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Pride And Its Consequences (Obadiah 1:1-4 )

Sermon on 24 May 2022 by Ps Justin Chia


Obadiah 1:1-4 - “This is the vision that the Sovereign Lord revealed to Obadiah concerning the land of Edom. We have heard a message from the Lord that an ambassador was sent to the nations to say, “Get ready, everyone! Let’s assemble our armies and attack Edom!” The Lord says to Edom, “I will cut you down to size among the nations; you will be greatly despised. You have been deceived by your own pride because you live in a rock fortress and make your home high in the mountains. ‘Who can ever reach us way up here?’ you ask boastfully. But even if you soar as high as eagles and build your nest among the stars, I will bring you crashing down,” says the Lord.”

The word vision had been used often by prophets. It just means a revelation. And in this context, it concerned Edom. The pride of the hearts of Edomites deceived them. This is the spirit of deception. Anyone who has the slightest pride in them has a deceiving spirit in them too. People seldom admit that they are prideful too. Therefore we need to pray and reveal the smallest pride that is in us to expose us. God is determined to reverse those who are haughty. The metaphor of the eagle being as high in the sky reflects our pride. Jerusalem is about 2000 feet above sea level and Edom dwelled about 6000 feet above sea level. The place that they lived in was well defended and invincible. They are truly like eagles soaring among the stars, but God said He will bring them down.


The end goal is a behavioural change and a repentant heart so that you stand on victorious ground. To have a triumphant life, you need to change your behaviour. The key message is always about punishment, restoration, judgement, instruction and a hope for salvation. This will motivate us to repent and seek Him. The 12 minor prophets emphasised a lot on sin. The 4 fundamentals were on the holiness and righteousness of God, the sinfulness of men and His sovereignty over the nations.


Verses 1-9 talked about the destruction of Edom. Verses 10-14 talked about the sins of Edom and the reasons for their doom. We would focus on their sins today. They sinned against God to the point that God destroyed them. Verses 15-16 talked about the judgement declared - the Day of the Lord. No one can endure this day. Verses 17-32 talked about the deliverance and restoration of Israel. Prophet Obadiah is unique compared to the rest of the minor prophets. His prophecy is not to the Jewish, but to people in another country - Edom. It is very exclusive. Edom is towards the southern kingdom of Judah. After an event that happened, Jerusalem and Judah were attacked and devastated by the Babylonians. Obadiah wrote these prophecies in this era after that attack. His prophecies involve the sons of Isaac and Rebekah. In the genealogy of Abraham, Isaac at the age of 40 married Rebekah but she was barren. God answered her prayers and granted her twins when Isaac was 60. They were Esau and Jacob.


Genesis 25:24-27 - “And when the time came to give birth, Rebekah discovered that she did indeed have twins! The first one was very red at birth and covered with thick hair like a fur coat. So they named him Esau. Then the other twin was born with his hand grasping Esau’s heel. So they named him Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when the twins were born. As the boys grew up, Esau became a skillful hunter. He was an outdoorsman, but Jacob had a quiet temperament, preferring to stay at home.”


Edom was killing and mistreating the Jewish. It happened all the way to the New Testament. When Esau and Jacob were in Rebekah’s womb, they were fighting. She called God and asked why that was so. He said that there are two nations in her womb. One would be stronger than the other. The older one would have to serve the younger one. When Esau was born, he was very red and hairy all over his body. Jacob’s hand held the heel of Esau when he was born too. Esau was an active young man and was his father’s favourite. However, Jacob was a mild and gentle boy. Rebekah loved him greatly. He would stay in the tent and was introverted. Edomites are the descendants of Esau. Jacob’s name was changed to Israel. The Hebrew meaning of Edom is red. He exchanged his birth rights for a red stew.


Genesis 25:30 - “Esau said to Jacob, “I’m starved! Give me some of that red stew!” (This is how Esau got his other name, Edom, which means “red.”)”


Genesis 32:28 - ““Your name will no longer be Jacob,” the man told him. “From now on you will be called Israel, because you have fought with God and with men and have won.””


Genesis 36:8 - “So Esau (also known as Edom) settled in the hill country of Seir.”


Obadiah means the servant of the Lord and worshipper of Jehovah. We will focus on the reason for the doom of Edom due to their sins.


1. Pride of Edom


Obadiah 1:3-4 - “You have been deceived by your own pride because you live in a rock fortress and make your home high in the mountains. ‘Who can ever reach us way up here?’ you ask boastfully. But even if you soar as high as eagles and build your nest among the stars, I will bring you crashing down,” says the Lord.”


