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The Old Testament prophets were spokesmen for for their generation more than the future.

They were the proclaimers of timeless truths about God, humankind, and the critical issues of life.

“The Modern Message of the Minor prophets” is the theme for Sunday mornings for the coming months.

Today we are talking about Neutrality Is Nauseating.

Text

Obadiah 11 (AMP)

11 “On the day that [Jerusalem was destroyed] you stood aloof [from your brother Jacob]—

On the day that strangers took his forces captive and carried off his wealth,

And foreigners entered his gates

And cast lots for Jerusalem [dividing the city for plunder]—

You too were like one of them [collaborating with the enemy].

Scripture Reading

Obadiah 1-16 (AMP)

Edom Will Be Humbled

1 The vision of Obadiah.

Thus says the Lord God concerning Edom—

We have heard a report from the Lord,

And an ambassador has been sent among the nations, saying,

“Arise, and let us rise up against Edom for battle [with the Lord as commander]!”

2 “Behold [Edom], I shall [humiliate you and] make you small among the nations;

You are greatly despised.

3 “The pride and arrogance of your heart have deceived you,

You who live in the clefts and lofty security of the rock (Sela),

Whose dwelling place is high,

Who say [boastfully] in your heart,

‘Who will bring me down to earth?’

4 “Though you build [your nest] on high like the eagle,

Though you set your nest among the stars,

I will bring you down from there,” says the Lord.

5 “If thieves came to you,

If robbers by night—

How you will be ruined!—

Would they not steal only until they had enough?

If grape gatherers came to you,

Would they not leave some grapes for gleaning?

6 “How Esau (Edom) shall be ransacked [by men who come to ravage with divine approval]!

How his hidden treasures shall be searched out!

7 “All the men allied with you

Shall send you on your way to the border;

The men who were at peace with you

Shall deceive you and overpower you;

Those who eat your bread [those you trust]

Shall set a hostile ambush for you.

(There is no understanding of it.)

8 “Will I not on that day,” says the Lord,

“Destroy the wise men from Edom [removing all wisdom]

And understanding from the [c]mountain of Esau?

9 “And your mighty men shall be dismayed and demoralized, O [d]Teman,

So that everyone from the mountain of Esau may be cut off in the slaughter.

Edom Denounced

10 “Because of the violence you did against your brother Jacob,

Shame shall cover you [completely],

And you shall be cut off forever.

11 “On the day that [Jerusalem was destroyed] you stood aloof [from your brother Jacob]—

On the day that strangers took his forces captive and carried off his wealth,

And foreigners entered his gates

And cast lots for Jerusalem [dividing the city for plunder]—

You too were like one of them [collaborating with the enemy].

12 “Do not gaze and gloat [in triumph] over your brother’s day,

The day when his misfortune came.

Do not rejoice over the sons of Judah

In the day of their destruction;

Do not speak arrogantly [jeering and maliciously mocking]

In the day of their distress.

13 “Do not enter the gate of My people

In the day of their disaster;

Yes, you, do not look [with delight] on their misery

In the day of their ruin,

And do not loot treasures

In the day of their ruin.

14 “Do not stand at the crossroad

To cut down those [of Judah] who escaped;

And do not hand over [to the enemy] those [of Judah] who survive

In the day of their distress.

The Day of the Lord and the Future

15 “For the [judgment] day of the Lord draws near on all the nations.

As you have done, it shall be done to you [in retribution];

Your [evil] dealings will return on your own head.

16 “Because just as you [Edom] drank on My holy mountain [desecrating it in the revelry of the destroyers],

So shall all the nations drink continually [one by one, of My wrath];

Yes, they shall drink and swallow [the full measure of punishment]

And become as though they had never existed.

Prayer

Father, we are grateful that you always hear our cry when we are troubled.

You never turn your back on us no matter how deep our need.

You renew our strength as we depend on you.

Because of our resources in Christ, we can meet any situation with victory.

As we bring our gifts this morning, may we remember all that you have done for us in Jesus Christ.

You Lord have given us a new song.

May we sing it well, and may we give our gifts to allow others to share in a transformed life.

In Jesus name we pray.

Amen.

Introduction

A lot of people don’t know what to do with the book of Obadiah, and even more haven’t read it.

Some people consider it an indignant speech.

But, this wouldn’t be a fair appraisal.

Obadiah was filled with righteous indignation.

The Edomites had failed to help the Israelites when the city of Jerusalem was taken by a foreign power.

More than that, Edom probably gloated, since the prophet said in verse 12, “Do not gaze and gloat [in triumph] over your brother’s day, The day when his misfortune came.

