The danger of false security.

The danger of false security.

Obadiah 1-21

“The arrogance of your heart has deceived you.”


            Edom was located in the Negev desert region of what would be today Southern Israel and Jordan.  The capital of Edom was Sela.  Some have suggested that the site of ancient Sela may have been where Petra is now found, although this has yet to be established with any certainty.  It is more likely located near the town of Tafilah in Jordan. It was a country that was situated in rocky mountainous regions that made invasion difficult.  Furthermore, it was off the beaten path, so the powerful nations of Egypt and Assyria often overlooked it.   The government itself originated from the Esau.  Thus they were referred to as the brothers of Israel.  However, when Israel fled Egypt and traveled through the region to the promised land when they arrived at the border of Edom, Edom refused to let the Israelites pass through (Numbers 20:18-21).  As a result, even though they were descendants of Isaac, they continued to act with hostility towards Israel. As a result, they would participate in the downfall of Judah (vs. 10-``).  This, coupled with their pride, would ultimately lead to their judgment by God. 

            Obadiah pronounces God’s judgment upon the nation of Edom.  This is coupled with the future Day of the Lord when God will bring judgment upon all nations for their rejection of God.  God does not remain silent in the face of his national rejection.  Not only will he judge individuals for their sins, but he will also judge nations, for God is sovereign over the nations of the earth. In Psalm 33:10-11, The psalmist writes, “The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; he frustrates the plans of the people” (Psa. 33:10-11).  In 1 Chronicles 29:10-12, we read, “For all that is in the heavens and the earth is yours.  Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all.”   In this pronouncement, we are reminded of God's sovereign control over the nations and that all countries are accountable to God for how they uphold God’s moral law.  

Our government passes laws that reject God’s morality.  Politicians believe they have the power to change God’s truth, and the popular vote determines that truth.  But in the end, God reigns, and he establishes his purpose.  He sets up the leaders of the nations and removes them according to His will and purpose (Daniel 2:21).  When the wicked make their boasts that they will discard God’s law and establish their own, the one who sits upon the throne laughs (Psalm 2:1).  

We read the Old Testament and the pronouncements of judgment and believe God no longer brings judgment upon the nations. We no longer fear God and think that we, as a nation, can reject his moral laws and establish our own.  Because we do not see any dramatic, undeniable judgment from God, we believe we, as a nation, can act with impunity. However, we need clarification.  The delay in his decision should never be mistaken as a sign that he no longer judges.  Peter warns in 2 Peter 3:1-9 that God is not slow about His promise (vs. 9).  While this is often quoted to support the assurance that He will bring the promise of His salvation, in this context, the promises He is referring to is the promise of His judgment (vs. 7). In His grace, he delays judgment to provide an opportunity for repentance.  As Peter points out, “The Lord is…patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”  However, if we continue to disregard the sanctity of life and the sanctity of marriage, there will come a time when God will judge.  As we pray for our nation, instead of praying for peace and prosperity, we need to pray for repentance and forgiveness.




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