The book of Obadiah is the first of the Minor Prophets chronologically. The Minor Prophets are twelve in number and they begin after the book of Daniel. Daniel is considered to be one of the Major Prophets and follows after Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations and Ezekiel. Then from Hosea to Malachi are the twelve Minor Prophets. Obadiah is not the first in that series, but chronologically it is the first one written.

What we’re going to be doing in our series in the Minor Prophets is to take them in the order in which they were written.

Introduction

We believe the book of Obadiah was written roughly 850 to 840 B.C. So by the time Daniel is writing, about 300 years have gone by.  By the time Jesus shows up 850/840 years have gone by. The prophecy we’re going to be seeing in Obadiah, we believe was written about 300 years prior to its fulfillment. Then another part of the prophecy is yet to be fulfilled.  Obadiah is very interesting in the way in which it’s broken up. You can actually divide or outline Obadiah into three sections. From verses 1 to 9 is judgment announced; verses 10 to 14 is the reason for the judgment, and the last seven verses, verses 15 to 21, is the day of judgment. That’s the way Obadiah is broken up. The first verse tells us that the author of this book is Obadiah.

We’re told that this prophecy is a vision. It is a vision Obadiah had. If you were to try to find out who Obadiah is and you searched the Old Testament for every occurrence of the name Obadiah, you would not find any connection to the prophet called Obadiah. That tells us that Obadiah was a very common name. We have no idea who the prophet is. We know that he is called Obadiah, but we have no idea who his family was or where he was born. We just assume because of the context of this prophecy, he was probably from the southern kingdom, the Kingdom of Judah, but we don’t know anything else about him. That is what is interesting about this prophet. When you look at the book, it has 21 verses but only one chapter.

Petra

So that’s the book, and that is who the author is.  We have made the comment that Obadiah is a vision. So let’s get into the text, verse 1. Verse 1 says, “The vision of Obadiah, Thus says the Lord God concerning Edom, we have heard a report from the Lord, and an envoy has been sent among the nations saying; ‘Arise and let us go against her for battle.”” Now, it’s  clear initially when you look at this verse that God is speaking with regards to Edom.

We might ask about the nation Edom. Maybe a more important question initially might be, “From where or whom did Edom descend? Who is the great, great, great, great, great, all the way back grandfather?”  The Edomites came from a man called Esau. Look at Genesis 25. Genesis 25 will take us all the way back to the actual birth of Esau. Esau and Jacob were born to a woman named Rebecca, and her husband was Isaac. Look at Genesis 25 and verse 21. We’re told, “Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife because she was barren. And the Lord answered him and Rebecca his wife conceived. But the children struggled together within her and she said, “’If it is so, why then am I this way?”

So she went to inquire of the Lord. However, she’s basically saying, “Why am I this way? I mean, what’s going on?” Verse 23,  and the Lord said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two people will be separated from your body, and one people shall be stronger than the other, and the older shall serve the younger.”

Right up front we’re told that there was going be two children, and we know who the children are. They are Jacob and Esau. We are told that they’re going to be two people and they will father children.  Those children are going to father other children, and they’re going end up with two separate nations. We are told that the older son is going to serve the younger son. The nation from the older son will end up serving the nation from the younger son. The nation from the older one is Edom, and the nation from the younger son is Israel.

Now I want you to look at Genesis 27:26.  This passage is where Isaac supposedly give Esau a blessing. Esau wanted to have a blessing and he was supposed to receive it from his father Isaac.  But there were some underhanded plans taking place. Mom got involved and decided that Jacob would get the blessing that was intended for Esau. Look at verse 26 where we are told, “Then his father Isaac, said to him, ‘Please come close and kiss me, my son.’” He’s actually talking to Jacob although he doesn’t know that at this point; he thinks it’s Esau. “So he came close and kissed him; and he smelled his garments, he blessed him and said; “See, the smell of my son is like a smell of a field, which the Lord has blessed. Now may God give you of the dew of heaven and of the fatness of the earth and an abundance of grain and new wine. May people serve you and nations bow down to you; be master of your brothers, and may your mother’s sons bow down to you. Cursed be those who curse you, and bless those who bless you.” Isaac says that Jacob’s brothers are going to serve him and that includes Esau.

