What we DO unto OTHERS will be DONE to us ONE DAY!
September 24 Bible Reading: Obadiah Chapter 1
"For the day of the Lord upon all the nations is near; as you have done, it shall be done to you; your reprisal shall return upon your own head. For as you drank on my holy mountain, so shall all the nations drink continually; yes, they shall drink, and swallow, and they shall be as though they had never been." (Ob. 1:15-16)
“The vision of Obadiah” (1:1) is the shortest book in the Old Testament and the third shortest book in the entire Bible. The theme of this book is ‘God’s judgment and ultimate destruction of the people of Edom’ who were the descendants of Jacob’s twin brother Esau. God’s standard of judgment for the nations was based on His original promise to Abraham: “I will bless those who bless you and whoever curses you I will curse” (Gen. 12:3). In this regard, Edom symbolized all nations that had attacked and persecuted the people of Israel. Throughout history the Edomites had constantly fought against Israel and demonstrated their contempt for the chosen people.
Matthew Henry in his commentary of this book paints the strong emotions that form the backdrop for Obadiah’s short prophecy: "Some have well observed that it could not but be a great temptation to the people of Israel, when they saw themselves, who were the children of beloved Jacob, in trouble, and the Edomites, the seed of hated Esau, not only prospering, but triumphing over them in their troubles; and therefore God gives them a prospect of the destruction of Edom, which should be total and final, and of a happy issue of their own correction."
Obadiah highlights the inevitability of God’s just judgment upon all who fight against Him and His people. Through His prophet, God announced to these nations: “As you have done, it will be done to you” (v. 15). The day of God’s wrath on the nations was near, and Edom would be punished for her treatment of Judah. Their treatment of God’s people would determine how He would treat them. God would not merely pick out Edom for an example but would equally judge all nations for their sins. Just as these enemies “drank on my holy mountain” (profaning God’s temple), so God said He would make them “drink continually” from His divine cup of judgment.
The prophets looked for God’s intervention on “the day of the Lord” to establish perfectly His rule and His justice on earth, and this day is mentioned eleven times in verses 8-14. The “day of the Lord” refers to the day when God will intervene actively in the affairs of humanity and all creation, in both blessing and judgment. This day of divine retribution will destroy all God’s enemies and vindicate His people, through whom He will execute judgment. On this day Jehovah will manifest himself as the righteous Judge of all ungodly people (see Joel 3:14).
Now all the nations will be forced to drink a bitter cup of divine judgment (see Jer. 25:15, 16). The Edomites who invaded Jerusalem drank and caroused on God’s Holy Mountain after the city had been plundered, desecrating holy territory. The authority of the Lord cannot be flaunted without dire consequences. The measure of divine justice will be in keeping with how Edom had participated in Judah’s destruction - Edom will later became extinct and disappear in the pages of history (vv. 9-10, 18).