Obadiah is the shortest book out of the collection of the Minor Prophets, comprising 21 verses. There are a number of points of interest that I want to reflect on.
1) The story of Jacob and Esau
In Genesis we read the story of Jacob blackmailing Esau for his birthright which it appears Esau gladly gives him for a meal. I find it interesting that Esau/ Edom was never part of the 12 tribes of Israel; yet they are clearly considered in this prophecy to be a brother to Israel.
It seems to be a covenant lawsuit against Edom’s actions against Israel.
Some questions have risen up in class to look further into regarding how their story was edited and written into Genesis as it seems that the Genesis edition has been written in consideration / explanation of their struggle against each other.
2) That both Obadiah and Jeremiah prophesied the same oracle.
Who prophesised first; Jeremiah or Obadiah? Was there an earlier prophecy given which they both draw upon? Or did the Holy Spirit simply inspire both prophets to speak forth a similar message similar in the way the Prophet prophesied over the Apostle Paul confirming to Paul what he had felt the Spirit had already told him.
3) The Day of the Lord / Cup of Destruction.
Very similar to the message of Amos regarding the Day of the Lord coming, only it’s specific to Edom. Interesting metaphor how the prophet paints the story of destruction in that they will continue to drink their fill.
4) The New Testament drawing on this prophecy.
Jesus in the garden cries out to take this cup from his hand if possible… It’s only now that I have recognised just what Jesus was referring to. He knew the Day of the Lord was coming and was obedient though he didn’t want to face it and drink the destruction to its fullness.
I am having a few random thoughts from Romans 9 about the story of Jacob and Esau in that it would seem that God performed a huge sucker punch to the Jewish nation by reversing this story by making Esau (Gentiles) equal heirs under Gods plan of election.
Interesting how Obadiah seems to be a book about sibling rivalry and how God reveals that in the long run they both have equal status before God in the Gospel
This prophecy didn’t come to pass fully…. what is its future end time consideration?
A continual theme of social justice keeps being revealed in the first 4 Minor Prophets. It’s a reminder that we too have a social responsibility to be just in our own undertakings, to not be complacent in our faith. The author of Hebrews 12:15 warn us to heed the story of Esau so that no root of bitterness will take hold in our own life causing us to despise our own heritage and birthright.