Today we turn a new tide in our reading program. Through the course of the history of Israel and Judah God will send messengers to correct the behavior of his people. These messengers are known as prophets. Some of the prophets simply preached and we will read about them and their actions through the course of the narrative in both Kings and Chronicles. Some of the prophets were writing prophets. The writing prophets accomplished a few things in their writings. Some of the writings were narratives, typically told in first person ... their reaction and observations of how details of the story play out. Some of the writings were in journal form … possibly their own personal struggles with God or their prayers to God. Other writings were written to the nations of Israel and Judah as a call to repentance and even a call to remain hopeful.
Today we encounter our first prophet in our chronological reading of the Bible. We encounter God’s prophet Obadiah. Obadiah writes of a vision he had about the nation of Edom. Edom means “red” and it was the name given to Esua, the brother of Jacob, the twin sons of Isaac and Rebekah. The nation of Edom at this point is the distant relatives of Israel and Judah. They have not treated Israel very well from the time they came out of Egypt to their possession of the land. For that, God brings wrath upon them, and he proclaims this through the messenger Obadiah.
There are arguments in the scholarly community of when Obadiah chronologically takes place in the narrative. Some argue its placement where we find it today. Others argue based upon the state that Jerusalem lies in verses 11-14, which would put it after the destruction in 586. B.C. Regardless this is a pronouncement from God on Edom that he looks out for his people, and delivers punishment when necessary.
Here’s a cool reminder … do not fight your own battles. Rely on God. Let God fight your battles. His discipline will be the correct discipline.