Obadiah 1:9
Then your mighty men, O Teman, will be terrified, so that everyone in the mountains of Esau will be cut down in the slaughter.
God in RetributionHomilistObadiah 1:6-9
God in RetributionD. Thomas Obadiah 1:6-9
Hidden Things Searched OutJ. Reid Howatt.Obadiah 1:6-9
False ConfidencesA.C. Thiselton Obadiah 1:8, 9

Shall I not in that day, saith the Lord, even destroy the wise men out of Edom, and understanding out of the mount of Esau? And thy mighty men, O Teman, shall be dismayed, to the end that every one of the mount of Esau may be cut off by slaughter. The wise, the mighty! - who shall stand when these fall? Edom made great boast of its wise men and its mighty men, but it was a vain confidence. "Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise loving kindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord." Edom was long famous for its wisdom. Eliphaz, the principal friend of the patriarch Job, was a Temanite. This Eliphaz, in some respects, was a representative of human wisdom. He oftentimes laid down false principles, or misapplied right ones, but was always ready to boast that he knew more than others. It is great folly to be wise in one's own conceits. God asks, "Shall I not destroy the wise men out of Edom?" In Jeremiah 8. he says, "The stork, the turtle, the crane, and the swallow observe the time of their coming, but my people know not the judgment of the Lord." How do ye say, "We are wise? The birds, when the chilly winds of autumn come, take care to migrate to a warmer clime where winter will not destroy, but ye make no preparation for the future. How do ye say, We are wise? Would it be wise for a merchant never to look into his affairs? Would it be wise for a captain of a ship to see a great storm coming, and make no preparation? Would it be wise to proceed, on a long journey and have no provision? How do ye say, We are wise? There are multitudes to whom this question must be put. The vainly wise men of Edom still exist - men who might truly learn wisdom from the little things spoken of in Proverbs 30.: The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer; the conies are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in rocks [they know where to hide]; the locusts have no king, yet go they forth all of them by bands [they know that unity is strength]; the lizard taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings' palaces;" it has wisdom of patient, painstaking labour. The proud self-confidence of Edom had nothing of true wisdom about it. It was displeasing to the heart-searching God. "Shall I not even destroy the wise men out of Edom?" Then, too, we have the mighty men of Teman denounced. They were of those who gloried in their might. They trusted in nature's strength. With Pharaoh, they were ready to ask, "Who is Jehovah?... I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil... I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them." "Thou didst blow with thy wind, the sea covered them; they sank as lead in the mighty waters." With Saul, they rose, girt with strong armour and sword and spear; but the prophet comes and says, "The kingdom is given to another." With Samson, they shake themselves to put forth strength as at other times, but soon in the prison of the enemy we hear the exceeding bitter cry of the blind captive, "My weakness! my weakness!" With the Assyrian king, they exclaim, "With the multitude of my chariots I am come up to the height of the mountains, to the sides of Lebanon, and will cut down the tall cedars thereof, and the choice fir trees thereof: and I will enter into the lodgings of his borders, and into the forest of his Carmel." But God says, "I will put my hook in thy nose, and my bridle into thy lips, and I will turn thee back by the way by which thou camest." And thus we see the vanity of the mighty man glorying in his might. "Thy mighty men, O Teman, shall be dismayed." Now, it will be asked, if the wise must not glory in his wisdom, nor the mighty in his might, where shall we obtain a wisdom worth seeking? Where shall we find the secret of a God-given strength? I will now answer these inquiries.

I. WHERE SHALL WISDOM BE FOUND? That of Edom will not do. The wisdom of this world is insufficient for an immortal soul We mostly need, not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, but that wisdom of God which none of the princes of this world knew, for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. Where shall wisdom be found? St. Paul tells us it is a revelation of the Spirit of God. Where shall wisdom be found? The Scriptures, by the power of the Spirit, "make us wise unto salvation." Behold in Jesus the Wisdom of God. Observe, we say not - See in him great wisdom, but - See in him infinite wisdom; see in him the Wisdom of God. All that can come forth from God is in the blessed Jesus. He is the Wisdom of God. In his Person you have perfect God and perfect man - the heavenly and the earthly, the perfect embodiment and revelation of Wisdom. In his Person, his words, his work, his life, death, and resurrection, Behold the Wisdom of God. And remember that "he of God is made unto us Wisdom." Yes; this is the wonder of wonders, this is the gracious answer to the question, "Where shall wisdom be found?" "He of God is made unto us Wisdom;" Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, ... but let him glory in the Lord," "who is the Wisdom of God and the Power of God."

