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The Book of Obadiah, and Edom and Petra: Part 1 

The Lord said so shall it be, and so it is 

The Book of Obadiah 

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • August 25, In the year of our Lord Christ, 2019 


  1. If I can go somewhere, 
    1. why can’t God go there? 
      1. Jonah tried to flee the Lord, but 
      2. the Lord found him. 
    2. David wrote Psalm 139 and 
      1. in it he explained 
      2. that there was nowhere he could go 
        1. to escape the presence of the Lord, 
        2. although people try it all the time.

          7 Where can I go from Your Spirit?
          Or where can I flee from Your presence?
          8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
          If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
          9 If I take the wings of the morning,
          And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
          10 Even there Your hand shall lead me,
          And Your right hand shall hold me.

          – Psalm 139.7–10
    3. If man can traverse this, can’t God? 
  2. Right along those lines is this: 
    1. If we can build mighty defenses, 
    2. why can’t God tear them down? 
      1. Are we greater than Him or 
      2. is He greater than us? 
  3. The Edomites thought that they had the ultimate defense, but 
    1. the Lord let them know 
    2. that such would not stop Him. 
  4. Here is another thing: The Edomites thought 
    1. that they could hide and 
    2. that they could hide their stuff. 
      1. However, if they can find a good hiding place for their things, 
      2. cannot the One who made the earth also find that secret hiding place? 


  1. Obadiah 1 • The Prophet and His Message

    1 The vision of Obadiah

    Thus says the Lord GOD concerning Edom
    (We have heard a report from the LORD,
    And a messenger has been sent among the nations, saying,
    “Arise, and let us rise up against her for battle”):
    1. Immediately, the prophet declared the judgment of the Lord 
      1. that He had sent a message to the nations, 
      2. that they should arise and fight against Edom. 
        1. Wars among nations happen for various reasons, but 
        2. do not neglect to think of the Lord’s hand in the wars of the nations. 
          1. He raises one nation and 
          2. brings down another nation. 
            1. How does He bring nations down? 
            2. Typically, in the Scriptures, it happens through war. 
    2. A nation that the Lord had built up, 
      1. that had descended from the beloved Isaac, 
      2. had gone so far from the Lord and 
        1. become an enemy of Israel, 
        2. that the Lord had to destroy that which He once built. 
    3. Jeremiah 18 shows 
      1. that the Lord is the One who forms nations, hence 
      2. He is the One who can tear down nations:

        1 The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying: 2 “Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause you to hear My words.” 3 Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something at the wheel. 4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make. 5 Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying: 6 “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?” says the LORD. “Look, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel! 7 The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, 8 if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it. 9 And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it, 10 if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it.”

        – Jeremiah 18.1–10
        1. The Lord first said that He could do with Israel as He pleased, and 
        2. this is the way that He does with all nations. 
          1. The Book of Obadiah shows 
          2. that He formed and then destroyed the nation of Edom. 
            1. That is His prerogative. 
            2. Scripture has preserved this record of Edom 
              1. that we might know the Lord’s work among the nations, and 
              2. that all nations might know of His work among them. 
  2. Obadiah 2–4 • Pride Deceives

