Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Esau Have I Hated (Obadiah)

I apologize again for the lack of posts. I'm working on a really neat side project right now that's taking up most of my spare time. But I'm not abandoning the blog.

The vision of Obadiah is a short but fierce proclamation of Edom’s destruction. The justification seems simple enough. During the fall of Jerusalem, Edom sided with Judah’s enemies, going so far as to hunt down fugitives to turn over to the Babylonians. It’s wounds from a brother that bite deepest.
On the day that you stood aloof,
on the day that strangers carried off his wealth
and foreigners entered his gates
and cast lots for Jerusalem,
you were like one of them.
The Lord announces his verdict, in a terrifying variation of the golden rule:
As you have done, it shall be done to you;
your deeds shall return on your own head.
In the end, even though Jerusalem has been plundered and Judah taken off to Israel, the Lord’s judgment will be in their favor:
But in Mount Zion there shall be those who escape,
and it shall be holy,
and the house of Jacob shall possess their own possessions.

The house of Jacob shall be a fire,
and the house of Joseph a flame,
and the house of Esau stubble;
they shall burn them and consume them,
and there shall be no survivor for the house of Esau,
for the Lord has spoken.
That certainly settles the matter. Cain who murdered his brother was exiled. Esau who despised his birthright will now be dispossessed. Such is God’s faithfulness to the younger brother Israel.

But what about Israel’s redemption? Is Israel being restored simply to gloat over those who were happy to see her down? What about Esau embracing Jacob and Jacob seeing the face of God? What about Joseph saying “you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good?”

Right now it looks to be forgotten. God’s verdict for their destruction is final and all encompassing. Unless, of course, someone with the authority to represent the people might look upon those who cast lots for his clothing and pray “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Click Here to Continue Reading this Post...