The Old Testament book of Obadiah is the shortest of all the Minor Prophets and, strangely, it doesn’t really seem to say a lot to modern man. I can understand why people reading the Bible kind of brush by it. But as I have said before, trying to understand the biblical prophets solely in terms of events in the far-distant future or solely in terms of events in the far-distant past, it’s kind of pointless. I got the clue from something Isaiah said long ago. It was a challenge to idol worshipers. Here’s what he said:
Present your case,says the Lord.Set forth your arguments,says Jacob’s King.Tell us, you idols, what is going to happen.[This is the real test, God says, if your idol are all that great tell us what is going to happen.]Tell us what the former things were, so that we may consider them and know their final outcome. Or declare to us the things to come, tell us what the future holds, so we may know that you are gods.
Now, it’s disappointing that so few people really study the history presented in the Old Testament. Because if we don’t understand what happened before, we have no hope of understanding what the Bible says about our own future. The Book of Obadiah just might be a case in point. It’s only one chapter and it’s all about a nation called
Edom. Now who on earth are they? Where are they and why do they matter so much? Well, the enmity between Israel and Edom can be traced back to an story that begins in the 25th chapter of Genesis.