Sep. 20. Edom to be Punished for Violence Against Israel

Ps. 137:1-9; Ezek. 35:1-15; Obad. 1:1-21

It seems that the psalmist wrote this lament after the fall of Jerusalem. The exiles in Babylon were longing for the “good ole days” back in their homeland. They expressed their love for Jerusalem and their hatred for Edom. The Edomites had helped to plunder their beloved city and had rejoiced at their downfall. Their love for home could not even induce them to sing because of their sadness in a foreign land.

The word of the Lord came to Ezekiel to speak against Mt. Seir/Edom. Hundreds of years earlier, the Israelites had been commanded, “You shall not abhor an Edomite, for he is your brother.” Likewise, having been descendants of Israel’s brother, Esau, they should have mourned at the destruction of Jerusalem and Judah. However, instead of mourning, they had taken part in causing their misery and had rejoiced at their downfall. They even expected to possess lands that had belonged to Israel and Judah. God, through Ezekiel pronounced harsh judgment against the Edomites for their sins. The whole earth would rejoice as they suffered the same consequences as Judah—AND, “They shall know that I am the Lord.”

During that period of upheaval of God’s people, He used many men to deliver His messages. One of the more obscure prophets was Obadiah. The Edomites were a proud people. They esteemed themselves as better than their neighbors and indestructible as well. Obadiah had a vision in which he heard the words of the Lord describing the destruction and desolation that would come against Edom. They were again condemned because of their helping Babylon to destroy Judah and rejoicing at their fate. “As you have done, it shall be done to you…” However, there would be a time when the house of Jacob would return to Zion and consume the house of Esau and also possess other lands.