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I want to invite you to turn to the book of Obadiah. I’m going to say that now because I know it’s going to take you a few minutes to find that if you’re even thinking. Is that even a book of the Bible, right? Obadiah is where we’re going to be today as we finish up our series on the small books of the Bible. Were those books that we tend to skip over and not think a whole lot about is what we are focusing on answering the question How can we make an impact for the Lord and the way we live our life? For Him and the books we’ve looked at together have been predominantly out of the New Testament, except for the book of Haggai we looked at a few weeks ago. But some of the important concepts we’ve seen in in those books have been the really impactful in the way they share with us how to live a life for the Lord. Philemon taught us thinking outside of ourselves. Second, John teaches us to speak the truth in love. Third, John emphasizes the idea of why we need to encourage one another. In Jude, we looked at contending for the faith, and today we are looking at Obadiah, right? And the book of Obadiah is kind of a general name. If you just want a little background to to who Obadiah is, we don’t have a clue. In Scripture, there’s estimated that somewhere as many as 14 Obadiah are mentioned.
Sometimes they don’t know if it’s the same Obadiah being talked about or not. It’s kind of like having the name a regular Joe, you know, in life. And the name Obadiah means one who worships God. And so when you’re in the nation of Israel, it’s like a dime a dozen with the name of of Obadiah, a very general name, but specific to what the desire is of Israel’s heart, or it should be at least one who worships the Lord. When it comes to the book of Obadiah, this book is so ambiguous that we don’t really even know. Not only do we not know much about Obadiah other than his name’s Obadiah, we also don’t know when this book is written. It’s narrowed down sort of to this 300 year time period By the contents of the book. You can get a rough idea of when it was written. Most scholars put it between 586, 536 after the Babylonian or when the Babylonian captivity is has taken over the people of Judah and the land of Edam. Once the demise of Israel and they come in and they they purge what’s remaining of the land. However, even though that this is what Edam is accused of doing in the book of Obadiah, there’s no indication that right after the Babylonian captivity took place that the Edomites went into the land and plundered it. Rather, there is indication that that happens somewhere in the eight hundreds BC when the Philistines and the Arabians came in and took over Israel or attacked Israel, then the Edomites came in and pillaged the land.
And so it’s because of that. No, no direct correlation between Edam coming in the 500 BCE that some people think it’s in the 800 BC and you can flip a coin whatever it lands on, just go with that. All right. No one knows for sure, but there’s just based on contextual clues, people reach their their own understanding of what they think the timeline is for this passage of scripture, regardless. The relevance of what’s communicated to here is still important for us today, not just to the people of Eden and the people of of Jerusalem or Israel. Somewhere I have a clicker. Well, there we go. You’ll be my clicker today. I don’t know where that thing went. All right, Get my stuff together. Okay. Verse one of the book of Obadiah starts off like this. The vision of Obadiah, thus saith the Lord God. Concerning Edam, we have heard a report from the Lord and an envoy has been sent among the nations saying, Arise and let us go against her for battle. This prophecy of Obadiah Obadiah is a small prophet. The contents of Obadiah comes in the latter half of the Old Testament because the end of the Old Testament is all major prophets and minor prophets. 17 books and the very end of the Bible. And you are good. Thank you. The 17 books at the end of the Old Testament are the prophets, major and minor.
Major prophets don’t mean they’re any better than the minor prophets. It means they just had a lot more to say. And so their books are longer. So you get to the last 17 books of the Bible. The first five are the major prophets, the last 12. For the minor prophets, Obadiah finds himself as a minor prophet, getting a word from the Lord to share with the people of Edam, to tell them what prophets tell. There is a judgment of coming, right? Look out for yourselves. The Lord. The Lord has had His end of your sin. And so judgment is coming on your life. The purpose of a prophet was to point to the judgment, to lead people to repentance or to acknowledge the fact that judgment was coming. And here in this passage of Scripture, you find that the contents that’s the way it states. If I were to systematically I want to just explain how this book breaks down for you so that if you ever studied on your own or as you look through it this morning, you’ll understand how the sections of this passage of Scripture work for us. And then from there, I just want to make some application. I want to spend the majority of our time making the application to this book because I think it’s where we find the prevalence of what’s written to a people so long ago verses 1 to 16 explain the judgments on the people of Edam.