Galatians 5:17-26 - “The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses. When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.”


Edom is an image of flesh. In the New Testament, we read clearly that we are supposed to die to self. The flesh is always opposing the spirit. The spirit is against the flesh too. They are contrary to one another. If you yield to the spirit, you will walk in the spirit and will not fulfil the lust of flesh. It is important for us to understand this relationship. You have been totally washed clean. You must recognise that you are dead to sin. The root to sin is pride. Pride is so dangerous. God said that He would bring Edom down because of their pride. They had no reverence for God. A prideful person is not committed to the word of God. They are always confused and careless. Their lives and minds don’t have God at all.


Psalms 10:4 - “The wicked are too proud to seek God. They seem to think that God is dead.”


Proverbs 16:18 - “Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall.”


Proverbs 8:13 - “All who fear the Lord will hate evil. Therefore, I hate pride and arrogance, corruption and perverse speech.”


God hates pride. A person that is always lying is prideful too. When Adam and Eve fell from their disobedience, the devil wanted to destroy their family.


Proverbs 6:16 - “There are six things the Lord hates— no, seven things he detests:”


2. Sideline position of Edom


Obadiah 1:11-12 - “When they were invaded, you stood aloof, refusing to help them. Foreign invaders carried off their wealth and cast lots to divide up Jerusalem, but you acted like one of Israel’s enemies. “You should not have gloated when they exiled your relatives to distant lands. You should not have rejoiced when the people of Judah suffered such misfortune. You should not have spoken arrogantly in that terrible time of trouble.”


Proverbs 24:17 - “Don’t rejoice when your enemies fall; don’t be happy when they stumble.”


Not only they stood at the sideline and watched their brothers being attacked, they behaved like their enemies. They rejoiced over their destruction. Edom committed the sin of omission. The other type of sin is commission.


Luke 10:29-37 - “The man wanted to justify his actions, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied with a story: “A Jewish man was travelling from Jerusalem down to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road. “By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. A Temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side. “Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins, telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.’ “Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked. The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.” Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.””


James 4:17 - “Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.”


3. Consequences of Edom


The judgement of God upon those people are directly a reflection of their sin.


Obadiah 1:15 - ““The day is near when I, the Lord, will judge all godless nations! As you have done to Israel, so it will be done to you. All your evil deeds will fall back on your own heads.”


Matthew 7:12 - ““Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.”


Obadiah 1:10 - ““Because of the violence you did to your close relatives in Israel, you will be filled with shame and destroyed forever.”


Edom shall be cut off forever. King Herod was an Edomite.


Matthew 2:16-18 - “Herod was furious when he realized that the wise men had outwitted him. He sent soldiers to kill all the boys in and around Bethlehem who were two years old and under, based on the wise men’s report of the star’s first appearance. Herod’s brutal action fulfilled what God had spoken through the prophet Jeremiah: “A cry was heard in Ramah— weeping and great mourning. Rachel weeps for her children, refusing to be comforted, for they are dead.””


Pride is the very nature of Satan. Pride is the root to all sin. Satan is the father of lies. His lies deceived us from the beginning.


John 8:44 - “For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.”


Pride is more dangerous than any outward sin. Pride is hidden inside us. When pride enters a person, a person won’t have commitment to God. Pride is more dangerous than adultery. It is dangerous because we might not know we have that pride. Seldom people will acknowledge that they are a prideful Christian.


Psalms 10:4 - “The wicked are too proud to seek God. They seem to think that God is dead.”


Obadiah 1:17-21 - ““But Jerusalem will become a refuge for those who escape; it will be a holy place. And the people of Israel will come back to reclaim their inheritance. The people of Israel will be a raging fire, and Edom a field of dry stubble. The descendants of Joseph will be a flame roaring across the field, devouring everything. There will be no survivors in Edom. I, the Lord, have spoken! “Then my people living in the Negev will occupy the mountains of Edom. Those living in the foothills of Judah will possess the Philistine plains and take over the fields of Ephraim and Samaria. And the people of Benjamin will occupy the land of Gilead. The exiles of Israel will return to their land and occupy the Phoenician coast as far north as Zarephath. The captives from Jerusalem exiled in the north will return home and resettle the towns of the Negev. Those who have been rescued will go up to Mount Zion in Jerusalem to rule over the mountains of Edom. And the Lord himself will be king!””


The story always ends with restoration. It is talking to those who are prideful. They would be brought down and judged. Those who are humble would be exalted. We are called to be a deliverer.


Amen.

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