August 8, 2010

Obadiah

Date according to Ussher:

3417 years from the creation
1761 years from the flood
425 years from the foundation of Solomon's temple
161 years from the building of Rome
583 years before Christ
and the 20th year of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon.

Obadiah is an easy to read, timeless little book of only 21 verses. Though it is a prophecy against the proud nation of Edom, it easily identifies every proud and lifted up nation of all history. In Obadiah, we see disaster ahead for the our nation, as it wars against the Kingdom of God on earth; that is, God's laws and God's people.

The Muslims today are leading that war, with the apporval of a Muslim president. I have no doubt that Obama was a known Muslim by the powers who put him in, and he is there for the purpose of completing the destruction of the WASP influence in this nation.

Though filled with doom and gloom against proud nations, it ends on a very high note:

21 And saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the LORD'S.

This book is a strong book of judgment against the ungodly; that is, those who are at war against the Kingdom of God. As is typical throughout Scripture, God ends this strong message of judgment with a message of hope and promise.

And the kingdom shall be the Lord's.

Though God empowers the kingdom of darkness to carry on its war against the Kingdom of God, the war is for his glory alone. We are told seven times specifically that the enemies of Lord will be subdued. Psalms 110:1 is quoted in Matthew 22:44, Mark 12:36, Luke 20:43, Acts 2:35. In Acts 2:35, the message of the triumphant King and his kingdom brought conviction and conversion of about three thousand souls. Then it is quoted twice more in Hebrews 1:13 & 10:13.

Certainly, it is distressing to think about our proud nation passing into history, but our love and allegiance must be to the Kingdom of God.

I pointed out last time that we have three clearly revealed instances of God sending spirits to encourage and strengthen the wicked in their wicked ways. Allowing and even encouraging the wicked to follow their wicked ways allows them to bring the just judgment upon themselves, and upon those who supported them. Moreover, it rains on the just and unjust.

They were:

1.) Judges 9:23, the Lord sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem. Gideon had been used by God to deliver Israel. When he died, instead of following God, Israel turned to Baalim and Baalberith.

2.) 1 Kings 22:21-23, the Lord sent a lying spirit to bring about His judgment upon Ahab.

3. ) Obadiah 1, the Lord sent an ambassador to raise an army to go against Edom because of Edom's pride.

Though I will we use the term "free will", I use it as is commonly understood in modern theology. However, there is no such thing as "free will", for man's will from birth is in bondage to sin. Christ alone produces true freedom, John 8:32.

Obadiah v. 1, An ambassador is sent... The Lord sent his ambassador from the Kingdom of God to the kingdom of men. His ambassador is carrying a message which will cause those to whom he is sent to do something: He is recruiting an army to go against the proud nation of Edom.

V. 2, Edom was a small rock dwelling nation, yet he was lifted up with pride because of his strong, defensive location. God made him too small to be an aggressor. Edom felt he was something he was not, and refused to realize his place in life, which caused him to be despised by the other nations.

V. 3, Jehovah was outraged at Edom. In 738 BC, Edom invaded his brother, and killed many. 2 Chronicles 28:17. (McClintock & Strong's Cyclopedia.)

Then in 578 BC,

864. Obadiah the prophet uttered a prophecy against Edom, which shamefully gloated over the calamity of the Jews when Jerusalem was destroyed. Jeremiah and the authors of the Psalms, who wrote about the same time, also made a similar prophecy. {Jer 49:7 Eze 25:12 Ps 79:1-13 137:1-9} (Ussher)

Edom dwelt in the rocks at Petra. He was confident that Petra was impregnable, which led to great pride. Though small in numbers, Edom was confident that he could not be defeated. Because of his location, a very small army could hold off almost any size army that would come against him. The entrance into his city was only 10 feet wide at places, with towering cliffs on both side. There were only 2 known entrances, and they ran for miles. (The city was about 2 miles around, giving room for 30,000 to 40,000 inhabitants.)

Because Edom was so well protected, he did things he had no business doing. Because he was so well protected, he was deceived into thinking he was something that he was not. Because he was so well protected, he felt no need for God.

V. 3, the pride of thine heart hath deceived thee; Galatians 6:3, If any man seem to himself to be something when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself in his own imagination. James 1:22, Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

Both Old and New Testaments blame deception on the individual. Pride leads to deception, and the Lord will provide deceiving spirits, preachers, teachers and civil leaders.

Bumper sticker, "The Power of Pride".

Pride fails to realize and take our place in God's order, vv. 2, 3, which leads to rebellion against The Truth. (Thy law is the truth, Psalms 119:142; all thy commandments are truth, v. 151.)