Edam was actually from the tribe or the people of Esau. Esau and Jacob were brothers to Isaac. If you remember the story from from Isaac, he has Esau and Jacob. He gives Jacob the birthright because he was tricked by the deceiver that is Jacob. He thought he was giving the birthright to Esau, but instead gave it to to Jacob. And from that point on, minus one burial time of Isaac, Esau and Jacob saw saw tension within their relationships and household. And it continues even into the book that Obadiah is writing today, bringing judgment against the people of Edam because of the way they’re treating. Israel. Moses, in fact, commanded Israel in Deuteronomy 23, and verse 17, he says, You shall not abhor an edomite, for he is your brother, meaning he comes from the lineage, your lineage where Jacob and Esau were brothers. And so Moses commands them in the way they are to treat them. And for the first 16 verses of this book, God brings a charge through Obadiah against the People of Eden because of the way they have treated Israel in the end of this book. Then God offers comfort to the people of Israel, to the people of Judah, I should say, having faith in the Lord, knowing God would supply for their needs. And so the encouragement for Israel on the back end of this book is to to recognize that God always sees us in the midst of the challenges that we face.
It’s often times that when we are in despair, when we’re at the end of our rope, when we’re facing challenges that we ask the question, God, where are you? But it’s scripture that reminds us in Psalm 147 and verse four, that God knows the number of the stars. He knows them by name. The Bible tells us that there’s not a bird that falls to the ground that God is not aware of in Matthew chapter ten and verse 29. But when we look at the nation of Edam, what we find in verse three and four, I got it. Nevermind. Verse three and four, is that their sin or their their destruction has brought on by pride. And and in this prophecy, there is this beautiful description of of the pride that that Edam is facing. It says, the arrogance of your heart has deceived you. The the ESV literally translates as your pride has deceived you. You who live in the clefts of the rock and the loftiness of your dwelling place, who say in your heart, who will bring me down to earth Though you build high like the eagle though you set your nest among the stars. From there I will bring you down, declares the Lord is acknowledging Edom’s perception of themselves. They’re too high. They’re not touchable. They’re above everyone else. They’re protected. There’s nothing that can come against them. And the Lord is pointing to them that their pride, in fact, is their downfall.
And when you look in the contents of verses 1 to 16, he begins from verse five on to explain where particularly they are putting their pride and finding their strength. In verse five and six, he talks about their wealth, which is giving them the pride and how they’ve plundered from Israel. And verses seven, they’re talking about their alliances or their relationships. They have pride in the relationships that they have. In verse eight, they talk about their intelligence or their their wisdom. In verse nine. They talk about their strength or their military power. Wealth, relationships, intelligence and strength. About sums us up, doesn’t it? Items charge. Of sin is found in the pride that roots itself in these particular areas of life. And God then explains, because of that pride, what was birthed out of. He begins to talk about the dissension in their relationship with Israel, how in verse 1011, violence was brought against their brothers. And in verse 12, it even gets to the point that it says this Do not gloat over your brother’s day, the day of his misfortune, and do not rejoice over the sons of Judah and the day of their destruction. Yes, do not boast in the day of their distress. It’s like Edam is saying, you know, I love everybody. I got my relationships with all the other nations. I love all the other nations. They’re great. But they did me wrong.
And so if there’s one people that’s okay to hate and really wish their demise. It’s. Those came from Jacob. Right. They cheated our father. And so if I have any excuse to treat anyone with ill will. It’s Judah. It’s Israel. And God says in this passage, there their pride for their own possession over their brothers has brought them to the place that they’re even gloating over their destruction. In verses 13 to 14, they assisted the enemy in attacking the Jewish people. The surrounding countries come in against Israel and they’re assisting in that cause. And in verse 15 and 16, they’re ignoring the impending wrath that God has promised them. And then in verse 17 to 21, sort of the verses that ring true in the end for God’s covenant people and how the Lord will deliver them. God’s not ignorant. To the adversity you face. And God can fight for you better than you can fight for yourself. When the Lord says vengeance is mine, I will repay. And I’m the very end of the book. He just gives one final picture. In verse 21, he says this The deliverers will ascend Mount Zion. To judge the mount of Esau. And the kingdom will be the Lord’s. Sometimes we read stories like this in the destruction of nations and. We look for the grace of God in this. And I just want us to recognize as we read this story, the whole point of a prophet. The declaration of the goodness of God in His Holiness.
