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Obadiah: Obadiah 1-2-The Lord’s Call to the Nations to Destroy Edom Lesson # 4

Obadiah   •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  1:32:43
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Obadiah: Obadiah 1-2-The Lord’s Call to the Nations to Destroy Edom

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The vision of Obadiah. Thus says the Lord God concerning Edom: We have heard a report from the Lord, and a messenger has been sent among the nations: “Rise up! Let us rise against her for battle!” (ESV)
Pastor-Teacher Bill Wenstrom
Sunday October 8, 2017
www.wenstrom.org
Lesson # 4
The vision of Obadiah. Thus says the Lord God concerning Edom: We have heard a report from the Lord, and a messenger has been sent among the nations: “Rise up! Let us rise against her for battle!” (ESV)
Obadiah’s vision. This is what my Sovereign Lord says concerning Edom: We have heard a report from the Lord. Consequently, an envoy has been dispatched among the nations: “Arise! Yes, let us rise up against her for war!” (My translation)
The vision of Obadiah” is composed of the following: (1) masculine singular construct form of the noun ḥā·zôn (חָזוֹן), “a vision” (2) masculine singular proper noun ʿō·ḇǎḏ·yā(h) (עֹבַדְיָה), “of Obadiah.”
The proper noun ʿō·ḇǎḏ·yā(h), “Obadiah” means “servant or worshipper of the Lord” and the noun ḥā∙zôn refers to the prophecy that Obadiah received from God in which extrasensory audiovisual experiences, which were revelatory in character, were perceived by him.
Edom” is the proper noun ʾěḏôm (אֱדוֹם), which refers to the region south of the Dead Sea, north of the Red Sea and East of the Rift valley and which sometimes expanded west into the Negev.
This region was named after one of Jacob’s sons whose name was Esau who became the progenitor of the Edomite people according to and these descendants of Esau later became the rivals of the Israelites.
After identifying the subject of the vision, Obadiah says “we have heard a report from the Lord,” which is indicating that Obadiah and his fellow prophets and citizens of the kingdom of Judah heard news or a report from the Lord regarding His decision to send armies to destroy her.
The “we” is referring to Obadiah, his fellow prophets in the southern kingdom of Judah, as well as the citizens of the kingdom of Judah who survived the Babylonian invasions.
This statement identifies for the reader that the Lord, the God of Israel is the source of this report and thus the one from whom the call to arms was dispatched to the Gentile nations of the Mediterranean and Mesopotamian regions of the world in Obadiah’s day and age.
As a result of hearing this report from the Lord, Obadiah asserts that “an envoy has been dispatched among the nations,” which presents the result of the previous statement.
It refers to an envoy being dispatched by the Lord in order to communicate to the nations of the earth His order requiring these nations to make war against the nation of Edom.
In , “the nations” (gôy) refers to the various Gentiles nations which existed in the Mediterranean and Mesopotamian regions of the earth in the days of Obadiah after the destruction of the southern kingdom of Judah.
This would indicate that a messenger or an envoy was sent among the nations calling for the nations to make war against Edom as a direct result of Obadiah and his fellow citizens hearing a report from the Lord.
Therefore, the envoy was sent among the nations by the Lord to call the nations to make war against Edom as a direct result of hearing a report from the Lord to do so.
Envoy” (ṣîr) means “envoy, authorized messenger” since the word pertains to someone who carries a message and speaks of someone who is a delegated representative of a particular government who carries a message from a sovereign to representatives of another nation.
Here it could refer to someone in the kingdom of Judah carrying a message to the nations of the earth which ordered them to make war against Edom.
This “envoy” could be either an elect or non-elect angel of God.
The latter is more than likely the case since the Gentile nations are temporarily under the authority of Satan who is the temporarily the god of this world (cf. ).
