Pulling on God’s Side.

rope pullHosea, Joel, Amos and Obadiah, each one of these men lived and served the Lord throughout different times and yet all dealt with many of the same cultural influences that continued to pull the people of Israel away from God. As I read through each of these books I begin to see a pattern that is similar to that of the Judges, a pattern that has its high and low points in the spiritual lives of the Israelites. Hosea describes what sounds like a time of depression or low point spiritually for the people. Joel and Amos tell us how the people become accustomed to living in sin and how it had become a way of life. During the time of Amos the people had come out of a time of depression and lived well, enjoying peace and prosperity all the while leaving God behind.

Gods timing and plan called for times of blessing and times of suffering, He wanted the people to know who He was and through His divine power He could alter their paths. When we get to Obadiah we begin to see a fall back into a place of fear and judgment as the people come up against the people of Edom. Through the words of Obadiah we read about the promise of restoration to the faithful remnant. Through the lives of these prophets God was calling His people back to Him, wanting them to turn away from the ways of other cultures and people.

What an amazing example again of God’s love and grace, He does not give up on His people when they turn away. We have assurances and promises today through Christ that when He comes again we will be with Him in heaven. Our culture today has a hard time understanding what this means. Our culture much like those in the days of the prophets pulls us in a different direction, opposite to that of our loving gracious God. As I work in a position of leadership I pray that I can effectively be “pulling” on God’s side helping people to know His love.

Obadiah ~ Servant of God

obadiahReflections founded on the book of Obadiah as a whole.

Pride…“A feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements.”

Obadiah faced the challenges of making Gods voice heard by the people of Edom, tasked by God to deliver a message to a people who were deceived by their prideful hearts. The people of Edom were literally living “on high” in the mountains believing that they were untouchable by their enemies. Proud of their accomplishments and victories over some of their own people they were blinded to the message of devastation that Obadiah presented. Obadiah’s specific calling was to prepare the people of Edom for what they deserved, their pride and selfishness had forced the hand of God to do to them what they had done to His people. (As you have done, it will be done to you; your deeds will return upon your own head” v.15b).

Obadiah name means “servant of the Lord”, it was the service of sharing the vision the Lord gave Obadiah that became his mission, proclaiming the “Day of the Lord” (v.15). As with some of the other Minor Prophets already discussed, this mission of declaring judgment to the people comes as a heavy task. Today as Christians we often like to focus of the positive and exciting changes that come with planting a seed of hope in someone’s life, most often we shy away from talking about what will happen on flip side of the coin. Much has changed since the days of prophecy through Obadiah and the other prophets but one thing still remains, God’s love and promise of eternal life with Him. Outside of a covenant relationship with God through His Son, with a prideful and selfish heart we are living so dangerously close to the same fate of the men and women who fell in the destruction of Edom.