The vision of Obadiah.
Thus says the Lord God concerning Edom:
Because of the violence done to your brother Jacob,
shame shall cover you,
and you shall be cut off forever.
On the day that you stood aloof,
on the day that strangers carried off his wealth
and foreigners entered his gates
and cast lots for Jerusalem,
you were like one of them.
But do not gloat over the day of your brother
in the day of his misfortune;
do not rejoice over the people of Judah
in the day of their ruin;
do not boast
in the day of distress.
Do not enter the gate of my people
in the day of their calamity;
do not gloat over his disaster
in the day of his calamity;
do not loot his wealth
in the day of his calamity.
Do not stand at the crossroads
to cut off his fugitives;
do not hand over his survivors
in the day of distress. Obadiah 1a, 10-14 ESV
Lie not in wait as a wicked man against the dwelling of the righteous;
do no violence to his home;
for the righteous falls seven times and rises again,
but the wicked stumble in times of calamity.
Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,
and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles,
lest the Lord see it and be displeased,
and turn away his anger from him. Proverbs 24:15-18 ESV
On June 13, 1977, lightning struck some power substations in the city of New York several times in the evening. This caused New York to suffer a huge power outage that left nine million people in the city without electricity for about 25 hours. During the time the city was without power, some terrible things happened. Some people set fires, and there were more than a thousand fires burning in the city before it was over. Other people became looters, taking advantage of the darkness and confusion to steal anything they could carry off from over a thousand stores. Thieves stole expensive things like luxury cars, but they also stole small things like sink stoppers and clothespins. People who were in the streets were attacked and robbed, and even the muggers were being mugged during the confusion. This doesn’t always happen when there is a blackout. Sometimes people help others and work together when there is a disaster like this. But this time people who were poor or had suffered because of the color of their skin had been feeling more and more resentful, and they took advantage of the city’s weakness to get revenge and to lash out in anger.
The same kind of thing happened when Jerusalem fell. The people of Edom, a small nearby nation, gloated and rejoiced over the downfall of Jerusalem. The Edomites were the descendants of Jacob’s brother Esau, and down through the centuries they had been enemies of the people of Israel. For a long time they had been under the control of Israel, and their resentment and anger had simmered for generations. When Jerusalem fell, they not only gloated, but they also went into the city with the Babylonians and helped them loot. They stood at the crossroads to grab people from Jerusalem who were running away, and either killed them or handed them over to the Babylonians. The Edomites were glad to be getting revenge against their brother people, but this behavior didn’t please God. He sent the prophet Obadiah to pronounce judgment on them. Obadiah cried out that the people of Edom would be cut off forever because of what they had done.
We were all under the power of our enemies, death and the devil, and the forces of evil gloated over us because we were helpless to save ourselves. But God had mercy on us and sent Jesus to be our Savior. Jesus defeated death and the devil when he died on the cross and rose again from the dead. We are God’s people now and always, and the Lord is always with us to help us and protect us from the sin and evil that try to hurt us and take us away from him. In Jesus, we have complete victory over sin and death, and we can always count on his love and protection.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Jesus to destroy sin and death and everything evil for us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.