One of the twelve Old Testament books that we often refer to as “The Minor Prophets” bears the name Obadiah. Scholars acknowledge that nothing certain is known about Obadiah himself. What we find in his prophecy are oracles that were written or spoken not long after the glorious city of God, Jerusalem, had fallen to the Babylonians around 587 BC. The people of God had become like the other nations in their behavior, and they had been harshly judged.
I will surely make you least among the nations; you shall be utterly despised. Your proud heart has deceived you, you that live in the clefts of the rock, whose dwelling is in the heights. You say in your heart, “Who will bring me down to the ground?” Though you soar aloft like the eagle, though your nest is set among the stars, from there I will bring you down,says the Lord. Obadiah verses 2-4 (There’s only one chapter in this, the shortest book in the Old Testament)
But the prophets were called to speak a hopeful word. The Lord’s judgment may have come on the people of Israel, but it would also come to those who had pillaged God’s people. In the end, those who were faithful to God would be restored:
For the day of the Lord is near against all the nations. As you have done, it shall be done to you; your deeds shall return on your own head. For as you have drunk on my holy mountain, all the nations around you shall drink; they shall drink and gulp down, and shall be as though they had never been.
But on Mount Zion there shall be those that escape, and it shall be holy; and the house of Jacob shall take possession of those who dispossessed them. The house of Jacob shall be a fire, 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 of the house of Esau; for the Lord has spoken. Those of the Negeb shall possess Mount Esau, and those of the Shephelah the land of the Philistines; they shall possess the land of Ephraim and the land of Samaria, and Benjamin shall possess Gilead. The exiles of the Israelites who are in Halah shall possess Phoenicia as far as Zarephath; and the exiles of Jerusalem who are in Sepharad shall possess the towns of the Negeb. Those who have been saved shall go up to Mount Zion to rule Mount Esau; and the kingdom shall be the Lord’s.
God can be trusted. Are we among those who trust (and believe in) God?
Dear God, help me to live Your word and study Your promises so that I can look beyond the difficult days that may come, and hope for Your Kingdom which is coming. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.