II. THE POWER OF GOD. This will bring us to the reply to the second inquiry - Wherein may we find power? The mighty man is not to glory in his might. The mighty men of Teman, as well as the wise of Edom, are denounced. What is the source of strength that cannot decay? St. Paul understood when he said, "I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me." In Christ we have righteousness and strength. When we are weak in ourselves, we are strong in him. He is not only the Wisdom of God, but the Power of God. God's power to save, God's power to bless, God's power to raise, sanctify, glorify, is Christ - "Christ the Power of God." Is there a soul you want saved? Christ is the Power of God. Is there a tried and afflicted one you desire to be comforted? Christ is the Power of God. Is there one you want taught, guided, succoured, blest? Christ is the Power of God. Do you in your own soul want soul-weanedness, heavenly mindedness, spirituality? Christ is the Power of God. Do you want power to overcome, power to be holy, power to be faithful? Christ is the Power of God. Do you want fears banished, sorrow healed, anguish soothed, and death conquered? Christ is the Power of God. He must be mighty to save. He must be all. - able to renew and bless. Christ is the Almighty.

III. We may now LOOK AGAIN AT OUR SCRIPTURE. We have seen that it shows the evil of all false confidence. It declares human wisdom and human power untrustworthy. It shuts us up to Christ, the Wisdom of God and Power of God. And it presses upon our hearts this important question, "What is our hope?" It calls us to see whether we are building on the mountains of Esau or the Rock of Ages. We are warned that every one of the mount of Esau shall be cut off. All refuges of lies shall be swept away. The foundation of God only standeth sure, and none other foundation can any man lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Oh, let us rejoice in the sure Foundation! Let us declare plainly that all our hopes are founded on Jesus Christ, that the foundation of our trust is Christ, the foundation of our happiness is Christ, the foundation of our glorious expectations is Christ. On him as our Foundation we may rest secure. The gates of hell cannot prevail against us. The Rock of Ages is immovable, the covenant is inviolable, the promises are unalterable, and the Divine love is eternal, and when the mountains of Edom and all other false confidences shall forever perish, "the righteous shall shine as the sun in the kingdom of their Father forever and ever." - A.C.T.

Shall I not in that day... even destroy the wise men out of Edom.
But we are warned by these words that if we excel in understanding we are not to abuse this singular gift of God, as we see the case to be with the ungodly, who turn to cunning whatever wisdom the Lord has bestowed on them. There is hardly one in a hundred to be found who does not seek to be crafty and deceitful if he excels in understanding. This is a very wretched thing. What a great treasure is wisdom! Yet we see that the world perverts this excellent gift of God; the more reason there is for us to labour, that our wisdom should be found in true simplicity. This is one thing. Then we must also beware of trusting in our own understanding, and of despising our enemies, and of thinking that we can ward off any evil that may impend over us; but let us ever seek from the Lord, that we may be favoured at all times with the spirit of wisdom, that it may guide us to the end of life: for He can at any moment take from us whatever He has given us, and thus expose us to shame and reproach.

( John Calvin.)

Benjamin, Canaanites, Esau, Jacob, Joseph, Obadiah, Teman
Edom, Esau, Gilead, Jerusalem, Mount Esau, Mount Zion, Negeb, Samaria, Sepharad, Shephelah, Teman, Zarephath
Broken, Cut, Dismayed, Esau, Esau's, Fear, Mighty, Mount, Mountain, Mountains, O, Ones, Overcome, Slaughter, Teman, Terrified, War
1. The destruction of Edom,
3. for their pride,
10. and for their wrong unto Jacob.
17. The salvation and victory of Jacob.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Obadiah 1:9

     8754   fear

Obadiah 1:1-21

     5263   communication

Obadiah 1:8-10

     5879   humiliation

The book of Obadiah--shortest of all the prophetic books--is occupied, in the main, as the superscription suggests, with the fate of Edom. Her people have been humbled, the high and rocky fastnesses in which they trusted have not been able to save them. Neighbouring Arab tribes have successfully attacked them and driven them from their home (vv, 1-7).[1] This is the divine penalty for their cruel and unbrotherly treatment of the Jews after the siege of Jerusalem, vv. 10-14, 15b. Nay, a day
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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