Scripture Text:(click to open in a new window)
“Obadiah” is the shortest book in the Old Testament. And while there are 11 other Old Testament characters with the name “Obadiah”, none of them can be identified with this prophet. Obadiah has two main concerns:
- the haughty pride of the Edomites (who resided in the mountain strongholds in Mount Seir) have given them a false sense of security
- their quickness to aid those who would destroy Judah
An interesting piece of trivia: In Obadiah’s time, the city of Sela was the capital of Edom. It was later called Petra or the Rose City. One of the most famous cities of the ancient world, the Smithsonian Magazine chose it as one of the “28 Places to See Before You Die.”
1. Where was your safe place of retreat as a child? Why there? Where is such a place for you now?
2. Is there one day that stands out as a day of disaster for your family? For your nation? What happened that day: Flood? Fire? Stock market crash? Serious accident? A notorious crime or terrorist attack? What good came of it?
3. Who are the Edomites named after (see Genesis 36:1, 8, 9)? What was the relationship like between Jacob and Esau (see Genesis 27:41 – 44; Genesis 33:4, 16, 17a)?
4. In reference to Question #3, what does Hebrews 12:15 – 17 say about this brotherly relationship? About the bitterness and godlessness of Esau?
5. What natural fortifications give Edom an illusion of security (verse 3)? To whom are they still vulnerable (verses 4 and 7)?
6. What is the point of Obadiah’s eagle imagery (verse 4; compare with Isaiah 40:30, 31)? What message is intended by the poetic imagery in verses 5 and 6?
7. What happens “in that day” of the Lord’s judgment (verses 8ff)? Why is this judgment coming upon Edom? Do you find Edom’s bad attitude toward Judah surprising? Why or why not? What does this tell you about the history of relations between these two nations?
8. How do you think Israel responded to this message of doom for Edom?
9. Upon what rock-like structures might you be basing your security: insurance policy? church? family inheritance? How might this “pride of your heart” be deceiving you?
10. Has that security been shaken by God? How so?
11. Edom was judged for not serving brother Jacob when Jacob as down and out. What down-and-out persons should you be serving? How might you begin to serve them this week?
12. How do you respond when disaster befalls someone you know?
- avoid the disaster, lest you also get hit
- rescue the perishing
- comfort the bereaved
- do what you can to prevent the disaster from happening again