"Prophetability - lessons of strength and power in the minor prophets!"
I read a story recently about a man who worked with a commercial builder. He was a loyal employee for years. He worked diligently to make sure that the homes his company was building for their customers were well constructed. Ultimately, however, he began to feel unappreciated and taken for granted. His company started a new residential construction in one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in town but this time he decided he was not going to be so diligent to make a company look good who had done very little to recognize his contributions. He was lax in his oversight of the building and some of the subcontractors ended up doing some shoddy work. There were plumbing leaks, crooked walls, ventilation problems and a cracked concrete drive. Once finished with the home, he walked in his boss’ office to present him the keys to give to the new owners. Instead, his boss said to him; “you have worked so tirelessly for this company for years and we don’t want you to think your work has gone unnoticed. As a token of our appreciation for your impeccable character and diligent oversight of each and every new construction we want you to have this new house you just supervised. Here are the keys to your new home?” I think the lesson of this story illustrates the heart of the message of the prophecy of Obadiah. There are some very important things to remember if you want to be blessed as a Christian.
If you want to be blessed one of the best things you can do is to bless others. If you want to be empowered one of the best things you can do is to empower others. - Dr. Hughes
The Judgment of Obadiah came as a result of the unwillingness to prioritize brotherly love. Something else about the prophecy of Obadiah is that it is the shortest book in the Old Testament. It is also the oldest prophecy and it is a lesson on brotherly love.
Do you remember the story of how Jacob tricked Esau out of his birthright? Esau came in from the fields after a long day of hunting and he was starving. Jacob was a mama’s boy and he took his mother’s advice often. On this particular occasion he had Esau’s favorite food and traded him for his birthright. As a result of his little stunt, Jacob’s brother hated him and that hatred lasted for centuries. The Edomites, who were descendants of Esau, constantly opposed the descendants of Jacob, who are referred to in the Bible as Israelites. King David conquered the land they had settled on, which was actually promised to Israel by God. But they lived on Mount Seir, a high mountain with treacherous terrain. When the Kingdom of David was attacked and Israel invaded, the Edomites watched from their pinnacle of pride and did nothing to help.
Obadiah 10-14 explains God’s feelings about how they refused to come to the aid of their brothers. “You will be covered with shame and destroyed forever because of violence done to your brother Jacob. 11 On the day you stood aloof, on the day strangers captured his wealth, while foreigners entered his city gate and cast lots for Jerusalem, you were just like one of them. 12 Do not gloat over your brother in the day of his calamity; do not rejoice over the people of Judah in the day of their destruction; do not boastfully mocking the day of distress. 13 Do not enter my people’s city gate in the day of their disaster. Yes, you—do not gloat over their misery in the day of their disaster, and do not appropriate their possessions in the day of their disaster. 14 Do not stand at the crossroads to cut off their fugitives, and do not hand over their survivors in the day of distress.”
God takes seriously how we treat one another, even those who stand at the borders of our country, fleeing from oppression and poverty, anticipating the opportunity for a better life. When we value our neighbor enough to help and not harm God is pleased. V.15 was God’s judgment on the Edomites for their hatred of their brothers and sisters: “For the day of the Lord is near, against all the nations. As you have done, it will be done to you; what you deserve will return on your own head.”
If it is true that what goes around comes around then it pays to initiate good and not evil. - Dr. Hughes
Your strength and power in life comes as you strengthen and empower others. You are not supposed to seek revenge on your brother you are to seek reconciliation with your brother. You are not to get over on your sister but you are to help your sister get over.
The Book of Genesis speaks of the relationship between Jacob and Esau, focusing on Esau's loss of his birthright to Jacob and the conflict that had spawned between their descendant nations because of Jacob's deception of their aged and blind father in order to receive Esau's birthright/blessing from Isaac. This conflict was paralleled by the affection the parents had for their favored child: "Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob." (Genesis 25:28). Even since conception, their conflict was foreshadowed: "And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to enquire of the Lord. And the Lord said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger." (Genesis 25:22–23)
This passage in Genesis 25:26 makes it sound like Jacob was trying to pull Esau back into the womb so that he could be born first and receive the traditional blessing of the firstborn. The grasping of the heel is a reference to deceptive behavior.
Ultimately, God wants us to return good for evil. God’s judgment and ultimate punishment of the Edomites was not an example of God turning a blind eye to the sin of Jacob but rather an indication of how God despises it when we seek revenge. Jesus encouraged his disciples to love their enemies in Luke 6. He said; 27 “But I say to you who listen: Love your enemies, do what is good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If anyone hits you on the cheek, offer the other also. And if anyone takes away your coat, don’t hold back your shirt either. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and from someone who takes your things, don’t ask for them back. 31 Just as you want others to do for you, do the same for them. 32 If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 If you do what is good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do what is good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High. For he is gracious to the ungrateful and evil. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.”
Obadiah promised that God would wipe Edom out and He did. All that is done from selfish motivation will be removed but that which is done through selfless motivation will not be moved! - Dr. Hughes
Rev. Wiley Hughes
D.Min., Psy.D., FBPPC, LPCA, NCC
Apostolic Leader of Destiny Now