Mark R. Rushdoony

November 21, 2010

Obadiah was a prophet of judgment to Edom, a nation to the south and east of the Dead Sea. Descended from Isaac’s son Esau, the Edomites had fostered a perpetual resentment for the descendants of Jacob, and missed no opportunity to exact revenge. They felt that any good thing that came to Judah had been rightfully theirs. When Judah was most vulnerable, this covetous attitude caused them to aid her enemies and prey upon the weak. This is a picture of the church as it is abused by those that hate it, but there is an additional fact. The Edomites claimed to be the true heirs of Abraham and Isaac, and so represent those of every age who claim to be the people of God but are not. These are the apostate churchmen and nations, the false "Christians" and "Christianity" that seeks to supplant the true church by stealing the blessings God has given it.

Jerusalem's setbacks were God’s Providential judgment on their apostasy, but were used by the false children of Abraham in seeking their destruction. Instead, Obadiah proclaims the total destruction of Edom. For their presumption, Obadiah offers no hope, no salvation, no invitation to repentance, no grace, and no forgiveness. Edom will face "the day" of reckoning when even the inverse of the Golden Rule would prevail (vs. 15-16).

The one glimmer of restoration Obadiah offered was to Zion extending itself well beyond Canaan where the "kingdom shall be the Lord's." This is a power Judah never realized in ancient history, but one which remains a promise for the new covenant people of God.