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Scripture Reading on Sunday Mornings

Scott Maxwell May 30, 2018

Scripture Reading on Sunday Mornings

To help us better understand the Minor Prophets which we are reading through on Sunday mornings, I have provided some excerpts from “The World and the Word – An Introduction to the Old Testament” (by Merrill, Rooker, and Grisanti).  These are only portions from the book, but I hope they help you grasp the setting and message of each Minor Prophet.  The more you can invest in these important books of the Bible outside of Sunday mornings, the more you will gain from them as we read them in our worship service on Sundays.  Enjoy!

The Book of Obadiah

Background
“Edom had a troubled relationship with Israel, one to be traced back to the womb of Rebekah in Gen 25:21-27 where her two twins, Jacob, the ancestor of the Israelites, and Esau, the father of the Edomite nation, were already engaged in a struggle.” p 439

“But by far the most troubling event in the relationship of Israel and Edom occurred during the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple in 586 BC.  The Edomites apparently either offered assistance directly to the Babylonians or launched their own independent raids against Judah and Jerusalem. . . This participation of Edom during the fall and destruction of Jerusalem seems to be the basis for Israel’s enmity toward Edom in such texts as Ps 137:7; Isa 34:5-17; Lam 4:21-22; and Ezek 25:12-14; 35:1-15.”  pp 439-440

“. . . Obadiah revealed virtually nothing about himself or the times in which he lived.  Thus the dating of the book has been hotly debated. . . The evidence seems to be more heavily weighted toward the position that the book was written in response to and shortly after the Babylonian exile in 586 BC.  The fall of Jerusalem is the only event in Israel’s history that qualifies for the tragic situation pictured in Obadiah 11.” p 440

The Message of the Book
“The book of Obadiah is a condemnation of Edom for her evil treatment of Judah during the time of Judah’s greatest crisis, the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonian empire. . . The combined message of destruction for Edom and exaltation for Judah was intended to comfort those who had survived the Babylonian exile. . . The book is a reminder of the covenant love God has for His people and the promise of hope for the future.”  p 442

The Theology of the Book
“Perhaps the most prominent theme in Obadiah is the justice of God.  Since the Lord is holy, He would not allow Edom to go unpunished and He must execute appropriate judgment. . . Obadiah teaches that the Lord is the ruler of all nations.  As such, He demands exclusive worship and service.  The oracle against Edom was expanded to an oracle against all foreign nations (Obadiah 15).  Edom is representative of the nations of the world who oppose God and His people.” pp 443-44

The New Testament and the Book
“Herod the Great’s attempt to kill Jesus (Matt 2:16) is similar to Edom’s efforts in persecuting Judah.  Of interest is the fact Herod the Great was an Idumaean, a descendent of and hence a representative of Edom.”  p 444