If you look at verse 39, we are told that his father, Isaac, answered and said to him, “This is now Esau.” In the last part of verse 38, you will see Esau now is in focus and here is the blessing that was given to Esau. “Behold away from the fertility of the earth shall be your dwelling, and away from the dew of heaven from above. By your sword you shall live and your brother you shall serve, and it shall come about when you become restless that you will break his yoke from your neck.” These three passages give you a picture of the relationship of Jacob and Esau. The message is that Jacob is going to be the dominant one and Esau will be the one who ends up serving his brother. It’s part of the blessing that Isaac pronounces on his two sons.

In verse 40 we learn something really interesting. We are told that Esau when he gets restless is going to break the yoke. There is going to come a time when he will no longer be subservient to his brother. Now that’s important because that implies conflict is coming. Now look at chapter 36 in Genesis, verse 1. This is part of the records or the genealogies of Esau, and we’re given some interesting information in this chapter. In verse 1 we are told, “And now, these are the records of the generations of Esau (that is . . .)”, what does it say? Edom. If you weren’t sure that Esau and Edom are interchangeable terms, now you are.  Esau is the person, and Edom is the nation that comes from Esau.

Now look at verse 8. Esau lived in the hill country of Seir. Esau is Edom. So again, we’re told in verse 8 that Esau is Edom. Where are they living? Where will Esau and his descendants live? They will live in Seir. Verse 9, “And these then are the records of the generations of Esau, the father of the Edomites in the hill country of Seir.” So if you weren’t sure now, three times in this chapter we’re told that Esau is the father of the Edomites who live in Seir. Today we refer to it as the nation of Edom. Seir is in the Negev.

If you were to look at a map of Israel, you would find out that the kingdom of Edom actually was south of the Dead Sea, and went all the way down to the Gulf of Aqaba. They ended up actually occupying a huge territory. Later on, we find out that the Edomites were actually defeated by King Nebuchadnezzar of the Babylonian Empire. They then move into the southern part of Judah and became known as the Idumaeans. There is a man who comes from the Idumaeans we know as Pontius Pilate. Interestingly enough, he ends up putting Jesus Christ to death who is a descendant of Jacob.

Judgment Announced

So there’s your setup for our study. Now I want you now to go back to Obadiah and look at verse 1. Verse 1  reads, “Thus says the Lord concerning Edom – We have heard a report from the Lord, and an envoy has been sent among the nations saying, ‘Arise and let us go up against her for battle.’” We are told in verse 1  that God is sending out a messenger to all of the nations calling them to come up and fight against Edom. Verse 2, “Behold, I will make you among the nations; you are greatly despised.” Verse 3, “The arrogance of your heart has deceived you, you live in the clefts of the rock, in the loftiness of your dwelling place, you say in your heart, ‘Who will bring me down to earth?’”

Now at first this may not be clear. It becomes really obvious that they have a pride problem because we were told “the arrogance of your heart.”  That implies they have a pride problem. We know what pride is like. We all  have a pride problem. If someone insults you, really fast we find out that we have a pride problem. “And you who live in the clefts of the rock.” What is that talking about?  If you look at the land of Edom, you find out there is a mountainous area, some huge mountains in fact. Some of the mountains are 5,700 feet tall.

Petra Siq

Note the illustration on this page. This is the entrance to Petra. Petra was the capital of Edom. The word Siq actually refers to this entrance. Look at this entrance. Look at the people. The people are really small compared to this entrance and this entrance is really long. In fact, the entrance into Petra was a mile long and along this corridor, the cliffs go way up.  This gives you a picture of some of it. Once you get into Petra, it is all sandstone up above. They carved dwelling places in which to live. Look at the colored sandstone. Petra was famous for its sandstone walls. Can you imagine living in a home with colored walls like that?

Historical records tell us that Petra was immensely wealthy. It was a financial center.  Petra silk and the urn tombs give you a picture of what Edom is all about. So when Obadiah is talking about Edom, you can think about Petra the capital. I hope this gives you some idea about what is being described in this prophecy. The Edomites were real people, a real nation, that did some magnificent things.  They lived in the clefts of the rock we are told in verse 3; “You who live in the clefts of the rock, in the loftiness of your dwelling places, who say in your heart, ‘Who will bring me down to earth?’”

It turns out that Petra was located in a canyon. The only way to get in there was through a mile-long corridor. The sides of the corridor went way up perpendicular. The sides of it were colored sandstone. They had magnificent buildings everywhere. Verse 4, “’Though you build high like the eagle, and though you set your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down’, declares the Lord.” In other words in verse 4, God says, the Edomites, thought they were impenetrable – that no one could defeat them because of their location.  They were high up in the cliffs – high up in the rocks. The only way to get there was through narrow corridors easily defended against an invading army.