As for us to recognize how much we need to repent, we need his grace and we need to turn to him for salvation. The point of the prophet is to waken us on the inside to the destruction that rests in our own hearts. So we see the need of the Lord in our lives. And eat them in the story as God is pronouncing his judgment against them. It is not without hope any more than any of us are without hope. One of the most beautiful passages I love in Scripture. Revelation five nine, Revelation seven nine. Every tribe, tongue, language and people praising the Lord before his throne. Every nation represented or every tribe, every tongue represented before God praising his name because none of us are without hope any more than Eden was without hope. In this passage, the grace of God can be extended to all of us. But here’s what the Bible is acknowledging in this passage. By bringing judgment against Esau and the people of Esau, the land of Edam, and talking about the kingdom of the Lord. While it’s true every nation, every tribe, every tongue. Has opportunity to find God’s grace. It’s also true. Every nation, every tribe, every tongue will be judged. And what God’s desire within the nations is to bring under him one nation, under his rule. And in fact, the Bible tells us in Galatians chapter three, verse 26, So in Christ Jesus, you are all children of God through faith.
For all of you who were baptized into Christ, have clothed yourselves with Christ. And therefore there is neither Jew nor Gentile. Slave nor free. Male nor female. You are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise. And this passage, what we find is that while we belong to a particular people group and and in Revelation, we see ourselves every tribe, tongue, language, the people, groups worshiping the Lord we have left behind those those dividing lines that we often place on ourselves as people. We have been set free from those and we find ourselves one people under God praising his name. And that’s why I say when it comes to the land of Edam. Edam is no more without hope than any more of us are without hope because of the grace of Christ and what He brings to us. The point of the profit. The Old Testament. It’s to awaken the people to the deadness inside and their position against the Lord living contrary to him. The Bible tells us enemies of God. In Romans Chapter five, so that we can be reconciled to him not because of anything that we do, but because of what he has done for us. Like manner in Romans chapter three. Both of these books, Galatians and Romans talking about salvation. Romans Chapter three, verse 28, it says this for he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly.
Neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly. And circumcision is that of the heart and the spirit, and not in the letter whose praise is not of men, but of God. What God is recognizing. It’s not the outward identification, but inwardly what Jesus does for you, in you, through you. It’s that identification that you possess in Christ. So while we look at the hope that Israel has in the midst of God being aware. Of what they’re going through and their struggles. Edam is also a people in the midst of facing judgment that does not rest without hope. Any more than any nation can have hope in the Lord. But the answer to this primary question, I think, with the whole passage of time is about is how did Edam end up in judgment? What brought them to this place? And as I talk about what I think the theme of this passage is, I wish there was some demeanor I could carry to to not carry this message in such a way where we point the finger at someone else rather than ourselves, because all of us deal with this topic. And we’ll find as we discuss this passage of Scripture that that we aren’t much different than the people of Eden within these passages of Scripture. But the reason Eden ends up in this position. It’s found in what verses 3 to 4 communicated to us, which I think are the theme of what this passage of Scripture is all about in the book of Obadiah.
And the answer is pride. Pride leads to their fall. And so as an example for us, I think Edam is a picture for all of us, of our need for Christ in our lives and the hope that we can have Edam. Edam is just a thought for us and representation of where we are either positionally in Christ currently or or where we should be positionally in Christ if we would turn to him. And so if pride leads to a fall, the the important question in this passage of Scripture then is, is to ask ourselves if it even be possible, how can we rid ourselves of pride? I know you’re thinking the answer is to be more like me, right? Yeah. You heard the theme music I came out to. How? If it’s possible. How do we rid ourselves of. And pride will burn you. I mean, that’s what this story says, right? Pride will burn you. I like the story of a clever salesman. This was written anonymously by a salesman who claimed that he he sold hundreds of items and closed thousands of deals by knocking on doors and starting with this line. Let me show you something your neighbor said you couldn’t afford. You look in the Garden of Eden and in the fall of Satan. Isaiah 14. Genesis Chapter three.
