Colossians 3:12-14 (NKJV)
12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.
Forgiving without love leaves you wanting not them. (Matthew 18:35 NASB)
On November 14th I asked the Lord what He wanted me to read. I was under my Tallit as usual. Yesterday great tragedy and death struck France. Terrorism killed or injured over three hundred in Paris. Oh Lord.
Under my covering, in a whisper I heard in my mind, “Obadiah 3” As I found out, upon looking, there is only one chapter so 3 meant verse 3.
Obadiah 1:3 (NASB)
3 “The arrogance of your heart has deceived you, …
You who live in the clefts of the rock, In the loftiness of your dwelling place, Who say in your heart, ‘Who will bring me down to earth?’”
As we read on we see God is speaking to the followers of Esau, on the mountain of Esau, through Obadiah.
So why is God coming against Esau and his followers? We know of the birth and conflicts Jacob and Esau had in Genesis chapter 25 continuing even into Deuteronomy. In Genesis 25:29-34 Esau (swears to Jacob) and sells his birthright for a meal of stew and bread. Esau despised his birthright. Esau had little respect for the Godly relationship his father Isaac demonstrated. It seems Isaac was unaware of Esau’s purchase and the price he was willing to pay. We sometimes blame Jacob for stealing the birthright but in fact he (and his mother) was repossessing it. Jacob had the “title” to it, an empty bowl of stew! To God, Esau’s cavalier attitude was a big deal. God, the God of love, “hated” Esau. God refers to His hatred of Esau by other prophets.
Malachi 1:2-3 (ESV)
“I have loved you,” says the LORD. But you say, “How have you loved us?” “Is not Esau Jacob’s brother?” declares the LORD. “Yet I have loved Jacob but Esau I have hated. I have laid waste his hill country and left his heritage to jackals of the desert.”
Hebrews 12:14-17 (NASB)
14 Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled; 16 that there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal. 17 For you know that even afterwards, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears.”
The book of Obadiah is speaking by the Spirit of God and God is declaring the future of those following Esau and Esau’s ways. He begins with, “The arrogance of your heart has deceived you.”
When I read that first phrase, “The arrogance…” I asked “Lord is it me?” Then I knew but still asked, “Lord is it America?” Then I read the entire book.
IF this is God speaking to us today, if He maintains the same standards, then consider this synopsis as you read the book of Obadiah yourself.
Verse 3 Because of verse three, God is bringing us down as a nation. The majority has determined God should be excluded from government and its extensions. The term “arrogance” was used tonight in critiquing our leadership on TV.
Verse 4 Our nation, “built high like the eagle” ”From there I will bring you down, declares the Lord. Is our nation what it was?
Verse 5-6 We will be stolen from, ruined, ransacked, our hidden treasures searched out. How many ways has this happened already?
Verse 7 Allies will forsake us, deceive us, eat our bread but ambush us. Many are not being faithful to us. (Is it because of who we have become (weak) unsupportive? Is it because Esau’s do not understand covenant?). As Christians we were trustworthy and faithful toward what is right. We are no longer a Christian nation according to our top leadership. Forsaking God and His Ways is never an option.
Verse 9 God will destroy any wisdom from the mountain of Esau. Decisions are being made, actions are being taken that astound many of us to the point of exasperated unbelief!
Verse 10 Because of violence toward your brother Jacob [this is critical] “You will be covered with shame and you will be cut off forever.” Well Israel has seen it and now the rest of the world is getting its share with more to come. Declarations of our being “next,” does not make us a part of Jacob. Our Judeo-Christian relationship does.
Verse 11-14 Strangers carried away wealth while Esau stood by aloof. Esau eve though a brother of Jacob, was as one of them, gloating over Jacob’s misfortune, in the day of their destruction. “Do not enter the gate of My people.” Are our leaders gloating in secret? As criticism blasts away at their egos, will it become clear that greater and greater participation has been in a heart of deception? Those like Esau will be shut out, even though they were once brothers, God hates Esau.
Verse 15 The day of the Lord draws near on all nations. As you have done, it will be done to you.” (Here and the source for Jesus in Matthew 7:12 NASB)
Verse 16 “As you drank on My holy mountain, all nations will drink and swallow and become as if they never existed.” We must realize there are those who drink of God and Christ but refuse to follow in His Ways. Learn how! We have a choice. Know this. True followers will be aflame with fierce commitment, trying to advise and lead many to righteousness. This fire will destroy those who are spoken of by Obadiah. They will be those who will hate us because they hated Him.
Spiritually and in practice, we must avoid being an Esau at all costs. “The house of Esau will be stubble….so that there will be no survivor of the house of Esau, for the Lord has spoken.” Verse 18
Esau was a brother. We have brothers in the Lord who are like Esau in their spiritual existence. They prayed the prayer. They still drink milk. Sometimes not even that. We have a calling to pursue them. Warn them. Or as the Lord said in Ezekiel 3:20 (NASB)
20 “Again, when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I place an obstacle before him, he will die; since you have not warned him, he shall die in his sin, and his righteous deeds which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand. However if you have warned the righteous man…”
Christ is the obstacle for all of us. He is a stumbling block that tries to be a stepping stone which tries to stop us in our stinking hell bent attitudes, attitudes which must be left here in the trash heap of this lost and dying world. No one who has a full stomach of these, will get in. The gate is closed. Obadiah 13.
Please … forward this post or others to a friend, your Pastor, or a missionary in another country, or in this one for that matter. We are being read all around the world in 26 countries. Everywhere, enduring love must be preached.
“If we remain in His grip, how far from His heart can we be!”
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