Showing posts with label Obadiah. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Obadiah. Show all posts

Saturday, November 25, 2023

Mining the Minors: Obadiah (5)

What will the Middle East look like during Christ’s millennial reign?

Obadiah tells us seven distinct facts about the future division of the former land of Israel and the territory around it. Considering their number, we should not expect them to be comprehensive. They supplement the more detailed tribal division of the land described in Ezekiel. If you notice, as I did, that these details harmonize better in some places than others, bear in mind that any map drawn today based on ancient place names is bound to have considerable wiggle room. Some ancient locations are well attested; others are mere speculations. As a result, no two maps of Ezekiel’s tribal division of the land square exactly.

Both passages agree future Israel will occupy considerably more territory than at any point in its previous history, expanding north, south, east and west.

Saturday, November 18, 2023

Mining the Minors: Obadiah (4)

History teaches many lessons … if we are paying attention.

The children of Esau treated the children of Jacob despicably. Their traitorous disloyalty to their brothers would come back to haunt them; this is the burden of Obadiah’s prophecy. But the judgment of Edom would also serve as a cautionary tale for other nations that had either mistreated Israel or would go on to do so. God made an example of Edom to teach others not to do what they had done.

It’s not as if Edom had not been put on notice. God promised Abraham, “I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse.” When Jacob obtained the birthright and the blessing from Esau, this promise and protection became his. Esau knew it, but apparently his distant descendants had forgotten it.

That’s one of those lessons it’s unwise to forget.

Saturday, November 11, 2023

Mining the Minors: Obadiah (3)

When we read Bible history or doctrine, we take for granted that the tenses used by the writers are important. “Don’t do it” is different from “You did it”. However, when we come to Bible prophecy, that ordinary rule of thumb goes right out the window. Prophetic tenses are all over the place.

Even secular observers can’t miss this odd feature of the genre.

Saturday, November 04, 2023

Mining the Minors: Obadiah (2)

C.S. Lewis called pride “the essential vice, the utmost evil … the complete anti-God state of mind”. Solomon wrote, “Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished.”

Obadiah is the shortest book in the Hebrew Bible, so it doesn’t take the prophet more than two verses to get to Edom’s problem. Yes, it’s pride. Pride that metastasized into hatred of their brothers. Pride that pulled the wool over their own eyes and made the Edomites believe they were untouchable. Pride that convinced them they could put one over on the God who had decreed “the older will serve the younger”. “Not so,” said Edom.

It was the word of God. Of course they were wrong.

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Mining the Minors: Obadiah (1)

“Two nations are in your womb,” the Lord told Rebekah, and “the older shall serve the younger.” The story is so well known that I hardly need tell you the older brother’s name was Esau and the younger Jacob. Jacob became the father of the nation of Israel, Esau the father of Edom, and God set about fulfilling his word to their mother (with some minor, totally unnecessary assistance from mom and a notwithstanding a less successful effort to thwart it from dad).

Later, God would tell his prophet Malachi, “I have loved Jacob but Esau I have hated.” Paul quoted that much-misunderstood line in Romans 9 to the delight of determinists everywhere.

More on that later. Much later.