But how Esau will be ransacked, his hidden treasures pillaged. Obadiah 6 (NIV).
Back to Edom. After reminding us that the mighty will be brought down in the terrible days of the end, Obadiah brings us back to his prophecy of how Edom, the unbelieving descendants of Esau, will be one of them.
Hint: so will we.
There are many things I own that I value. My wife and I write a Christmas journal; we have since 2013. In it, we write down Christmas memories, record events that happen each holiday season, and keep Christmas pictures and favorite cards. It has become one of my treasured keepsakes, and if the house were burning down, it’s one of the things I’d grab as we ran out the door. I want to preserve it for my kids and grandkids. There are other things I own to which I have sentimental attachment. Furniture, paintings, keepsakes, books: some are valuable, some aren’t. Yet I’m attached to them all the same.
Reminder: none of these things really matters. In the end, they will all be gone. When I meet Jesus, and when you meet Jesus, we won’t be holding our possessions. In this life, if someone took my most cherished possessions, or if they were lost, I’d be grieved. Yet, when I die, they won’t be mine anymore. They will go to someone else: someone who may not cherish them as I do. They could even be given away, destroyed, or stolen long before then.
Put your faith in Jesus, not in things, not in the world.
Granted, this isn’t a call to ignore our possessions. We are supposed to be good stewards of things. It’s ok to value things so long as we value them in the perspective of them being gifts from God; things He effectively loans us, gives to us to live our lives or serve Him well. If you go through life thinking everything is disposable, or that there will always be more, you aren’t being a good steward.
Yet, at the end of that thinking, we’re back to the reminder that we are to put our faith in Jesus, not in things. ‘Take this world and give me Jesus’ and we’ll be just fine.
My Concordia says that archaeological evidence shows the ancient Edomites hid their valuables in rocks, in the deserts. It’s sort of like putting your money in a mattress. Yet even in those hidden places, plenty of it must have been looted. They had known Esau, and Jacob, meaning they had personally known God’s chosen people. Yet they forgot him – and Him – and over time lost their identity. Is it any wonder the same thing could happen to us?
For further reading: Obadiah 7
Lord Jesus, remind me to put all my treasures in You, that You are my only real valuable.
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