The writings of Obadiah, long considered a ‘minor’ prophet, may be somewhat obscure – but this short treatise contains several important lessons for Christians.
First, we are reminded that pride is sinful, and that if not eliminated from our hearts will lead to greater sin. The Edomites were known for pride in their physical strength and might. God’s message to this prideful nation was not one of praise, but rather that destruction was coming upon them (v. 1-9), and this destruction was from and of God.
Second, we can know for certainty that God will do what He says He will do (v. 5-6). God is faithful and just; His will is carried out in all things; He fulfills all His promises. His judgment on Edom was thorough and complete.
Third, our sin will lead to greater sinfulness if we do not stop our sinful practice. It is a path that leads to destruction. Edom’s pride led to haughtiness, crafty deception, and greater evil. Edom’s lack of love and compassion for others was the original source of its sin (v. 11-14)
Fourth, we are taught from Obadiah’s writing that God will punish all sin. Sin is diametrically opposed to God, and He will deal with all sin as He has promised (v. 15-16). That punishment will be great, but God provides an escape for His own people.
Finally, God has promised to protect and save His people (v. 17). God’s goodness and mercy is overwhelmingly greater than we could ever imagine. His people are those who belong to Him – those who have committed themselves to His care by responding in faith to the gospel message of salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord, repenting of our sin, being obedient in confessing the Name of Jesus publicly and being immersed in baptism so that our sins may be forgiven. God’s Holy Spirit is given as a deposit for eternity in heaven with God.
Praise God for His righteousness!