The the sins that were tempting, the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life. We all have a pride problem. That’s not fun to say. That’s not very positive, is it? Counselees not counselors, but Counselees were once asked. This was coming from a web site on Desiring God. They asked Counselees, What’s the number one problem that you face in life? And their answer. Others. And then they went and asked the counselors. What’s the number one problem that you address in counseling? You know, they acknowledge that they do deal with anxiety and depression, marital problems. But do you know what the number one problem they said was? Right. How? Huh? Paul in dealing with the idea of pride, I want to look at Philippians chapter two. If you just remember kind of the content of Obadiah, verse 3 to 4 is the theme on Pride. The end of the book, talking about hope in verse 21, I want you to flip over to the to the book of Philippians for just a moment. Philippians Chapter two and dealing with the idea of pride. This is a this is a very significant passage in the book, in the book of Philippians, I think in the New Testament. This this section of Scripture contains a song that the early church has sung really even before the Apostle Paul wrote this book or this this verse in Philippians chapter two. Having this mind in you, which is also in Christ Jesus, who though in the form of God thought it not robbery, but he made himself in the form of man, humbled himself to death.
Death on the cross. That song they would sing in the early church. But he starts the the premise of us to have this mind, which is in Christ Jesus by really setting the precedent in verse three of pride and how to rid ourselves of pride or talking about the way we empty ourselves of pride. And he says this Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit. Selfish, the selfish ambitions. The King James literally translates this as strife. So saying when you when you work your life in pride and it’s about you living your life to puff yourself up, that what that really causes is dissension in relationships or or strife. And the selfish ambition can be translated as as motivation to elevate yourself or personal interest above others. And so he’s saying do nothing, nothing in the Greek get this means nothing. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit. And this this empty conceit is also translated as vain conceit. It literally means excessive pride. And so do nothing from from this arena in your life. This these thoughts kind of run counterintuitive. I think when I think about what this represents in these verses, I think about the love chapter in Scripture. Love is patient. Love is kind, love is gentle. First Corinthians 13, he goes on in verse, verse four, it says, It’s it is not jealous.
It does not brag, It is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly. It does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take account a wrong suffered. We talk about the the arrogance in love that it doesn’t display it literally means puffed up or self-absorbed big headed. Those are always the great verses you want to read at weddings, right? You get the two couples looking in each other’s eyes, all cheesy. From this day forward, they’re going to they can’t even conceive how they would even argue they’re going to love each other more than they’ve ever loved one another before. And so when you share these verses, of course it makes sense. And the way I’m going to love you and all of these ways, right. And that runs counterintuitive to to what this verse says. Do nothing then from selfishness or empty conceit. It’s like it’s like the exact opposite of what’s talking about here. This idea of even being able to be selfish or being conceited. But. But Paul is saying from this place, don’t act on these. Thoughts, these motives. The reality is we create pride by way of establishing our position, our righteousness, our worth. When you look at Edam. People of Esau. They find their value, their worth, their position, their identity and wealth and relationships and intelligence and strength. I am who I am because of those things. Pride, then in that nature becomes the way we justify why we do what we do, our behavior.
I deserve. I must have. Right? And when we we don’t get those things. They become the the reason or the motivation for why we respond with ill will towards others. And you saw the excuse of Edam before Israel. I’ve got good relationships with the rest of the nations around me. But those guys. If anyone ever deserved it, it’s the one who cheated me. So it’s okay right in this area too, to bring them what they deserve because of the way they responded to me. And if I did this because of you, right? It’s your fault. Then I respond this way. But the truth is. Regardless. Of the way people. Act towards you. They’re not responsible for the way you respond to them. We’re responsible. And the thing that causes us to lash out in anger. To respond negatively. To do anything of ill will. Isn’t truly their fault. It’s ours. Because we responded, therefore making us responsible. When people react towards me in a negative way. And if my reaction I can tell you when you can see me do this is is negative. It’s because in my position of righteousness, there is something I feel was owed to me. And when it is not given right, you deserve what you get. That’s called Christmas time at Walmart. You’re wondering what I was going to say. I told you I’m perfect all the time. No, don’t say that.
