The book of Obadiah is a prophesy concerning judgment against the Edomites, who descended from Esau and were blood relatives of the Israelites.
When the Philistines and the Arabians invaded Jerusalem, the Edomites ambushed those fleeing from the invaders so that they too might benefit from plundering their neighbors in Jerusalem.
Beware of Pride
Edom was the region that included the rock city of Petra discovered by archeologists a few decades ago. It was a city that was carved into rocks and was thought to be impenetrable. As a result, the people were overconfident and proud. God had to humble them.
3 The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rocks and make your home on the heights, 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.
God detests the proud and judgment will come upon those who think highly of themselves.
Prov 16:18 Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
Are there any area of your life that make you proud? Remember that God can take everything from you in an instant. Rather than pride, it is better to acknowledge that what we have comes from God.
Indifference towards the suffering of others
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.
God was also against the Edomites because they stood by and watched while Israel was in trouble. Jesus taught that we should help those in need and God will reward us generously if we do that.
Matt 25:34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
We may not be the one oppressing the needy. But if we stand by and do nothing, that would be sin as the Bible teaches that failure to do what is right is sin.
James 4:17 If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.
Rejoicing in the suffering of others
13 You should not march through the gates of my people in the day of their disaster, nor gloat over them in their calamity in the day of their disaster, nor seize their wealth in the day of their disaster.
Not only did the Edomites refuse to help their brother, they actually rejoiced when their brothers suffered and used their weakness as an opportunity to take advantage of them. Because of that the Lord pronounced judgment on them and their evil deeds will boomerang on them.
15 “The day of the Lord is near for all nations.
As you have done, it will be done to you; your deeds will return upon your own head.