And saviors shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the LORD's.
The vision presented to Obadiah is shadowed all over with calamities of various kinds; but still we see God all the way through, justifying Himself in the eyes of the heathen, lest they should say that the punishment He threatened, was more than equal to the offence. There is a tenderness of spirit in what He says to the opposers of Israel, in the twelfth verse, which, while it does not and cannot alter His purpose, gives us a delightful view of His heart.
I. WHO AND WHAT ARE THEY WHOM THE PROPHET CALLS SAVIOURS? The redeeming Saviour of man stands apart from all common saviours, because He is exclusively the redeeming Saviour of the Body, the Church. We cannot confound Him with deliverers of any secondary kind. He is separate from all others in this, that though He is without sin, He is in friendship with sinners; though He knows not what it is to commit sin, He does know what it is to take the burthen of sin upon His pure and righteous person. The saviours in the text are the messengers of God to the blessed children of Mount Zion, to those whom He has begotten in Christ Jesus; and they stand here in strong contrast with the enemies of all holiness, who are described as Mount Esau, or the carnally minded children of this world. These helpers of our feebleness are only instrumental; God appoints them and employs them; but they are to Him what the axe is to the woodman, they would be powerless but for the power of the hand that holds them. What a mercy that God sends these saviours among us to publish His will, and to stir us up to our duty! Divine providences are often saviours. The Gospel Word is a Saviour, inasmuch as it guides us immediately to Him who is the great mystery of godliness, and in whom alone is the life which makes a man alive unto God. The preaching of the Word is one of the saviours that is sent upon an embassy of peace to Mount Zion.
II. IN WHAT MANNER ARE THESE SAVIOURS TO JUDGE MOUNT ESAU? Literally, the land of Edom. Typically, the world, which, in its scriptural interpretation, is "enmity against God." These saviours will sit in judgment upon the careless, the prayerless, and the ungodly,
1. Every chastening providence of God that has passed away from a sinner unimproved shall be a sentence of condemnation against him. Not to improve a dispensation is to undervalue it.
2. God's Word also enters into judgment with the unbelieving. The Word preached, but not laid profitably to heart. The Gospel Word has much to testify concerning many sinners in every congregation, who are satisfied with having the olive-leaf in their mouths, whilst there is no savour of fruit in their lives.
3. The ambassador of Christ has also something to testify in this judgment. He is likewise appointed to assist in judging Mount Esau. Can a condemning judgment possibly accord with the good news that we are commissioned to preach? Yes, for it is not the good news simply in itself, but the good news not believed in, not rejoiced in, that makes the judgment.
III. WHAT DESCRIPTION OF KINGDOM DID THE PROPHET INTEND? He says, The kingdom shall be the Lord s; He meant to say this, that however Mount Zion shall be blessed, or Mount Esau cursed, the new throne which will be set up from this overthrow of the wicked, and this gathering together of the righteous, shall be Christ's. It is called a kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. Of righteousness, because every subject of it is righteous; of peace, because God is at peace with all who rest in it; of joy in the Holy Ghost, because in the Church triumphant there shall be no delight equal to that of calling the glorious God our Father, and the Son of God our Redeemer. One remarkable feature in this kingdom is, that they who are worthiest in the world's judgment are not selected to fill it, but they who feel themselves to be the unworthiest. This kingdom is also an invisible treasure within the heart of every child of God's adoption. Inquire concerning two things.
1. Whether the incorruptible seed is within you.
2. Whether you are checking its growth by doing every thing you can to sweeten your journey to the grave, and as little as you can to adorn your self for the happy home that lies beyond it. Each of us should connect the kingdom of God with the spirituality and heavenly character of our own souls.
(F. G. Crossman.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the LORD'S.
WEB: Saviors will go up on Mount Zion to judge the mountains of Esau, and the kingdom will be Yahweh's.