Lord strike me right. But, James, Chapter four. I like to remind us of this verse. This is on the screen. But if you ever think as a believer, when you look at what it tells us in this passage, do nothing from this position. Do nothing from. From vain conceit. Do nothing from selfish ambition. Do nothing from this. I think James four is a reminder to us as believers. It says, I’ve read this in the past of the church. What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? I mean, what causes those problems? And we know the answer. It’s other people, right? It is those people, you know, the ones that just make you grit your teeth here. Like, I know that you’re not looking at this because you could just let me kick them in the head right now. Whatever. Whatever you’re thinking in your mind. Right? What are bad thoughts there? What causes that quarrel among you? And he says in verse two, Is it not the sauce, not the sauce, your pleasures that wage war in your members you lust and do not have. So you commit murder. It’s not them. It’s not others. That’s what’s resting in you. The reason you blow up on the people that are closest to you. It’s because you feel like they owe you something that you deserve, and so you justify the way you respond. So here’s the truth of Edam. Edam, naturally, is being judged. But what Edam represents is individual people who are carrying the same ideas, ideals.
So what happens when you’re in such a position as this? When people malign you, you feel the need to throw mud back? And so or excuse me, the book of Philippians tells us, do nothing from this position, because what happens in this position is when you don’t get what you want, you become defensive and justifying your behavior of why you act out. And really what it happens in relationships is that you become an unapproachable individual because you can’t discuss any struggles that you’re having because you’re trying to justify your behaviors all the time. It makes for unhealthy relationships, whether nation to nation or person to person. But here’s the good news. In Christ, we get the opportunity to establish a righteousness outside of ourselves. And the great part about that, it’s not about you or how good you have to be. It’s about Christ and how you’re able to stand before him because of what he’s done for you. And therefore you feel no need to defend yourself because it’s what Jesus has done so you can come before him as an honest mess. No longer needing to be defensive. Or to make people think that you’re something you’re not. To try to swindle people into certain ideas or swayed them towards your cause or justify behavior because your righteousness is in Christ. And this is what Paul Tripp writes about this. This is what happens in the life of the believer when they find their identity in Jesus rather than other sources that they boast about in their pride when their pride becomes Jesus Christ.
Paul said, I don’t want to boast in anything but the cross of Christ. You then create. He says, number one, the humility of approachability. You know you’re not perfect. Nor do you have to be. Because of who Jesus is. There’s no need to defend yourself. Christ has already defended you. And so because you’re not trying to elevate yourself above other people, eat them over Israel or whatever that case may be of anyone who’s ever wronged you, you get to be a person of humility because of what Christ has done for you. You become approachable in that you’re okay to look at the things that cause you to falter and fall. Because, you know, the Bible already says you’re not perfect, but in Christ Jesus perfects you and he is doing a work on you. And so because you have somewhere to take your own faults in Jesus, you look towards the things of where you’re blind and your own sins so that you can bring them to Jesus and be further aligned into his image. The second is this You get the courage of loving honesty. You aren’t afraid to speak the truth? Because you’re not afraid of rejection. Why? Because your well-being is not found in the acceptance of others. It’s found in Jesus. Now, that’s not an excuse to be a punk.
Hopefully in humility of what Jesus has done for you. It recognizes in humility you have opportunity to serve others. So you don’t use truth to beat people up. But rather it does give you the opportunity to be honest, because rejection doesn’t matter in that sense. Because the one that you live for is Christ. And so what happens when you can let go of pride and personal self righteousness is that it frees you up to become an incredible person the way you serve. And in fact, if you looked at the rest of this passage in verse three, it says, but with humility of mind, regard one another as more important than yourselves. Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interest of others. This is what this person becomes when when they’re able to let go of their own pride and they find themselves not needing to defend themselves anymore, not needing to strive for position and power and fame and wealth and whatever you want to put in there, because they found their security in their identity in Christ. And so they they’re empowered to become people that serve because of what Jesus has done for them. And so this this then begs the question, how how did this happen? Well, verse one and two says it. Therefore, if there is any encouragement in Christ. Any consolation of love. If there’s any fellowship of the Spirit, if there’s any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in the spirit, intent on one purpose.
