The vision of Obadiah. Thus said the Lord GOD concerning Edom; We have heard a rumor from the LORD…
The vision of Obadiah Thus saith the Lord God concerning Edom; We have heard a rumour from the Lord, etc. We have said that, although there are so many Obadiahs mentioned in Scripture, the prophet cannot be identified with any of them. The sacred writers were never ready to put themselves into prominence. They had their message to deliver. They had their solemn work to perform. They had Jehovah to glorify. They were content to be no more than a voice crying in the wilderness. Who wrote Joshua? Who wrote Judges? Who wrote the books of Samuel, or the Kings, or Chronicles, or Esther? It was sufficient for the writers that they were used by the Spirit of God. They were ambassadors, not kings. They were servants, not masters. They were the instruments, not the musicians. They were the vessels, not the fountain of living water. The ambassador simply delivers the message of the king. The servant only waits on the guests of the master. The instrument merely gives forth the sounds struck by the musician. The vessel only bears the refreshing draught of the well of life. Obadiah, like John the Baptist, was ready to decrease, that Christ might increase. The morning star heralds the day, then melts before the sunshine. Herein is a lesson of great importance to all workers for Christ.
I. Let us proceed to notice GOD'S DENUNCIATION OF EDOM. Edom was a great adversary of Israel. For instance, we find in Psalm 137., that Edom joined Babylon in seeking the destruction of Jerusalem: ver. 7, "Remember, O Lord, the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem; who said, Rase it, rase it, even to the foundation thereof!" The geographical position of Edom made it a formidable enemy, and apparently invincible. Lying south of the Dead Sea, its lofty range of red hills, called Mount Seir, stretched a hundred miles from north to south, by twenty east to west. Bozrah was the capital of the eastern division: and Sela, or Petra (both names mean "a rock"), was the capital of the southern division. The habit of the eagle to select high and lonely pinnacles for its dwelling place gives force to the words of our fourth verse, "Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down." In Psalm 60:9 we are led to a period in David's history when that king besieged Edom. As he looks up at the fortified cities among impregnable rocky heights, he seems to despair of victory. "Who will bring me into the strong city? Who will lead me into Edom?" Could he not himself be the leader? Had he not slain Goliath and routed the Philistines? and he not fought with the lion and the bear to save a lamb of the fold? Where, too, were his mighty men? - Joab, captain of the host? Adino, who lifted his spear against eight hundred? Eleazar, whose sword imbedded itself in his hand? Benaiah, who slew an Egyptian with his own spear? If the muster roll be called, is there no one to take the lead, and scale the dizzy heights, and subdue the great strongholds? David looks away from himself, away from his men, away from all human strength, and he says, "Wilt not thou, O God?" He answers the question in the best and surest way. And we know that God did give David the victory (see 2 Samuel 8:14). We, too, have our enemies. We have our fortresses of Edom. Who will enable us to conquer? Where are the weapons mighty to the pulling down of strongholds? Nay, where is he whose goings forth are upon the white horse of war, conquering and to conquer? The answer is brought to us. The warfare is accomplished. "We are more than conquerors through him who loved us." Isaiah 63:1, "Who is this that cometh from Edorn, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength?" Then Comes the answer. "I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save." Yes, he who is the Lord our Righteousness is the Lord our Saviour - mighty to save to the uttermost. Sin and Satan have been conquered. Edom is subdued. Then comes forth the Conqueror, red in his apparel. "Who is this... with dyed garments from Bozrah? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save."
II. I will ask you now to pass from the general denunciation of Edom to THE PARTICULAR SIN WITH WHICH EDOM IS CHARGED. "The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee." Building like the eagle in the pinnacles of the rocks, setting his nest among the stars, Edom said in his heart, "Who shall bring me down to the ground?" Thus the pride of his heart deceived him. And to many individuals, as well as nations, does the herald of Jehovah bring the message, "The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee." Pharaoh, lifting himself high, asks, "Who is the Lord, that I should serve him?" The answer comes, "The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee." Nebuchadnezzar, looking in self-elation upon Babylon, asks," Is not this great Babylon which I have built?" The answer comes, "The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee." Belshazzar, banqueting with his lords, and drinking wine from the vessels of the temple, sees the dreadful handwriting upon the wall, and the message comes, "The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee." Herod makes an oration, and gives not God the glory due to his Name. The silent death warrant comes to him, "The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee." And as with these kings, these representatives of multitudes, so with all classes. The commercial man, gathering wealth and speculating in the markets, suddenly comes down with a crash: the pride of his heart hath deceived him. The professional man, scorning many an honest tradesman, runs into lavish expense, and brings ruin to his family: the pride of his heart hath deceived him. The young man coming into a small estate suddenly launches out into extravagance. He must be as others who have twice his income. He wants to make a dash in the world. He knows more about horses than the way of holiness and the gospel of salvation. He is a stranger to grace. The throne of grace, the covenant of grace, the God of all grace, he knows nothing ablaut. With scarcely twenty-four hours' illness, he is summoned into eternity. He dies without hope. The pride of his heart hath deceived him. The man of high culture, priding himself upon his intellectual attainments, ignoring Bible revelation, and spurning sermons and tracts, he is ready to laugh at humble piety. His habitation is high. He dwells amongst the stars. His nest is with the eagles. He saith in his heart, "Who shall bring me down to the ground?" But what does God say? "The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee." Ay, and there is a moral man, a very Pharisee, who thanks God he is so much better than the publicans and the like. That man is lifted up with his doings. How carefully he pays tithe of his mint, anise, and cummin! How scrupulous about his phylactery! What a parade he makes of his religion! He says in his heart, "Who shall bring me down to the ground?" So the pride of his heart hath deceived him. He that exalteth himself shall be abased. We do well to remember Edom. We must keep in mind that pride of heart is very deceitful. Nature's fortifications, the world's fortifications, social fortifications, moral fortifications, are unavailing if we presume to do without God. Edom built among the stars, but God brought him down to the ground. Pride of heart is the herald of ruin. It is often so even in this world. And those proud ones who are brought to the ground here may thank God for the valley of humiliation. Let us all learn to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt us in due time. Let us be clothed with humility. "God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble." The only fortress we can boast of is the cleft Rock of Ages. Here we have safety and joy and peace. Here we may securely hide until all calamities be overpast. Happy those who can say with David, in Psalm 9., "In the Lord put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain?" The true believer needs no foreign helps. The Lord is an all-sufficient Fortress and Shield. The Christian knows whom he trusts, and therefore does not make haste. "With Jehovah I have taken shelter: how say ye to my soul, Flee, sparrows, to your hill?" (Bishop Horsley). May the Holy Spirit give us all to know this happy security! - a security which made the Apostle Paul speak with so much meaning, so much force, so much personal experience, "I knew a man in Christ." A delightful, peaceful knowledge. Only one thing is better. "To depart and to be with Christ... is far better." - A.C.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: The vision of Obadiah. Thus saith the Lord GOD concerning Edom; We have heard a rumour from the LORD, and an ambassador is sent among the heathen, Arise ye, and let us rise up against her in battle.
WEB: The vision of Obadiah. This is what the Lord Yahweh says about Edom. We have heard news from Yahweh, and an ambassador is sent among the nations, saying, "Arise, and let's rise up against her in battle.