Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Actions Have Consequences - The Righteous will be Rewarded

While Edom would be punished for its violence and pride, God promised that Israel would be restored. Obadiah has spent the majority of his time declaring God’s judgment upon Israel’s enemies. Now he goes on to set forth God’s promise of restoring Israel.

God promised deliverance.

Whereas formerly Israel had been under the oppression of its enemies, now deliverance would come to Israel. There would be those among its people who would come in power to deliver it.
Although God’s people often face oppression and difficulties, God has promised that there will be an end. In specifically, Israel will one day be restored and be freed from the oppression that it faces. This is also a promise that is made to the believer. And, the validity of the promise rests in the character of the One stating it, God Himself. Just as that which He said would happen to Edom really did happen, so that which He has promised concerning the deliverance of Israel will take place.

God promised possession of enemy territory.

God promised that one day Israel would possess the land of the very people who oppressed them, who betrayed them, who sold them back into the hands of their enemies. The day will come when Israel will take back all the land that is due to it. Israel will prosper and remain. “At the time of Obadiah’s prophecy, Edom may have seemed more likely to survive than Judah. Yet Edom has vanished and Judah still exists” (Life Application Study Bible). God’s word concerning His people will prevail.
Although the enemy may seem to be gaining ground as the ravages of sin seem to be widespread, God is still in control. “Know that when all is said and done, the Lord will still be King, and the confidence you place in Him will not be in vain” (Life Application Study Bible).

God promised rule by the Lord.

God promises that He will establish His kingdom. Jesus Christ declared that this had begun to take place during His earthly ministry: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15). Jesus Christ is still in control.
Obadiah’s final words end with placing our focus on the correct person: Jesus Christ. The main focal point is Christ and Christ alone.

Most of what Obadiah prophesied has already come to pass. Edom has been destroyed; what remains of it are simply ruins which testify that God’s justice does demand retribution. God has promised that our actions will be rewarded accordingly, whether those actions are ones that honor Him or that dishonor Him. May the example of Edom be both a warning and an encouragement to us: a warning against going against God and an encouragement in the fact that God will punish the wicked and reward the righteous.

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