JESUS IN OBADIAH: Protecting Your Legacy
Obadiah is this is the shortest book in the Old Testament. The name means "servant of Jehovah." It also means “Worshiper of Yahweh.” Interestingly Jesus himself ties these two words together in Matthew 4:10 “You shall worship the Lord your God only and only Him shall thou serve”. Worship and service go hand in hand.
Worship is more than merely singing songs and devoting ourselves to a lifestyle of being mindful of Christ. Worship involves both celebration and substance as we rejoice in the Lord and serve his desires by serving other people. There seems to be a lot of people in our generation who love to worship but aren’t that interested in serving.
We can never leave a legacy until we first live a legacy. Obadiah is a book that is all about legacy. The enemies to legacy are clearly revealed in this very brief book as pride and indifference.
Obadiah 1:1-4 The vision of Obadiah. This is what the Sovereign LORD says about Edom— We have heard a message from the LORD: An envoy was sent to the nations to say, “Rise, let us go against her for battle”— 2 “See, I will make you small among the nations; you will be utterly despised. 3 The pride of your heart has deceived you… you who say to yourself, ‘Who can bring me down to the ground?’ 4 Though you soar like the eagle and make your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down,” declares the LORD. NIV
The prophet Obadiah prophesied judgment upon the nation of Edom for taking pleasure in the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians
Who is Edom and why is the Lord so upset about their pride and indifference?
The story of the twins Jacob and Esau is found in Genesis 25-36. They came out of the womb fighting. Esau wasn’t interested in spiritual things and easily gave up his birthright to Jacob. Though Jacob had his issues the lineage of Israel actually came from him while the lineage of Edom comes from Esau. Israel and Edom had a long history of rivalry and conflict that was born from the tension between their forefathers. Jacob carried God’s blessing and would one day produce the Messiah. Esau’s indifference about Jacob’s being attacked was a threat to the salvation of humanity.
Obadiah 1:10 Because of the violence against your brother Jacob, you will be covered with shame; you will be destroyed forever. 11 On the day you stood aloof while strangers carried off his wealth and foreigners entered his gates and cast lots for Jerusalem, you were like one of them. NIV
Obadiah’s message to those who, like Esau, are indifferent to God’s purposes: Wake up before it’s too late! Your pride has made you blind but in God can still bring hope.
Obadiah’s message for those who, like Jacob, have made mistakes but are pursuing God: Look up and rejoice for your salvation is guaranteed!
Jacob and Esau’s lives took very different paths producing very different destinations for them and for their descendents.
Obadiah 1:18 Jacob will be a fire and Joseph a flame; Esau will be stubble, and they will set him on fire and destroy him. There will be no survivors from Esau.” The LORD has spoken. NIV
Guard your heart. Your decisions affect more than just you. Your decisions affect more than just your generation! The decisions we make and don’t make will echo in the halls of eternity for generations to come and people’s lives will be affected!!!
Jonathan Edwards became a Christian in the 1700’s. Of his 1,394 known descendents there were:
13 college presidents,
65 college professors,
75 army and navy officers,
60 prominent authors
3 U.S. Senators,
80 public servants in various offices – and
1 Vice President
Max Jukes, also born in this same era had a different lifestyle. He was known for drinking too much and not being able to hold a steady job. He seemed to have little concern for his wife and children. Obviously his life was consumed with himself.
Of his 1,020 known descendents:
310 died as beggars
150 were criminals, 7 of whom were murderers
190 were prostitutes
100 were drunks
What is your legacy? What does your life stand for? Who’s inspired by your example?
GP4RL: Turn the page and invite someone to join you in this pursuit of being inspired by God every day.
The Message Bible Intro to Obadia:
It takes the entire Bible to read any part of the Bible. Even the brief walk-on appearance of Obadiah has its place. No one, whether in or out of the Bible, is without significance. It was Obadiah’s assignment to give voice to God’s word of judgment against Edom.
Back in the early stages of the biblical narrative, we are told the story of the twins Jacob and Esau (Genesis 25-36). They came out of the womb fighting. Jacob was ancestor to the people of Israel, Esau ancestor to the people of Edom. The two neighboring peoples, Israel mostly to the west of the Jordan River and Dead Sea and Edom to the southeast, never did get along. They had a long history of war and rivalry. When Israel was taken into exile—first the northern kingdom by the Assyrians in 721 B.C. and later the southern kingdom by the Babylonians in 586 B.C.—Edom stood across the fence and watched, glad to see her old relative get beat up.
At first reading, this brief but intense prophecy of Obadiah, targeted at Edom, is a broadside indictment of Edom’s cruel injustice to God’s chosen people. Edom is the villain and God’s covenant people the victim.
But the last line of the prophecy takes a giant step out of the centuries of hate and rivalry and invective. Israel, so often a victim of Edomite aggression through the centuries, is suddenly revealed to be saved from the injustices of the past and taking up a position of rule over their ancient enemies the Edomites. But instead of doing to others what had been done to them and continuing the cycle of violence that they had been caught in, they are presented as taking over the reins of government and administering God’s justice justly. They find themselves in a new context—God’s kingdom—and realize that they have a new vocation—to represent God’s rule. It is not much (one verse out of twenty-one!), but it is a glimmer (it is the final verse!).
On the Day of Judgment, dark retaliation and invective do not get the last word. Only the first rays of the light of justice appear here. But these rays will eventually add up to a kingdom of light, in which all nations will be judged justly from the eternal throne in heaven.