughter accepted Jesus but is drifting away from Him and my son also doesn’t believe. Please pray for my children. I am waiting for the day when both of them will joyfully worship Jesus and surrender their lives into His hands.

    • She Reads Truth

      Hi Sarina, thank you so much for being willing to share this. We are lifting your family up in prayer today. So glad to have you in this community with us. <3 – Abby, The SRT Team

  • it is so easy right now to point the pride out in others, today, the finger turned toward me and my own pride and my need of a Savior, always and first.

  • I need to hear that still small voice that’s telling me that everything is going to be OK. Still feeling anxious of the unknown.

  • Jessica cebc

    Praying Claire that God uses you as His hands and arms as you embrace your friend.

  • Tochi Heredia

    This made me think of a quote by C. S. Lewis:
    “…the utmost evil, is Pride… It was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind.”

    Lord, make us humble!

  • today i am getting in my car to drive 5 hours to go be with my friend whose husband died suddenly yesterday. He was 33. I am devastated — for him, for her. Please pray for my friend to feel God’s comfort. Pray for His presence to fill her home.

    • churchmouse

      Oh my. Praying for your friend and for you to have words of comfort. And safe travel as you drive.

    • Kara

      Oh Claire, how horrible. Praying for you and your friend.

    • CJ

      Praying <3

    • Tochi Heredia

      Praying for you, Claire, your friend, and her family.

    • GramsieSue

      Oh dear.
      Praying for her, for you, the family to find God’s comfort and peace during this difficult time.

    • Christina D.

      Oh Claire, praying both for you and your friend. Praying you will feel the Holy Spirit leading you to whatever she needs. Praying that in the midst of this unthinkable tragedy that God’s presence and His peace are palpable and so real to you both.

    • She Reads Truth

      Hi Claire, we are so, so sorry to hear that. Praying for comfort for your friend and their families today, and for God’s presence and peace during this difficult time. – Abby, The SRT Team

    • Alexis

      So sorry Claire. I’ll be praying for you both.

    • theo

      praying God goes before you in every way…

    • Megan

      I just saw this and prayed today (Wednesday ).

  • churchmouse

    Upon the birth of our first child I remember looking at that tiny human and feeling overwhelmed by my inadequacy. I distinctly remember thinking “God, what were you thinking to entrust me with this helpless little girl?” I knew even then that I would disappoint her and fail her in many ways. I knew myself well enough. But I also remember hearing His still small voice say “Just give her Me. I will be more than enough.” Oh. OK. And so in-between the diaper changes and late night feedings, I sang and I prayed. I did my best to teach her about the love of her Perfect Parent and of His constant presence. She is 30 now and her sister is 28. Upon our deaths they will get alot of stuff but they already have the most valuable thing I could give them – Jesus. You young mamas – just give them Jesus. He makes up for a mama’s lack. Don’t give up and don’t grow weary. Pray for your littles and your bigs. He is more than enough for you and for them.

    • Kara

      I needed this today churchmouse. Our pastor gave a great sermon a few weeks ago on parenting. He said “parents, your fruit hangs low to the ground. It’s not going to get a lot of attention or glory, but you are doing kingdom work.”

    • KimN

      Well that effectively brought me to tears churchmouse!!!! But as always, thank you for sharing your wisdom this morning. It has given me much to continue to pray about and ponder. xo

    • Emily B.

      As I’m getting ready to become a mama in a few short months, this really hit home for me. Thank you!

    • Kay

      Wow, churchmouse, how beautiful! Thank you!

  • Discontentment, pride and cruelty seem to go together. Much of the body of Christ in the world is suffering persecution. Praise for the victory of Christ! Today’s reading was a good reminder to pray for the persecuted and for the pusecuter as well. As the Kingdom extends through all the earth may we see darkness bursting into light.

    In my own comfortable life, I need to remember to walk humbly with my Lord and to live in such a way as to bring the goodness of God to every place I go.

    • Jean

      Joanne, I love this admonition to pray for the persecuted and persecutor! I love your words of hope that in the Kingdom may we ” see darkness bursting into light.” Amen and Amen!

  • One of my dad’s favorite sayings was, “Pride goeth before a fall,” which it turns out is a common misquoting of Proverbs 16:18. Dad was not a devout Christian, but he saw the wisdom in this. From time to time, he would take one of us by the shoulders, look directly into our eyes, and remind us to be humble. It is a lesson that stuck with me. Even today, when something is going particularly well – with my business or with one of my kids- I will pray. “Lord, thank you for these great blessings. I know this is going extremely well and I owe it all to You. I only want this if it is because Your spirit is at work. If not, please let me know so I can receive Your true blessings instead. And keep me humble, Lord, so that people see You at work in me.”

  • candacejo

    “If you don’t like the weather in ________ (insert your hometown or state), just wait five minutes and it will change!” I used to think this was a Hoosier phrase, Indiana owned it and I was even proud of it. Then I moved to Ohio, later to Missouri and Tennessee, unbelievably, when I moved to Eastern Europe, I even heard it there!
    Most things in life are unpredictable, as Amanda aptly laid it out for us. But God is faithful, He is always the same, yesterday, today and forever. “Humans will fall and plans will fail, but the kingdom will be the Lord’s.”

Further Reading...