There are only a handful of one chapter books in the Bible. Obadiah is one of them.
When the book is so short, it’s tough to find much to write about. So, I’ll provide a summary and thoughts on one specific idea.
In a nutshell, Obadiah’s prophecy is about curses and blessings.
- Curses on Edom via God’s judgment.
- Curses on the nations at large via God’s judgment.
- Blessings on Israel via God’s restoration.
Why is Edom judged? Two reasons: 1) For not helping their brother out, aka standing aloof. 2) For pride.
Its easy to point the finger at the nation of Edom and say, “Man, you guys suck.”
But it is much harder to ask the person in the mirror, “How many times have you seen someone in need and not taken action to help? How often have you been in too much of a hurry, or justified not stopping to help someone in need?”
And what if you ask yourself the pride question, “How many times have I looked down on someone else for any number of reasons? How many times have I thought I was a bigger deal than I actually am? How many times have I thought of myself first, at the expense of others?”
It’s painful. Trust me, I get it. Self-reflection is tough.
But don’t let it end there. Don’t stop at beating up yourself (or Edom).
The book ends with a vision of the end, saying “The Kingdom shall be the Lord’s.” Now that’s good stuff. I look forward to that day. He’ll set things right.
Interesting random side-note: The first nine verses of Obadiah can be found in Jeremiah 49:7-22.
**Originally published in April 2013. Updated in November 2021.**