They thought they were impenetrable; they thought no nation could defeat them. Verse 4 says, “Though you build high like the eagle, and though you set your nest amongst the stars, from there I will bring you down. They did not think that any nation could bring them down. God says, “I can. I know how to do that.” Verse 5, “And if thieves came to you, if robbers by night. Oh, how you will be ruined. Would they steal only until they had enough? If grape gatherers come to you, would they not leave some gleanings?” What God is saying in this verse is very interesting.

Have you ever had someone come in and steal something from your place? My wife and I have had that happen on  two occasions.   You know what they do when they come in? They don’t steal everything, they don’t clean your house out, furniture and carpet, lights and books and beds and everything.  They pick only certain things they want.  Notice what it says; “If thieves came to you, if robbers by night – O how you would be ruined. Would they not steal only until they had enough?” What he is saying is that normally when robbers come in, they only take what they want. They don’t take everything. But watch this, “and grape gatherers, when they gather grapes, they don’t gather everything; they leave something.”

Verse 6 does not say that; “Oh, how Esau will be ransacked.” The message is when God sends robbers and when God sends grape gatherers against  Edom, they are going to take everything. Nothing is going to be left. They’re not going to be picky. They’re going to take everything, “And his hidden treasures would be searched out!” So God says when they come against Edom, they’re going to take everything.  It’s called judgment. God is pronouncing judgment on Edom. You may say, “Why?” That’s coming up in verse 10. We not going to get there yet. Verse 7, “And all the men allied with you will send you forth to the border, and the men at peace with you will deceive you and overpower you. They who eat your bread will set an ambush for you (There is no understanding in him).”

Now there are three kinds of people described here in verse 7. The first group is “All the men allied with you” – a group of people who agree to defend you if you are attacked. Then the next group is  “The men at peace with you”  or your neighbors. Then we’re told, “They eat your bread.” Who are those people? They are your friends. You have your friends to your home to eat bread with you, right? Some people may have their enemies over,  but that’s not too common. Maybe you might have people who are allied with you to your home to eat bread. But verse 7 is very intentional: talking about those who were allied, talking about neighbors, talking about those who are friends, and all of them are going to turn on Edom. All of them.

Verse 8, “Will I not on that day,” declares the Lord, “destroy wise men from Edom and understanding from the mountain of Esau?” What is God doing? God is pronouncing judgment on Edom. When he says that He’s going to destroy the wise men, we may ask, “What’s that all about?” It turns out that Edom was on the King’s Highway. Caravans would come from Africa, from India, and from Europe. They would come right through Edom. Edom had a treasury where people, buyers and sellers, and merchants could keep their money. So, Edom was like a hub. It was a very profitable place. Merchandise and news was exchanged. Can you imagine what would happen if you saw some people come from India and you knew they were from India, wouldn’t you want to know what’s going on in India?

Today we have the internet, TV, and newspapers. But in those days they didn’t have that; they just had word of mouth – conversation.  When people from India would come, they would tell you what’s going on in India. People from Europe would come and you’d ask them what’s going on in Europe.  People from Africa would come and you could ask them what’s going on in Africa. So, Edom became a news center as well as a financial center. Edom was an important place. So when God says, “Destroy your wise men,” He is talking about people who knew things, who were informed, and many were rich people. Verse 9, “Then your mighty men will be dismayed, O Teman.” Teman was a major city in Edom. God says, “So that everyone may be cut off from the mountain of Esau by slaughter.”

Petra Treasury

Do you know what God is doing? God is pronouncing judgment on Esau. You may ask,”Why? God has already indicated that because of their arrogance, they’re going to be brought down. The reason is given in verse 10. Look at the way the verse begins.  It says, “Because.” Right there, that’s all you need to know. Here is the reason why judgment is coming on Edom; “Because of violence to your brother Jacob.” God says, “Because you’ve done violence to your brother,” that’s why this is going to happen to you. This is why the prophecy of judgment is pronounced against you – so that everyone may be cut off from the mountain of Esau by slaughter because of your violence to your brother Jacob. “You will be covered with shame, and you’ll be cut off forever.”

