June 10 - God Over the Nations (Obadiah)
Prepare for Sunday morning worship using the guide below.
Nik Lingle will continue his class Talking Points this Sunday at 10:00am in the youth room. This class briefly addresses a variety of current issues in our society, applying a Christian worldview to each of these topics. This week we will discuss politics.
Obadiah 1-4, 17-21
1 The vision of Obadiah.
Thus says the Lord God concerning Edom:
We have heard a report from the Lord,
and a messenger has been sent among the nations:
“Rise up! Let us rise against her for battle!”
2 Behold, I will make you small among the nations;
you shall be utterly despised.
3 The pride of your heart has deceived you,
you who live in the clefts of the rock,
in your lofty dwelling,
who say in your heart,
“Who will bring me down to the ground?”
4 Though you soar aloft like the eagle,
though your nest is set among the stars,
from there I will bring you down,
declares the Lord.
17 But in Mount Zion there shall be those who escape,
and it shall be holy,
and the house of Jacob shall possess their own possessions.
18 The house of Jacob shall be a fire,
and the house of Joseph a flame,
and the house of Esau stubble;
they shall burn them and consume them,
and there shall be no survivor for the house of Esau,
for the Lord has spoken.
19 Those of the Negeb shall possess Mount Esau,
and those of the Shephelah shall possess the land of the Philistines;
they shall possess the land of Ephraim and the land of Samaria,
and Benjamin shall possess Gilead.
20 The exiles of this host of the people of Israel
shall possess the land of the Canaanites as far as Zarephath,
and the exiles of Jerusalem who are in Sepharad
shall possess the cities of the Negeb.
21 Saviors shall go up to Mount Zion
to rule Mount Esau,
and the kingdom shall be the Lord's.
Though Obadiah is the shortest book in the OT, its message gives a powerful warning. Obadiah was a prophet sent by God to condemn Edom (descendants of Esau, Jacob's twin brother). The judgment on Edom was due to their pride and violence against God's people of the southern kingdom. Yet this prophetic word provides a picture of God's dealings with all the nations (note how verse 15 is a hinge verse). Edom provides a parable of the pride and arrogance of the world that will one day stand before God in judgment. While we see judgment fall, so we see God's promise stand in those who escape to Mount Zion. This is where our hope rests in God's promise to deliver all who repent or return in faith.
Review and Apply
How have you experienced the truthfulness of 'pride goes before the fall?'
In what areas are you most tempted to feel confidence and arrogance? How has this negatively affected your relationships?
How has this led you to place your confidence in something other than God? Be specific.
In what specific ways can you cultivate humility?
How does the power of this nation prevent us from understanding the hope offered in this book?
Why do we hear little of the people of God suffering under the hands of godless nations?
How concerned are we for the saints in lands of persecution? How can we change that?
How does God's judgment of sin in the future change the decisions you make in life in the present (speak to either what you have done or will do this week)?
How does God's justice encourage us?
How can you encourage another Christian to be faithful from this book?