Obadiah 1:17…But on Mount Zion there shall be deliverance, And there shall be holiness; The house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.
In the Book of Genesis, we read about twin brothers, Jacob and Esau that were born to Isaac and Rebekah. From the pregnancy stage, Rebekah experienced struggle within her and when she enquired from the LORD, she was told that two nations were in her womb, two peoples shall be separated from her body, One people shall be stronger than the other, and the older shall serve the younger. When her days were fulfilled, she gave birth to twins, the first came out red, he was a hairy garment all over, so they called his name Esau. Afterward, his brother came out, and his hand took hold of Esau’s heel, so they called his name Jacob. Right from the womb until they became adults, the word of God concerning them manifested. Jacob inherited the Abrahamic blessings and the hand of God was upon him while Esau misbehaved all through, he sold his birthright to Jacob because he was hungry and wanted food by all means and Jacob seized the opportunity to ask for his birthright (Genesis 25). Later when Esau was forty years old, he took as wives, Judith and Basemath, the Hittites, and they were a grief of mind to Isaac and Rebekah. (Genesis 26:34-35). The sovereignty of God was displayed all through the life of Jacob, instead of marrying the Hittites, his mother sent him to her brother Laban where he spent about twenty years of his life. He got married to the two daughters of Laban, Leah and Rachel who bore him children. Leah’s maid and Rachel’s maid also bore children to Jacob, so that Jacob now became father of twelve children, that later became the Nation of Israel, God’s own nation, because Jacob’s name was changed to Israel on their way back to Canaan.
The story of these two brothers always proves to me that God is the One that designs and executes whatever goes on in one’s life. God wanted two nations from the seed of Abraham, and he brought twins into the world through Rebekah and Isaac. While in the womb, Esau was designed to be the one to serve his younger brother Jacob. The path he tread all the way was not pleasing to his parents nor to his brother, he eventually became the father of the Nation of Edom, a large nation, also blessed by the LORD but they were not the one that inherited the Abrahamic blessings. While the children of Israel were on their journey from Egypt to their promised land, they met many of these relatives on their way and the LORD prevented the Israelites from harming them. Now that the children of Israel misbehaved by sinning against God, many countries became their enemy and they led them into captivity. Those that God used to punish the children of Israel, God bounced back on them, and took revenge on them because they puffed up and thought they achieved all these with their own power (PRIDE).
The message through Obadiah that we are focusing on today was sent to the Edomites. The message reads thus, “For violence against your brother Jacob, shame shall cover you, And you shall be cut off forever. In the day that you stood on the other side, In the day that strangers carried captive his forces, when foreigners entered his gates And cast lots for Jerusalem, Even you were as one of them. But you should not have gazed on the day of your brother, In the day of his captivity, Nor should you have rejoiced over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction, Nor should you have spoken proudly in the day of distress. You should not have entered the gate of My people in the day of their calamity. Indeed you should not have gazed on their affliction In the day of their calamity, Nor laid hands on their substance in the day of their calamity. You should not have stood at the crossroads to cut off those among them who escaped, Nor should you have delivered up those among them who remained In the day of distress. For the day of the LORD upon all nations is near; As you have done, it shall be done to you. Your reprisal shall return upon your own head. For as you drank on My holy mountain, So shall all the nations drink continually; Yes, they shall drink and swallow, And they shall be as though they have never been”(10-16).
Reading through the above paragraph made me to understand the mind of God towards those that are being punished. Though it was God punishing them for what they have done, notwithstanding, the Edomites should not have rejoiced nor make the matters worse for them by helping their captors in handing them over to them. This attitude made God unhappy and God is now fighting back by promising to destroy them (the Edomites) completely from the face of the earth. In our earlier discussion, we saw that God hates this attitude because no one is without sin, and nobody is fit to pass any judgment on anybody. Many of us can see ourselves from the list of those “should not have” that were written against the Edomites. The verse of today reads :”But upon Mount Zion, there shall be deliverance (that is, I, the LORD will save my people from captivity), there shall be Holiness (they shall not sin against me anymore), and My people shall possess their possession, that is I will restore all that I have taken from them” The Edomites that were rejoicing will be the one that will exist no more whereas God’s people will continue to enjoy the goodness of God in the land of the living.
What lessons can we learn from this episode between two brothers? God is the ONLY ONE that decides “WHO” to use for “what purpose”.We are the clay and He is the POTTER. He uses whomsoever He wills. If you are being used by God today, acknowledge it, appreciate it and thank Him for it, and even ask Him for more. Do not be swollen headed because of this. Do not share in His glory, it belongs to Him alone. If you see somebody going through some difficulties, or tough challenges, do not try to make some assumptions that the difficulties or challenges are as a result of his sins. Leave that for God to judge. Do not rejoice , I repeat, do not rejoice over the calamities of any one. Rather pray for mercy for that individual. We are all enjoying the MERCY of God. None of us deserves any better treatment, but the MERCY of God is from everlasting to everlasting. Thus we can go before the LORD to ask for deliverance from our bondage and for Him to anoint us powerfully with his Spirit, and then all the blessings that we have lost to be restored back to us in Jesus name. Our God is good, let us watch our attitude and our thoughts. because everything we do is naked before Him. The LORD will keep us till the end in Jesus Name, Amen.
Prayer… LORD keep us blameless and spotless to the end in Jesus name, Amen.