I. A. Busentiz writes “The envoy, or messenger, may refer to a human messenger, as in ; ; . However, here the envoy’s identity is most likely angelic, as in . Though on occasion the prophets personally confronted the dignitaries of foreign nations (cf. ), it is doubtful that a personal emissary was sent to rally the nations against Edom. Israel’s suffering at the hands of Edom and others at this time in her history would render such efforts doubtful.”[1]
Rise up! Let us rise against her for battle” refers to the Lord ordering Gentile nations located in the Mediterranean and Mesopotamian regions of the world to prepare themselves to wage war against Edom and also manifests the fact that the God of Israel is the Judge of the all the nations of the earth.
Therefore, Obadiah records the Lord sovereignly ordering the Gentile nations of the Mediterranean and Mesopotamian regions of the world in his day and age after the destruction of the kingdom of Judah by Babylon to wage war against the nation of Edom.
By giving this order, the Lord was intervening in the affairs of mankind.
The term “sovereignty” connotes a situation in which a person, from his innate dignity, exercises supreme power, with no areas of his province outside his jurisdiction.
As applied to God, the term “sovereignty” indicates His complete power over all of creation, so that He exercises His will absolutely, without any necessary conditioning by a finite will or wills.
contains the title of the book and summarizes the purpose of verses 1-9.
It announces the God of Israel’s sovereign decision to wage war against the nation of Edom which He would do by using the Gentile nations of the Mediterranean and Mesopotamian regions of the world in Obadiah’s day and age in the sixth century B.C.
Behold, I will make you small among the nations; you shall be utterly despised. (ESV)
“Behold, I will of a certainty cause you to be insignificant among the nations. You will be greatly despised!” (My translation)
Behold, I will make you small among the nations” speaks of the God of Israel causing Edom to be of low status as compared to the rest of the nations of the earth and expresses the certainty that this will take place in human history.
You shall be utterly despised” refers to the Gentile nations of the earth in Obadiah’s day in the sixth century B.C. showing contempt for the nation of Edom because they considered her evil, expressing itself in speaking scornfully of her and ridiculing her.
begins the prophecy and contains two prophetic declarations from the God of Israel.
The first predicts that the God of Israel will of a certainty cause the nation of Edom to be insignificant among the nations of Obadiah’s day and age in the sixth century B.C.
The second advances upon this in that it predicts that Edom will be greatly despised by all these nations which were located in the Mediterranean and Mesopotamian regions of the world in the prophet’s day.
The prophetic perfect of the verb nātan expresses the idea that this is good as done.
Edom is doomed.
They are destined to be insignificant among the nations because of their unrepentant sinful behavior towards the kingdom of Judah in the sixth century B.C.
These prophecies in verse 2 would of course be a blow to the pride of Edom which the prophet condemns in .
These prophecies have been fulfilled in human history in the fifth and sixth centuries B.C. since she did in fact become an insignificant nation and was greatly despised by the nations of her day and age.
In fact, no one today compliments Edom for any of their accomplishments.
This prophetic revelation Obadiah received from the God of Israel, which is now recorded in this Old Testament book which bears the prophet’s name manifests the divine decree, which took place in eternity past before anything was ever created and is God’s eternal and immutable will.
The divine decrees are the eternal plans by which God renders certain all the events of the universe, including both angelic and human history—past, present, and future.
The divine decrees are actually one decree but because of the limitations of our human brain we often use the plural, decrees, to express the many facets of God’s plan.
The decree of God is the chosen and adopted plan of all His works.
It is His eternal purpose, according to His will; whereby, for His own glory, He foreordains whatever comes to pass.
It is the sovereign choice of His divine will and His omniscience, by which all things are brought into being and controlled, made subject to His pleasure, and made to produce His glorification.
Thus, the divine decrees originated with God, long before any creature of any kind existed, and are objectively designed for His own glory and pleasure ().
Therefore, Obadiah’s prophecy reveals the Father’s will from eternity past to destroy Edom because of their unrepentant sinful behavior.
Therefore, the destruction of the nation of Edom in history did not happen by chance or fate but rather was a manifestation of the Father’s will to destroy this nation for their unrepentant sinful behavior toward the southern kingdom of Judah in the sixth century B.C.
[1] Busenitz, I. A. (2003). Commentary on Joel and Obadiah (p. 245). Geanies House, Fearn, Ross-shire, Great Britain: Mentor.
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