Now from verse 11, 12, 13 and 14, we are actually given four different reasons, four explanations as to what the Edomites did to Israel. I want you to see all four. Verse 11 is the first reason.  “On the day that you stood aloof; on the day that strangers carried off his wealth.” Whose wealth? It was Judah, Israel or the Jews. “And foreigners entered his gate and cast lots for Jerusalem – you too were as one of them.”  Verse 11 is saying that, “Look, strangers came against Judah, carried off his wealth, foreigners entered his gate, and you were like one of them.” You may ask, “Well, but they didn’t do it, right?” Other people did it. It’s really clear from this verse the Edomites didn’t actually do this because we were told that strangers carried off the wealth and foreigners entered his gate.

So in what way did they participate? Did you catch what the first part of the verse said? You were “aloof.”  You were indifferent. Conditions are amazing now in our culture. We follow the news every day. – You read  about someone being attacked by a group of hoodlums or thugs or gang members while people just stand around watching.  They watch a poor, helpless woman trying to defend herself when someone steals from her and everyone is standing around watching. That’s what Edom did to Israel. They stood around and watched. They were aloof. They didn’t really care. “Oh, I’m not going to get involved. I’m not going to get involved. I’m just not going to do that.” The truth is, they really didn’t care enough. Now see what God says, “You were like one of them.” You might as well have participated in the beating up of Israel, or as in my illustration, participated in beating up this woman.

Do you know what God says? If somebody is in trouble and you just ignore it, you drive right by, you walk right by, you don’t care, you aren’t going to do anything — God says you participated in that. You just decided that you’re going to be aloof; you’re not going to get involved – too risky. I’m sure if Edom had tried to defend Israel, there would have been some people who would have lost their lives.  God says, “If you just going to be aloof, it’s like you participated.” So God says, “You’re going to get judged.” That’s what we’ve been told from verse 1 through verse 9. What we’re reading now is why  judgment is coming.  The first reason is that they were aloof when Israel or Judah needed help.

Verse 12 gives the next reason.  “And do not gloat over your brother’s day, the day of his misfortune. And do not rejoice over the sons of Judah in the day of their destruction. Yes, do not boast in the day of their distress.”  When Judah was getting attacked by their enemies, the Edomites said, “Oh good, oh good. They deserve that. Oh, I’m glad that happened.” I have a question for you. Have you ever been offended by someone?  Perhaps someone hurt you; maybe somebody stole from you.  Did someone do something wrong and you really were hurt? Maybe you were in a church and somebody did something wrong in that church? Maybe it was a pastor or a leader. Later on this church started having real problems. What did you do? Did you go, “Oh, good. That church should have fallen after all.” If you did, do you realize what you just did? You gloated. God condemned Edom because they gloated over Judah.

Proverbs 24:17 says; “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles.” Is that not what happens to us? If you’re cheering because the church folded, or was losing attendance, or was going through financial trouble, and you are cheering and thinking, “This is really a good thing,” look at the next verse. God says; “Don’t rejoice.” Verse 18 says; “Or the Lord will see it and be displeased and turn his anger away from him.”

So if somebody has hurt you or offended you, that proverb says, if you start cheering and you’re glad, you’re gloating over what’s happened and God says, “I will stop chastising him.” Do you know what God is going to do to Edom? The prophecy says Edom is going to be chastised, and it happened. What we’re told in verse 11 is that they stood aloof. Verse 12 says they gloated over the problems that were occurring to Judah. They did not like Jacob. They did not like Israel.  They did not like Judah. So when trouble came, when an enemy came against Judah, they gloated over him because of what was happening.

Verse 13, “Do not enter the gate of my people in the day of their disaster. Yes, you, do not gloat over their calamity, in the day of their disaster, and do not loot their wealth.” There’s the third reason. They looted their wealth in the day of their disaster.  What does loot mean?  They stole. Apparently  the enemy came against Judah and attacked Judah. They obviously left Judah in a defenseless position, and what the Edomites did is they came in and took the opportunity to steal what they could.

Think about what we see on TV news. There is a riot.  Some people get really upset. We had a riot this summer in a city called Ferguson and everybody was incensed. What happened? A group of people went in and looted. They took advantage. They looted while the protest is going on. That’s the picture of Edom. So Judah is getting attacked and they take advantage of them. They go down steal from Judah. That’s the third condemnation of Edom.

The next reason is verse 14, “Do not stand at the fork of the road to cut down their fugitives.” There’s the fourth one. They cut down and do not imprison their survivors in the day of their distress. What we are led to believe here is that when the people were trying to escape from the enemy, they prevented them from escaping. Edom really had it in for Judah. They were enemies against one another. The Edomites wanted Judah to suffer.

