Read 160.) Obadiah 1 thru 21. Obadiah is the first of Israel’s Writing Prophets. We’ve already met Elijah and Elisha. They were Action Prophets, who left no written words to us. It’s only 21 verses long, and it’s not even primarily directed toward Israel, so much as it is to a neighboring country to the south of Israel, Edom. The occasion for this prophecy is thought to revolve around that which we read of King Jehoram in II Kings 8:20-22. This was a time when Edom revolted against Judah, and became lifted up with pride. It foretells Edom’s utter destruction, which happens at the hands of Babylon less than 200 years later.
What is of the keenest and most important distinction about that which we read in Obadiah is that we are introduced to “The day of the Lord” for the first time, beginning with verse 15. This is going to become one of the most important topics or aspects of that which we call Eschatology, or the study of last things. If we understand it correctly, it appears to be of 2 parts; one of unprecedented trouble, judgment, death and destruction, but the other of just as unprecedented peace, prosperity, abundance and joy! If we are able to connect these correctly with that which is most fully revealed within the book of the Revelation at the end, then the first part can be identified as being that which we have come to call The 7-Year Period of Tribulation, and the other is The 1000-Year Millennial Kingdom of Christ. For the rest of our Old Testament readings, and particularly from within the 16 writing prophets, this Day of the Lord is going to be a prominent topic. Let’s learn all that we can of it!
One key word often used in relation to the Day of the Lord is the word, ‘all‘. What takes place at this time will be global in scope; all the world will be caught up in what will unfold. With this in mind, verses 15 and 16 relate to this Tribulation, and the destruction of all the nations of the world. Verses 17 and 18 then speak to a transition between the Tribulation and the Millennium. This will take place with the Return of Christ, which is the deliverance said to be on Mount Zion. Verses 19 thru 21 then tell us of one of the key elements of the Millennium, and that will be the fulfillment of God’s promise to Israel of all the land he had promised them. In His promises to the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the people of Israel have yet to possess all the real estate God had promised them. When Christ returns to establish His 1000-year kingdom on earth, they will! This passage tells of the expansion of Israel to the south, west, north and east. Even the lands spoken of here do not completely fulfill all that God had promised to give them. There will be much more end-times prophecy from here on out. It’s what the Book is all about!
Harold F Crowell