What he’s saying in this if if you if you he’s challenging believers here. I mean he’s saying like, come on guys, if you’ve really seen the depth of God’s love and and that’s really where you’ve saturated your identity and if you’ve been encouraged in Christ and and you’ve experienced that fellowship in Christ because of what he’s done in that relationship with him, if that’s really you. Man, then live this way when you’re able to serve others, because where your true identity is to be found has been discovered in Jesus. I love the way the message says, that the message is just a paraphrase of Scripture, but it says this If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care, then do me a favor. Agree with each other, love each other, and be deep spirited friends. Amen. I think the reason Paul is so adamant in this passage is because he knows that there’s tension for us to always return to the way that we’ve chosen to live apart from Christ. But you know the number one way to live without pride and rather live with humility. And I’m going to say say this short answer, knowing I’m not saying this as a.
A person that does not struggle. And I’m not saying this as a person to tout any position over anybody. I’m saying this as an individual that wants to take these words and live this every day by the grace of God. The way to rid of pride, to live with humility. And die to self and to live to Christ. And that’s what Paul said. And that’s what Jesus proclaimed of his kingdom. He who wants to be first must be last. The Kingdom of God is one who finds a treasure in a field and sells everything He owns. Take up your cross and follow me. Right. So let me say this in conclusion. What I’m saying here this morning by being humble or people of humility wrapped in identity in Christ. I’m not saying in using the word humility that you are worthless. I think when you discover humility in Christ, you see yourself as people of incredible worth because of Jesus. What I’m asking as well is I’m not asking you to not be proud. The goal is to not the goal is not to not be proud. Okay. If so, if you make that the goal, if you make your goal to not be proud, what’s going to end up happening is you’re going to be become proud and not being proud. And that is the same vicious cycle we’ve discussed all morning. Right. What I’m saying is rather than seek pride.
Fall on your face and die to self and call on the Lord. C.s Lewis said this about people in general. He said there are those who will bow the knee to Christ and then say Thy will be done. Then there are those who refuse to bow the knee to Christ, and Christ says, Thy will be done. Well Jesus has called us to in him is far greater than anything that this world has to offer. But I know when we talk about humbling ourselves, coming before the Lord, calling out to him, allowing him to transform us. Sometimes in life we get to places where we do not feel worthy. Can I tell you that the thing that stops you at that point is still pride? Jesus told Peter. Peter asked the question, Lord, how many times should we forgive? Seven. He thought he was being super spiritual. Here he’s like seven, which is like more than double what they tell us to and forgiving someone else. And Jesus is like, No, no, no, no, no, no. Matthew, 18. He says it’s 70 times seven. And sometimes as believers we can look at that position and say, you know, I can forgive. I will forgive somebody like that. I can do that. I can do that because we recognize our own sinfulness. But then we look to Jesus and we say, but can you. Okay. Can you really forgive me? Can I tell you if that’s the place you are in life? I don’t think there is a better person to bow the knee to Christ and just say, Lord, forgive me.
Because in your struggle you’re recognizing in your life the place that you fall short. And that is exactly where Jesus meets us, to heal us in our knees. Jesus is Grace. It’s more than enough. Far greater than your own. Eat them. Looking at the story is is a picture for all of us of our position in Jesus. The end of this book is a place where God wants to offer us hope in Him to those that rest in Him, to find their place, in him, to remind us of our need for him as a prophet calls out to people and saying pride leads to destruction, but Jesus elevates you in a far greater position in him. No longer do you have a need to have to build your own righteousness and position up because in Christ you’re called a child of God giving you position and worth and value and an eternal kingdom wrapped up in Christ that will endure forever in relationship. To him. I guess the concluding thought is this. Pride is such a theme of scripture. It’s it is scripture. Just call out to the Lord and say, God. Not my will, but your will be done.