I want you to think about something. Remember when the Israelites tried to leave the land of Egypt? They left the Egypt and tried to go up to the Promised Land.  They asked if they could go through the land of Edom. How did the Edomites respond? They didn’t permit the Israelites to go through their land. Do you remember in Deuteronomy what God told Israel to do? God said, “They are your brothers. They’re afraid of you so go around them.”

So, that’s what Israel did. I thought it was fascinating. Here are two nations who are struggling with one another. God tells the Israelites, the descendants of Jacob to go around them. Why? “Because they’re your brothers.” I thought that was interesting, “brothers.”  May I make it personal for a minute? What about your family? You have family relations. How do you get along with your family? How do you get along with your brothers or your sisters? Are there tensions?

Now, this is a great illustration because God told Jacob to be kind to the descendants of Esau. Why? Because they were related to him. God seeks peace.  Obadiah is a great prophecy because Obadiah is about the brother who had it in for the other family member.  Edom wanted a family member to suffer. They were aloof and didn’t go and help them. They looted them. They stole from them. They prevented them from trying to get to safety.  Esau and later the Edomites hated Jacob and it was obvious in multiple ways. So, what does God say? “I’m going to discipline Esau.” When God disciplines you, He knows how to make you hurt, and that’s what happened to the Edomites.

Now look at Genesis 4. I’m going to show you another family squabble. This family squabble is rather an interesting one.  It’s Cain and Abel. In Genesis 1, we’re told,  “Now the man had relations with his wife, Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain, and she said, ‘I have gotten a man-child with the help of the Lord.’ And she gave birth to his brother Abel. And Abel was the keeper of the flocks, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.”

This is an older brother and a younger brother. Cain is older and Abel is younger. “So, it came about in the course of time, that Cain brought an offering to the Lord, of the fruit of the ground, and Abel on his part also brought the first things of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and for his offering. But for Cain and for his offering he had no regard.” That is, God wasn’t interested. God rejected Cain’s offering. “So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell.” Now, get the picture. Here is big brother, he comes with his offering to the Lord and it’s from the ground.

Have you ever observed family dynamics? What happens between the older child and the younger child? There is often rivalry, right? Who wants to be top dog? The older child! The older child here, Cain, gave the offering, and the younger child, Abel, gave an offering.  God said,  “I’m pleased with the younger’s, but not with the older brother’s offering.” What does Cain do? Pride kicks in. We’re told he becomes really angry. Verse 6, “Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? And if you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up?’” It’s obvious that his face was showing that he was unhappy. He was sad and distressed. “And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” Basically, what God told Cain is, “Come on, get a grip. Get a hold of yourself.”

It’s a choice. You don’t have to be angry. Anger is a choice. God says, “There is a war going on” and that was how it’s described. God said, “Sin is crouching at the door and its desire is for you” — that’s anger — “But you must get a hold of it. You must master it.” Most of us don’t do a very good job in getting a hold of our anger. We often give into it. Verse 8, “And Cain told Abel his brother and it came about when they were in the field that Cain rose up against Abel, his brother, and killed him.” Now, did you catch the first part of this verse? It’s an interesting statement. It says Cain went out and had a conversation with his brother Abel. Apparently when God gets through talking to Cain about getting a hold of his anger, Cain goes off to talk to his brother. And who knows what the conversation was all about because we’re not told.

But Cain is still pursuing the problem that he has inside – this anger against his brother. And after the conversation, it probably got worse. He then kills his brother. Verse 9, “Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Where is Abel your brother?’” Now, watch what he said, “I don’t know; am I my brother’s keeper?” Was Edom his brother’s keeper? Was Edom a brother’s keeper for Jacob? No. Edom was all about Edom. Edom was just like Cain. He hated his brother and he wanted him to suffer. Unfortunately, sometimes in our relationships with our family members, we would like them just to go away. We’re not much different than Cain. We’re not much different than Edom. He just wanted Jacob to go away. That’s why God said he’s going to discipline Edom. It was in God’s hand.

I find it really fascinating that God tells Jacob to be nice to Esau, and so Jacob is. Esau in turn, though, is, if you don’t mind, “mean.” They just did what they wanted. God says in verses 1 to 9, “I’m going to take care of Esau. I’m going to take care of Edom. I’m going to judge them.” There is a prophecy against Edom, there is the reason why, and I think there is a great illustration here for us to think about in our relationships with our own family members.

