Obadiah, judgment, and finding the good news in the least-read book of the Bible

BIble-glasses

My wife and I don’t agree on music. She tends to like songs that are bright and upbeat, where I enjoy minor keys. This can cause issues on family road trips, as you can imagine. But it’s not just music like this for me. I tend to resonate with books, movies, and TV shows that tend to be a little more downbeat.

This is true with the Bible, too. I resonate with the psalms of lament. I get Jeremiah. Ecclesiastes is my jam. But it’s not because I like to be angsty, running around with a cape and pretending to be deep and dark or whatever. It’s that the laments, the honest complaints and appeals, and even in the cries for justice help me to more clearly see the hope that the good news God has given us.

This is the least I explored this theme in greater detail in a post this week at The Gospel Project blog, focusing on Obadiah’s message of judgment and hope:

Edom and the nations had sinned against Judah and against God, and the Day of the Lord would come against them. “As you have done, so it will be done to you; what you deserve will return on your own head” (14). But the promise of retribution was not the entirety of Obadiah’s message. God also promised restoration for His people. “But there will be a deliverance on Mount Zion, and it will be holy…the house of Jacob will be a blazing fire, and the house of Joseph, a burning flame…” (17, 18). God would restore the people; He would make them holy. And greater still, He would come and establish His kingdom for all to see (21).

Imagine what it must have been like to first hear these words. God’s people had never had a history of unfailing faithfulness. Throughout the Old Testament, God was continually calling His people to repentance, to turn away from the sin that ensnared them. The situation they found themselves in was the fruit of years of rebellion against God. Yet even as He disciplined them, God had not abandoned them. He would restore His people, and better still, He would ultimately establish His rule over all the nations! How can we, like Obadiah’s original hearers, be anything but encouraged when we consider this message?

Keep reading at The Gospel Project blog.

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