Pastor Randy’s Top 66 – Obadiah
The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rocks and make your home on the heights, you who say to yourself, ‘Who can bring me down to the ground?’ Though you soar like the eagle and make your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down’, declares the Lord. Obadiah 3-4
Here’s a short but hopefully encouraging insight taken from a short but encouraging prophetic Book. Obadiah is not dated with particular kings or other prophets, but most commentators believe that Obadiah was written around the same time as portions of Jeremiah – around 587 BC – and although it was written about Israel’s enemies the Edomites (related to Esau), it was written to encourage the Judahites who were attacked by the Babylonians and the Edomites, and then taken into captivity by the Babylonians.
The general theological purpose of Obadiah’s prophecy is to encourage God’s people to remember that the Lord will cause those who attack and hold God’s people captive to crumble, and then the Lord will restore and bless His people.
I think it would be appropriate for us to also look at these two verses in a more personal way as well. Yes, it is indeed the pride of fallen man’s heart that keeps him from coming to faith in Christ because pride says, “I’m okay. I don’t need to be forgiven. I don’t need a Savior. I don’t need your Jesus”. I find it interesting and ironic that the Edomites/fallen mankind need to live in the cleft of rocks, yet they proudly proclaim “Look how prosperous and free I am!” It reminds me of what Jesus said to the Church at Laodicea in Revelation 3:17,
You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.
Yes, Jesus is speaking to the lukewarm church, but this is certainly the attitude of most of the world, which refuses to acknowledge their need for a Savior who will forgive and spiritually transform them. But the same thing can be said about you and I when we get a bit too cocky about our own strength, wisdom and riches (Remember my comments on Jeremiah 9:23-24!).
But back to the relevance of Obadiah 3-4 to our own lives: Our flesh – our mind and body that hasn’t been perfected yet in Christ, but is being sanctified as we mature in our faith – at times still tries to rear its ugly head and cries out, kicking and screaming about its selfish and childish desires, and it’s up to us, with the obvious help and dependence of the Spirit of Christ within us, to walk in the Spirit, who we really are in Christ, rather than satisfying the cravings of the flesh.
And the reason the flesh cries like it does (well obviously, that misdeed of the flesh hasn’t been crucified yet by us – Romans 8:13), is because our sin of pride wants things ‘our way’, and our way is so often fleeting, unsatisfying, and empty, but we have to learn that truth by trusting the Lord and in His peace and satisfaction. And the truth is: just as the Lord said that He would bring down the Edomites; the Lord, in His love for us, will bring us down – humble us – because it is His desire that we not be trapped by the desires of the flesh, but instead to truly enjoy the blessings of a life that is filled with His presence, joy, peace, and satisfaction.