You Are Your Brother's Keeper - Obadiah
May 29, 2019 | By Cory
The book of Obadiah is about an ancient sibling rivalry. It was written after the Babylonian invasion of Judah in c.586 B.C., but the rivalry began with Isaac's sons, Jacob and Esau (see Gen 25-27). Jacob grew up to father the namesakes of the twelve tribes of Israel while Esau fathered the nation of Edom. Their rivalry continued throughout the history of the two nations. When Israel came out of Egypt, Edom denied them passage through their land (Num 20:14-21), and years later David conquered Edom. Later still, Edom aligned themselves with Babylon and joined the Babylonian invasion of Judah. Edom did not fulfill their brotherly duty, and because of this, Obadiah prophesies their destruction. Their great pride in themselves because of their location, strength, wealth, allies, and wisdom blinded them from their brotherly duty to protect Israel. When Babylon attacked Jerusalem, Edom was there to kill any would-be escapees.
But notice verse 15 which declares that the "day of the Lord is near for ALL nations." The prophesy isn't just for Edom, but all whose sinful pride causes them to harm their brother or stand aloof in his time of need.
Pride dangerously deceives us into thinking we have done something ourselves - without the help of God. When we think we have accomplished something for ourselves, we look down on the less fortunate. We blame them for where they are. Pride isolates from each other. But the day of Lord is near for us all. We would do better to help each other prepare for that day when it arrives.