Can I push a little bit? How about just anybody with whom you’re connected?  What’s your relationship with one another like? Do you think we should be aloof to the needs of one another? Do you believe that’s what God would think is really good on your part? Should we be aloof to someone else’s need? Do you think it’s really good to gloat over someone who is hurting or who maybe did you wrong? I remember some years ago, a woman came to me and complained because a gentleman was walking down the church aisle and inadvertently bumped her while he was walking down the aisle. And she was greatly offended she got bumped. I said, “Well, do you think he knew?” She replied, “Well, I hadn’t thought about that.” It is amazing sometimes how we respond to people.

Day Of The Lord

Now let’s go to Obadiah verse 15. Verse 15 is the day of the Lord, and there is a huge shift. If you noticed, it’s not about just Edom. It’s about every nation. So here is the verse, “For the day of the Lord draws near on all the nations. As you have done, it will be done to you. Your dealings will return on your own head.” God now says. “The day of the Lord.” We’ve now moved into our future. We have moved into a distant future and it is the day of the Lord.  God says, “So there’s a day of the Lord that draws near on every nation in the world — not just Edom.” In verse 16, “And because just as you drank on My holy mountain.”

Actually, there is an interesting shift here in the Hebrew. It appears that He’s talking to Judah at this point. He says, “All nations will drink continually. They will drink and swallow and become as if they had never existed.” What God is saying is, “Judah, when you’re on Mount Zion,” by the way, Mount Zion is where Jerusalem is, or “My holy mountain.” You’ll see Mount Zion in verse 17. What’s going to happen is that all the nations are going to come up against Jerusalem and they’re going to drink too. Only notice, it’s judgment. Because He says, “And they will drink and swallow and become just as if they never existed.” They are going to be destroyed.

“But on Mount Zion there will be those who escape and it will be holy and the house of Jacob will possess their possessions. Then the house of Jacob will be of fire, and the house of Joseph a flame.” There is the northern kingdom and the southern kingdom. People are always asking, “Are the 10 tribes lost?” Not according to verse 18. But the house of Esau would be stubble. Now listen carefully.

“Jacob is on fire, Joseph is on flame,” and what is Esau? Stubble. What happens when you take stubble and you put fire to stubble? You get a blaze.  Things get burned up. Stubble is just hay and pieces of wood. So the idea is that Jacob and Joseph are like fire and Esau is like stubble. The rest of the verse tells you what’s going to happen. “And they will set them on fire and consume them” — the “them” in this case is Esau. This is Edom – all the people in Edom. “So that there will be no survivor of the house of Esau, for the Lord has spoken.” What does God say? God says in the future, Edom is finally and totally going to be destroyed. So what we learn from this is that the judgment God is pronouncing from verses 1 to 9 will not destroy all of Edom. Although today if you were to go into the land of Edom, you would find Petra is just ruins.

So, there are some Edomites left, but God says, “Do you know, Israel?  Do you know, Judah? Take comfort. I’m judging the Edomites now.” Then God says, “Oh, by the way, out there in the future, I’m going to totally destroy them. They’re going to be totally eliminated because of the way in which they treated you.” I think this is really interesting. Listen to what God does.  Judah is suffering. Judah has been wrong. There has been the tension with a brother called Esau or Edom. Do you know what they’ve done? They left it all to God. God says, “Okay, I’m going to discipline this brother who has abused you. By the way, in the future, I’m going to totally remove them.”

Do you know what God is doing? God is giving them comfort. God says, “I’m your defender.” Remember in Romans 12, he says, “Vengeance is mine. I will repay sayeth the Lord.”  That’s the way it should be in family relationships. That’s the way it should be in any relationship. And God says, “I will take up your cause. I will defend you.”

If you were to read through verses 19 and 20,  you would read a description of the expansion of Israel’s border to the full extent of what God had promised Abraham that he would inherit. The Promised Land is being described in verses 19 and 20. So if you take the description here,  the land of the Philistines,  the territory of Ephraim and  put them together, it’s talking about the total Promised Land that was promised to Abraham. That is what is being described. Verse 21, “And the deliverers will ascend to Mount Zion to judge the Mountain of Esau, and the kingdom will be the Lord’s.”

There is the millennial kingdom at the very end. So God says, “I will judge them. Vengeance is mine. I will repay. God will take up Jacob’s cause. Then God promises Jacob a kingdom. God promises Jacob the millennial kingdom. God says, “I will defend you,” and then He gives Jacob a promise – fascinating, fascinating prophecy.