Satan used Eve's pride to deceive her, as he said, You don't need God's word. You can be like God. You don't need his word to tell you what is right and what is wrong. Satan appealed to her pride, and Eve was deceived in the transgression, 1 Timothy 2:14.

Edom, like nations and individuals, was deceived, being so well established that he felt no one could bring him down.

Observe: We are living in a nation that feels it cannot be brought down. I have no doubt that God has sent out his ambassador among the nations to make their move. It seems like the ambassador went to the Muslim and Spanish nations, saying, "Arise ye, and come into the once mighty nation that feared God. The fear of God is now gone, and it is now yours for the taking."

It is a well known fact that the followers of Muhammad have always desired to conquer the world for their faith and subdue everyone to Muslim law. However, that desire to conquer the world for Christ and his law was lost in the 1800s, leaving the once Christian nations open to invasion by the pagans.

Because the West has so dramatically departed from God's protection, God is giving the Muhammadans the will and power to make their conquest from the inside. God even sent for and empowered a Muslim to be president, as he gave the people what they wanted. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwhKuunp8D8&feature=player_embedded

V. 4, Edom was exalted. Petra, Edom's dwelling place, was as an eagle dwelling in the cliffs of the rock. God clearly tells Edom that no matter how much protection he might have, he will be brought down.

God's message in Hosea 13:9, O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help., is a message for all who turn from the King. As once godly Christian nations fall, they have no excuse. Jeroboam introduced his state religion, and deceived Israel to follow it, yet God said that Israel destroyed himself.

Others may influence us in our error, but only if we want to be influenced. Jehoshaphat shows us that knowing the truth without doing the truth will result in destruction.

Pride: Eve shows us that anything less than submission to God's word is pride.

Proverbs 16:18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

Pride as an engine on a train, pulls behind it a train of destruction.

God help us to humble ourselves under His mighty hand that we might enjoy a blessing rather than a curse, 1 Peter 5:6.

V. 5, Obadiah speaks of the utter destruction facing Edom. Normally, robbers by night will only take until they have enough. Normally, when grapegathers gather the grapes, they leave some behind. But not so for Edom. Edom would be so totally destroyed that he would not have one person left to continue the name Edomite upon this earth.

V. 6, Edom was well hidden and confident in his hiding. But the Lord sent his army into every crack to search out Edom.

V. 7, it was Edom's friends who answered the ambassador's call to arms. Edom was deceived by those he trusted, as the ambassador moved to unite his trusted friends against him.

Vv. 7b-9, Teman was a grandson of Esau. Edom prided himself in his wisdom. In the day of the Lord's judgment against sin, God turns the wise men of this world (that is, of the nations he will destroy) into fools.

Observe: the reason God confounds the wise is so destruction can come upon the wisdom of the world, which is foolishness with God.

V.10, Forever is final.

V. 11, when Babylon came against Jerusalem, Esau, instead of helping his brother, Jacob, helped his brother's enemy.

V. 12, Esau rejoiced in his brother Jacob's overthrow. Esau spoke proudly, "Because of my location, I don't have to worry about being destroyed as the Chaldeans destroyed my brother."

V. 13, Esau rejoiced as his brother fell into the hands of his enemies. In fact, he helped the enemies spoil his brother.

E. W. Pusey said, "They [Edom] helped the Chaldeans in his overthrow, rejoiced in his calamity, thought that, by this cooperation, they had secured themselves. ... At that first destruction of Jerusalem, Edom triumphed, ‘Raze her! Raze her, even to the ground!' " (Pusey, Barnes' Notes.)

V. 14, In other words, by helping the Chaldeans, Esau sought to escape the same destruction at the hands of the Chaldeans. Those whom Esau he did kill, he captured, and turned over to the enemy, the Chaldeans, Babylon. No wonder the Lord was upset with Edom.

V. 15, the Lord promised to rewarded Esau according to his works.

For the day of the LORD is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head.

Though Esau hoped to secure himself, he reaped the same at the hands of the Chaldeans that he did to Jacob. God's judgments fit the crime — eye for an eye....

Jeremiah 50:29 Call together the archers against Babylon: all ye that bend the bow, camp against it round about; let none thereof escape: recompense her according to her work; according to all that she hath done, do unto her: for she hath been proud against the LORD, against the Holy One of Israel.

Notice that after God used Babylon to judge his people, and to judge Esau who destroyed his people, God returned to Babylon what she did to others.

Observe: Considering what our State Department has done to our friends as well as to our enemies, what judgment will fit the crime? It sure looks like the Lord is strengthening the Muslims against us, and they will not be pleasant captors. Those who have helped exalt the Muslim faith, both Democrats and Republicans, will have done to them as they have done to the godly.

