Obadiah 1:4 Though you soar like the eagle and make your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down," declares the LORD.
We often focus on God’s Word, though the prophets as was spoken to Israel – it is not hard to see the church as the spiritual heir of Israel, for the mark of a true child of Abraham, is not in the blood, but it is found in the faith that they both share. And that is where we must begin this evening, for the promise of God which was given to Abraham, was
Genesis 12:2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.
Now the problem was that Abraham had 2 sons, Ishmael, the child of the slave, and Isaac, the free child, while Isaac was the son of the blessing, Ishmael was not forgotten. But that’s not the end, Isaac had 2 sons as well, Jacob and Esau, and although the promise would go to Jacob, Esau was also not forgotten. When Jacob and his sons journey to Egypt during the famine, Esau and his descendants, continue to live in the land that would bear their name, Edom – and that is who the Edomites are. They shared in the blessing, and they became a great nation, and the remains of their civilization still amaze those who visit the Jordanian desert city of Petra, the city in the rocks.
Tonight, our focus is on God’s word, to another child of the promise, for God sends the prophet Obadiah to speak words of warning to Edom, why? For the usual reasons, they are trusting in themselves, they are trusting in the city that they have built, they are trusting in their allies – and to top it all off, they think they are pretty hot stuff – nothing can touch us, we’re too smart, we’re too strong, we are safe and secure – not by grace through faith in Christ – but we are safe because we have saved ourselves.
It’s a simple word, that is spoken – I will bring you down. Why? There are plenty of reasons, and they can all be summed up in the one simple maxim, idolatry – and God can’t overlook it. Now, on the face of this, it sure sounds like a bad thing – who would want God to come and bring us down to earth, to show us our place? It can dashes our hopes, it can shatter our dreams, it can leave us crushed – as all that we valued is destroyed. Its certainly not fun!
And yet, if God didn’t call all people to repentance, how would they be saved – if our false hopes aren’t crushed, how will we learn that such things can’t save us, and don’t keep us secure. If you don’t learn that you were trusting in a false God, how will you come to desire to hear about the true God, and long to hear about the real and true salvation that comes to us in Jesus Christ.
Time passes, and the rivalry between the descendants of Jacob and Esau continue – so that when Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the king in Jerusalem was not the son of David – it was Herod, who was a descendant of Esau – that’s why he was so upset when wise men came seeking the one who had been born King of the Jews, for in spite of all that he had built – the secret was out, the rightful Heir had come, the promised son of David – the promised seed of Abraham in who all the world would be blessed.
We may not see ourselves as Esau, or Edom, or Herod – but this word continues to speak to us whenever we seek to claim for ourselves that which is rightfully God’s.
1Cor 10:12 Therefore let any one who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.