See, I will make you small among the nations; you will be utterly despised. Obadiah 2(NIV).
We, who are foot-soldier’s in the Lord’s Army of believers, who constantly need reminders that He is with us and over us, need to remember that we can become too big for our britches.
My wife and I are watching, “The Crown.” We’ve come into the 21st century and have learned to binge on streaming TV, and our latest binge is the ongoing series about the House of Windsor. One of the series’ continual themes is how the British monarchy works to keep both itself and Great Britain (as a whole) relevant in the modern world. For decades, England has been a world power in decline on the world stage and the series deals with this reality in the context of examining the functions, place, and purposes of the royal family amidst this political decline.
Could it be that great powers decline when they think God has abandoned them?
Today’s verse is talking about Edom. Obadiah’s prophecy is directed at Edom, the descendants of Esau, and, Obadiah’s time, a great regional power. The prophecy predicts that Edom, led by its leaders (who have gotten too big for their britches), will be brought down. God would use Israel to defeat the enemy that had participated in Israel’s downfall. If you were an Edomite, it would have been a good time to get your affairs in order because you were about to feel very alone.
In a way, the prophecy is also about Jesus defeating evil. He did it at Calvary, in the garden tomb, and will do so again when He returns to set all things right. Instead of simply defeating Israel’s (and His) enemies, Jesus Himself will defeat the source of what made them enemies; He will defeat the leader of evil, then those who follow. Satan, your days are numbered. They always have been.
Yet we need to remember that it is God who will bring down the great powers. He will work through us, but the strength, the power, the glory all belong to Him. While we’re celebrating His victory, we need to keep our heads and not let them swell. Christ will defeat Satan. We are but His soldiers.
The British government of fifty years ago might have done well to learn that lesson. While hardly being evil like Edom, in their striving to become a new post-war power, the government seemed to get awful big for its britches. Perhaps ours has as well. Thank the Lord that He is forgiving, patient, and willing to take us back when we’ve crossed a line. He would have done the same for Edom, but they never bothered to find out.
For further reading: Numbers 24:18, Obadiah 3
Lord Jesus, thank You for humbling us, for sending us reminders to not be too proud.
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