On the day you stood aloof while strangers carried off his wealth and foreigners entered his gates and cast lots for Jerusalem, you were like one of them. Obadiah 11 (NIV).
One of the things that God is telling us in this verse is that we can’t stand by while others cause harm without becoming like those causing the harm.
MLK Day was this week, and we celebrate Martin Luther King every January because he stood up to change things. He refused to stand by any longer while his fellow citizens were denied their God-given rights just because they were black. King became a modern-day hero for this and justifiably so.
And today is Inauguration Day. No matter how we arrived at this point, today a new president will be sworn into office. Will you stand by while harm is caused (by anyone) in the days to come? Will you stand by if the newer people persecute the former, as many have promised? Will you be silent?
MLK didn’t do that. Many in our world today don’t do that (and our voices are being silenced for it).
Neither did the founders of our country. Neither did Nicodemus or Joseph of Arimathea: members of the Jewish ruling council who objected to railroading Jesus to crucify Him. Neither do other people of honor, valor, and faith.
God waited generations to bring Edom to task, reminding them through men like Obadiah that He and He alone would hold them responsible for betraying Him. Edom cooperated with the attacking Babylonians in destroying Israel and hauling them away to captivity. They betrayed their blood relatives, the Israelites, in a grudge going back centuries. Yet after only a few years more, God kept His promise and dispersed Edom to the winds. After the last of the Idumeans died out, the line of Esau was no more even as God’s lesson of fidelity remained. The Edomites were judged and found guilty.
Sort of like traitors. Sort of like Judas Iscariot. Sort of like Benedict Arnold. Sort of like us if we stand idle and don’t at least speak up to defend others when wrong is done to them.
God asks us to remain faithful to His Word. To put our faith in Him alone; to repent and turn from our sins; to forgive and love as He loved; to not seek vengeance even when we are wronged. Those are words we need to hear again in our world, especially today. Martin Luther King understood them. Many in our country try to. Let’s hope the incoming officeholders do as well. The fate of Edom awaits all of us if they don’t.
For further reading: Job 6:27, Ezekiel 24:6, Amos 1:6, Obadiah 12
Lord, forgive us our sins. I believe in You and You alone. Help me when I fail, and grant wisdom to our leaders.
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One thought on “Practical Proverbial, from Obadiah, 20 January 2021 Today’s topic: The Fate of Edom”
God help us