V. 16, the ungodly seek to persecute the holy mount, Mount Zion, the church (Jacob-Christ). Proverbs 1:13 tells us that the wicked join forces to destroy God's people for the spoil.

But God promises that the day is coming when things will be reversed. Everything the wicked sought to do to the church will be returned upon their own head.

In v. 10, Edom is cut off forever as Edom's just reward is returned to him.

Vv. 17-21, Edom refers to all who are against the Kingdom of God. Here is a reference to the church and she is delivered by her King. Jacob never delivered himself. There was a short time of Jacob repossessing Palestine under the Maccabees but that was nothing like what is spoken of here.

Thus, v. 17 starts a new section which refers the time starting with Christ. From this point on, the passage speaks spiritually of Christ, his church and those who have stood against the church.

V. 17b, Possess their possessions... That is, Inherit their inheritances. In vv. 17, 18, Obadiah gives, in a few brief words, the sum and substance of the salvation which the future holds for God's people. (Keil-Delitizsch)

According to our Lord's words, the whole world is the inheritance of the Christ through his people, Matthew 28:19, Romans 4:13.

We are told in Proverbs 13:22 that the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.

Observe: The church (God's people) grows cold and indifferent to her Lord. The Lord raises up a "rod of his anger", that is, the heathen to chastise his people for their sins. The chastisement causes them to be purified and to depart from their sins. They again answer their calling in Christ, and become a holy nation. The result of being a holy nation unto our Lord is the Lord again moving in behalf of his people. He again becomes their strong tower, their rock and shield, their deliverer, as he delivers them from their oppressors.

V. 18, The house of Jacob refers to the church. The fire and flame is not a reference to the people who make up Jacob. Rather, it refers to the God of Jacob. Read Hebrews 12, especially v. 29, where it says, For our God is a consuming fire.

Let me quickly give the 1599 Geneva notes for the rest of the chapter:

V. 18, fire... "God attributes this power to consume his enemies to his Church, which power properly belongs only to himself; Isa 10:17, De 4:24, He 12:29."

V. 19, mount... "He describes how the Church will be enlarged and have great possessions: but this is mainly accomplished under Christ, when that faithful are made heirs and lords of all things by him who is their head. "

V. 20, the Canaanites... "By the Canaanites, the Jews (of 583 BC) mean the Dutchmen, and by Zarephath, France, and by Sepharad, Spain."

V. 21, saviours... "Meaning that God will raise up in his Church those who will rule and govern for the defence of it, and for the destruction of his enemies under the Messiah, whom the Prophet here calls the Lord and head of this kingdom."

In Jeremiah 50:21-27, in Babylon's day of glory and power, the king of Babylon was God's hammer of the whole earth, v. 23. That is to say, God exalted him and gave him power so he could be God's instrument of judgment of the whole earth, particularly against his sinful people.

Babylon became proud and lifted up because of his power, and in Jeremiah 50:11, God judged Babylon because of her pride.

Observe:

Not only will sinful men carry out Gods will and purpose, but they will be held responsible to have the right spirit when they do what God has strengthened them to do. Though God is the one who gives the power to fulfill wicked desires for God's glory, they are not released from accountability. God's will and purpose will be done on this earth, and even wicked men will judges according to whether they acted in a godly or ungodly manner.

Summation:

First, all things work for good, either as a chastening rod to cleanse away sin and foolishness (Proverbs 20:30, 22:15) and purify his people, or to prepare them to pursue his purpose for their lives.

Second, chastening separates the wheat from the chaff. God's responsibility is to see that his enemies are dealt with. Those who glorify him as God, Romans 1:21, over every area of life, can go about their God given tasks, and God will become a fire to his enemies.

V. 18. History tells us that under the Maccabees, the remnants of Israel and Judah united and subdued Esau, forcing the remaining Edomites to be circumcised, and adopt the Jewish laws, making them Jews. (Josephus, Ant. xiii 9, 1.)

V. 21, confirms, I believe, the overall message of Obadiah of the conflict of the church vs the world—Mount Zion vs mount of Esau, the spirit vs the flesh (Jacob-Esau).

Obadiah ends w ith a high point: and the kingdom shall be the Lord's.

We are clearly told whose kingdom will win out, man's or God's. It tells us who has already won: Mt. Zion, the Lord's holy hill. We have not seen the final conclusion to the whole matter. The Lord God omnipotent reigneth now and forever more:

Revelation 19:6 And I heard like a voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of strong thunderings, saying, Halleluiah: for the Lord that God that almighty God hath reigned. 7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give glory to him...