Bad blood had existed between Edom , who were the descendants of Esau, and Israel who were the descendants of Jacob for many centuries.

Several times their armies had marched from one country to another.

This time, however, the Edomites merely looked on as another army assaulted the Israelites.

  1. Righteous indignation.

Of course, it is wrong to hate!

Never is there any justification for showing any spirit toward someone except that of love.

Yet we are justified in properly evaluating people’s attitude toward God’s moral law and making some value judgements.

Obadiah was God’s prophet.

He saw the proud Edomites, who were safely nestled in the mountains where no enemy could reach them, make no attempt to help when the Israelites were attacked.

Perhaps they rationalised their decision by saying, “We haven’t hurt anyone. We simply didn’t want to get involved.”

Obadiah felt strongly about their neutrality.

2. Evil will be punished.

The Edomites were a race of bandits who lived among the rocky crags and natural fortresses near the Dead Sea. 

They would swoop down on traders as they passed, rob them, and retreat to the security provided by where they lived.

They were constantly waiting for anyone to pass by, even straggling Israelites, and striking like an eagle strikes its prey, they would rush them in murderous hate.

Who are the Edomites of our day?

Are they not the ones settled in secure positions who privately engage in crooked politics, gambling rings, illegal drugs, human trafficking, prostitution, and other crimes that destroy society?

How arrogant they are!

They firmly hold the destiny of many people and grip a city, state, or even country tightly in their clutches.

The forces of decency seem powerless against them.

God, however, has a word for people like this, spoken through Obadiah. 

Obadiah 4 (AMP)

4 “Though you build [your nest] on high like the eagle,

Though you set your nest among the stars,

I will bring you down from there,” says the Lord.  

3. The source is pride.

Edom’s dwelling seemed impregnable.

This fostered pride and arrogant self confidence.

Those who think they cannot be touched by the limitations of humanity often do terrible things.

Proud people are presumptuous.

They say, “Who shall bring me down to the ground?”

Obadiah 3 (AMP)

3 “The pride and arrogance of your heart have deceived you,

You who live in the clefts and lofty security of the rock (Sela),

Whose dwelling place is high,

Who say [boastfully] in your heart,

‘Who will bring me down to earth?’

But, God said that He will “destroy the wise men out of Edom” in verse 8

No one can shake a fist in God’s face and ignore the basic laws of humanity.

God is present in human affairs.

Everyone is answerable to His law.

He sees every violation of both law and duty.

Some may think they can actively pursue wickedness or look on indifferently when other’s rights are violated, but God, in His time, will rectify matters.

Obadiah said in Obadiah 15 (AMP)

The Day of the Lord and the Future

15 “For the [judgment] day of the Lord draws near on all the nations.

As you have done, it shall be done to you [in retribution];

Your [evil] dealings will return on your own head.

4. The kingdom is coming.

Although God seems to delay His work, in His good time He will make His people victorious.

The enemy may actively oppose God’s people or hurt them simply by failing to come when they need help.

Either position is despicable in God’s sight, and both will be punished.

Actually, the neutral person is never completely neutral.

A close study of verses 10 through to 14 shows that the Edomites were more than neutral.

They antagonised, irritated, and even worked against Israel.

It is that way every time!

But God always has the last word!

The prophet said in Obadiah 17 (AMP)

17 “But on Mount Zion [in Jerusalem] there shall be [deliverance for] those who escape,

And it shall be holy [no pagan will defile it];

And the house of Jacob shall possess their [former] possessions.

Of course, the greatest fulfilment of that verse is the deliverance from sin that was made possible by Jesus’ death on the cross.

God’s people always win the victory!

We should trust Him and remain faithful.

Conclusion.

Does anyone mistreat you?

Are you suffering because of your loyalty to God?

If so, wait and you will see God’s deliverance.

When you become depressed, read His Word.

Underline passages that emphasise the truth of God’s faithfulness to His people.

Never despair!

Those who actively oppose you or stay neutral when they could help you will not win the victory.

God will win it, and you will also if you are on His side and seeking to do His will.

Until next time

Stay in the Blessings

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I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.

When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.

Theres nothing thats too hard for Him, and He can make you whole, spirit, soul and body!

You’re important to God, and you’re important to us at www.refinerylife.org

When it comes to prayer, we believe that God wants to meet your needs and reveal His promises to you.

So whatever you’re concerned about and need prayer for we want to be here for you! Or even if you just want to say Hi, you can contact us

2020 IS A YEAR OF CLARITY

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