Friday, January 16, 2009

Major Lessons from the Minor Prophets--Obadiah

The Lord has begun this calendar year by taking me into a section of the Bible referred to as "The Minor Prophets". This generally includes the books of Daniel to the end of the New Testament in the Protestant version of the Bible. This is not an area most Christians venture into on a regular basis. We tend to stick to the Psalms, Proverbs, and the New Testament. However, there is a wealth of knowledge in this short little books.

I thought I would take some time and share some of the nuggets I've been gleaning. This is not a theological or heavy academic survey, just a bit of general information and some personal thoughts.

Today I start with Obadiah.

General info: 1 chapter
Overview: Esau is in serious trouble, and God has said He is going to bring on some serious punishment.
Personal thoughts: This is not the first or only place God has let His anger be known. This is not the only time He has threatened to unleash His anger. That wasn't what stuck in my thoughts. What stuck in my thoughts was verse 11.

"On the day you stood aloof while strangers carried off his wealth and foreigners entered his gates and cast lots for Jerusalem, you were like one of them."

I don't know all the historical details here, but I know Esau, or the nation thereof, stood by and did nothing. And it wasn't like they couldn't do anything. The Lord used the word "aloof". Aloof means having not interest, not caring. They didn't even care that other people of the Lord were being ransacked and destroyed.

As I read that, I asked the Lord, "Is there a point where I am or have been aloof?" I like to think there isn't, but in reality, it is easy to be deceived in this area because to care means to be invested, and sometimes that requires sacrifice, and sacrifice isn't comfortable. Is there a place where I am so comfortable or complacent that I am aloof? If so, I need to know. I want to know.

Could Esau have stopped what happened? I don't know. I don't think that is the point. I think the point is they didn't care enough to try.

Have you ever noticed Jesus was accused of hanging out with whores, getting drunk with partiers, eating with tax collectors and other lawless people, and healing at godless times, but never once did anyone accuse Him of being aloof. Aren't you glad? I am.


sharilyn said...

great post, jerri. thank you for your insights. your point about standing back and letting something happen reminded me of your post right after the election (11/07).

i, too, love mining in the minor prophets! : ) for some reason, Malachi is one of my favorite books of the Bible. it's definitely all marked up and notated in my Bible.

i think there is so much we can learn from the old testament--so many lessons from those who have gone before us--and we do ourselves a huge injustice if we don't delve into those lessons. there is much about the consequences of walking with God or away from God. i want to walk with God! judgment is not a fun thing...just ask those in the OT!

thanks for this post...well said...

Jenny B. said...

I'm in the process of reading the Bible from front to back, and have been for a few years (it's a dense book!). I just finished off Joel today. I agree that the minor prophets have some major stuff, some heavy prophetic words, beautiful poetry, etc. I can't wait to see what the rest of them say, as I read through them!

Anonymous said...

Sharilyn, Malachi is so powerful. If we could ever get that book alone, our lives would be radically changed, wouldn't they?

Jenny, I used to read the Bible through every year. I got a great overview, but I agree if you want to really get it, you got to camp out and make it home, and that may take some time.



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