    2 “Behold, I will make you small among the nations;
    You shall be greatly despised.
    3 The pride of your heart has deceived you,
    You who dwell in the clefts of the rock,
    Whose habitation is high;
    You who say in your heart,
    ‘Who will bring me down to the ground?’
    4 Though you ascend as high as the eagle,
    And though you set your nest among the stars,
    From there I will bring you down,” says the LORD.
    1. First, He promised to make Edom small and greatly despised. 
      1. Edom never was a large nation, even smaller than ancient Israel. 
      2. However, during the days of Obadiah and the days following 
        1. the Lord was going to make Edom so small 
        2. it would disappear. 
          1. And it has. 
          2. No Edomites live on the earth today. 
    2. Second, He declared the sins of Edom, beginning with pride. 
      1. The land of Edom was primarily in rocky terrain. 
      2. Petra is a good example. 
        1. They lived among the clefts of the rock. 
        2. They could be high up in the rocks, if they so desired. 
      3. Their pride in their natural defenses made them challenge the world: 
        1. They asked who would bring them down. 
        2. They did not believe anyone was up to the challenge. 
    3. Third, the Lord declared that He would bring Edom down. 
      1. They obviously did not consider the Creator of the rocks! 
      2. Did it matter how high they were to Him? 
        1. God dwells in heaven. 
        2. Nothing is too high for Him. 
          1. He declared 
            1. that He would bring them down, and 
            2. did bring them down, He did. 
          2. Other people, the Nabataeans came in later and 
            1. occupied the land of Edom. 
            2. Later the Romans came in and 
              1. their influence is now seen 
              2. in the beautiful buildings that are there now. 
  3. Obadiah 5–9 • The Fall of Edom

    5 “If thieves had come to you,
    If robbers by night—
    Oh, how you will be cut off!—
    Would they not have stolen till they had enough?
    If grape-gatherers had come to you,
    Would they not have left some gleanings?
    6 Oh, how Esau shall be searched out!
    How his hidden treasures shall be sought after!
    7 All the men in your confederacy
    Shall force you to the border;
    The men at peace with you
    Shall deceive you and prevail against you.
    Those who eat your bread shall lay a trap for you.
    No one is aware of it.
    8 Will I not in that day,” says the LORD,
    “Even destroy the wise men from Edom,
    And understanding from the mountains of Esau?
    9 Then your mighty men, O Teman, shall be dismayed,
    To the end that everyone from the mountains of Esau
    May be cut off by slaughter.
    1. Thieves and robbers 
      1. steal until they have what they want. 
      2. They leave some behind. 
    2. Grape-gatherers 
      1. harvest the crop for you, but 
      2. they leave gleanings for the poor to pick. 
    3. However, the Lord would not leave anything untouched. 
      1. He would search out Esau. 
      2. He would seek after Esau’s hidden treasures. 
      3. He would move their allies against them and they would not know it. 
      4. He would destroy the wisdom of Edom. 
      5. He would cut off everyone by slaughter. 
    4. Concerning the capital:

      “Scholars widely consider Busayra to be the capital city of ancient Edom, a kingdom that emerged in southwest Jordan during the early first millennium BCE. Edomites rose to prominence alongside other Levantine powers, such as the Moabites and Israelites. Despite the kingdom and its neighbors falling under the sway of successive empires—the Assyrians, Babylonians, and Achaemenid Persians—Busayra continued to prosper and maintained economic links with Arabia, the Levant, and Egypt. 

      “British archaeologist Crystal Bennett excavated at Busayra between 1971 and 1980, discovering a monumental building and a substantial fortification system associated with the Kingdom’s administration. Some of the most impressive of these features include a 1,500-square meter palace and a temple larger than 2,320 square meters.”


  1. As I have stated in the past, 
    1. any nation, organization, or anything 
    2. that opposes and fights against God’s people, 
      1. the Jews in ancient times, and 
      2. Christians in modern times, 
        1. shall pay the price of obliteration. 
  2. The church has it faults, but when 
    1. it repents, 
    2. the Lord forgives us. 
      1. If a church never repents, 
      2. Jesus removes its lampstand and 
        1. it ceases being His and 
        2. that church fades away from memory. 
  3. Learn from Edom 
    1. never oppose God’s people. 
    2. Help God’s people and 
      1. He shall see to it 
      2. that you have peace. 
  4. Please make peace with God now. 
    1. Edom failed to make peace with the God of Israel. 
    2. However, through faith in Jesus Christ 
      1. you can have peace with God:

        1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

        – Romans 5.1–2
      2. The glory of Edom and Petra 
        1. has faded, but 
        2. the glory of God never fades.