Day 24 Obadiah ... No Room To Gloat

"Remember, O Lord, what the Edomites did on the day Jerusalem fell. 'Tear it down,' they cried, 'tear it down to its foundations!'" (Psalm 137:7) Survivors of the sacking of Jerusalem would never forget the reactions of their neighbors the Edomites, who watched the carnage with open glee. The Edomites cheered the conquering Babylonian army, looted the fleeing refugees, and helped plunder Jerusalem. Psalm 137, one of the saddest passages in the Bible, voices the Israelites' acrid bitterness over this offense.

To rub salt in Judah's wounds, the Edomites were actually distant relatives. Their nation traced back to the feud between twin brothers Jacob and Esau. While Jacob fathered the Israelites, Esau having traded away his birthright for a meal, moved to desolate mountain country and founded the nation of Edom. The twins' descendants continued the quarrel for hundreds of years, and now the Edomites were gloating over the Israelites calamity. True sons of Esau, they thought primarily of the immediate gain available to them from plunder.

The Edomite attitude contrasts sharply with the sorrow expressed in the book of Lamentations. And Obadiah, the shortest book in the Old Testament, makes clear that the Edomites would pay for their callousness and cruelty: "As you have done, it will be done to you." Those who had betrayed Judah would be repaid with treachery from their own allies.

Obadiah predicted opposite futures for Israel and Edom. According to him, downtrodden Israel would rise again, but Edom would disappear from the face of the earth. History bore out the latter prediction in 70 A.D., when Rome legions destroyed the last remnant of Edomites during a siege of Jerusalem.

Point to Ponder: Edom was basing its security on its strategic location "on the heights" and "in the clefts of the rocks." What do people around you base their security on?