Discover His heart: He watches over His children and brings justice to their enemies
Everyone remembers the schoolyard bully, the individual who was always mocking, pulling hair, pushing down and taking lunch money. The bullies seemed to be six foot tall and weigh 200 lbs., but usually, they were just meaner than anyone else. Somehow they were able to do their evil deeds when the teacher wasn’t looking. For the bully in the book of Obadiah, the day of reckoning had come. The teacher was watching, and punishment was on the way.
Israel had been bullied by Edom for a very long time. When the brothers, Jacob and Esau, parted company many years back, everything appeared to be amicable. Jacob went on to inhabit the land of Canaan, and Esau lived in Edom, but apparently, the stolen birthright from so long ago did not settle well with the Edomites. They showed repeated hostility throughout the centuries and would not let the Israelites who were escaping out of Egypt make passage through their land. Now the final blow had been dealt when they cheered the invading Babylonians who destroyed their brother and then they proceeded to plunder the land themselves. However, God was watching.
“The Lord says to Edom, ‘I will cut you down to size among the nations; you will be greatly despised. You have been deceived by your own pride because you live in a rock fortress and make your home high in the mountains. ‘Who can ever reach us way up here?’ you ask boastfully. But even if you soar as high as eagles and build your nest among the stars, I will bring you crashing down,’ says the Lord…Because of the violence you did to your close relatives in Israel, you will be filled with shame and destroyed forever.” (2-4,10) Bullies are filled with pride and arrogance, but when they harm God’s people, they put themselves in a position to be brought crashing down, whether in this life or in eternity.
“As you have done to Israel, so it will be done to you. All your evil deeds will fall back on your own heads.” (15) In the fourth century, Edom was swallowed up by the invading Arabs, and it no longer exists as a nation. Israel, however, is a nation today. God was watching, and He is watching all the bullies in our lives, those governments and individuals alike, who mock us, push us down and try to steal our faith. God will take care of it
Paul told the Romans, “Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, ‘I will take revenge; I will pay them back,’ says the Lord.” (12:19) Even when it looks as though our bully has the upper hand, God is watching and taking note. He knows how to handle bullies.
Moving Forward: I’m so thankful that God is watching over me today, taking note and tending to the bullies that come my way!
Tomorrow @ Acts 1-2