The Book of Obadiah is a short prophetic book in the Old Testament that contains a message of judgment and hope directed towards the nation of Edom, who were neighbors and adversaries of the government of Judah. The book emphasizes the consequences of pride, injustice, and violence and reveals God's sovereignty and justice over all nations. Below are the five most essential verses in Obadiah that explain the overall central message of the book:
"Behold, I will make you small among the nations; you shall be utterly despised." (Obadiah 1:2)
This verse sets the tone for the book by declaring the judgment that will come upon the nation of Edom for their pride and arrogance. The prophecy predicts they will be brought low and made insignificant among the nations.
"The violence done to your brother Jacob shall cover you, and you shall be cut off forever." (Obadiah 1:10)
This verse highlights the reason for Edom's judgment - their violence towards their brother nation of Jacob (Israel). The consequences of their actions will come upon them and lead to their ultimate destruction.
"But in Mount Zion, there shall be those who escape, and it shall be holy, and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions." (Obadiah 1:17)
This verse offers hope for the nation of Judah by promising that there will be survivors who escape the destruction and can return to their homeland and possess their possessions. Again, this speaks to God's faithfulness to His people and ultimate victory over their enemies.
"For the day of the Lord is near upon all the nations. As you have done, it shall be done to you; your deeds shall return on your head." (Obadiah 1:15)
This verse reveals the broader scope of God's judgment, which extends beyond Edom to all nations. It also emphasizes the principle of retribution, where actions have consequences, and the injustice and violence that Edom had committed would ultimately return upon them.
"And saviors shall come up on Mount Zion to rule Mount Esau, and the kingdom shall be the Lord's." (Obadiah 1:21)
This verse provides a vision of the future where the sovereignty of God will be established over all nations, including Edom. It also suggests that the government of Judah will play a role in this establishment, as "saviors" will come up on Mount Zion to rule over Mount Esau.
Conclusion: The Book of Obadiah presents a message of judgment against the nation of Edom for their pride, injustice, and violence towards their brother nation of Jacob.
However, the book reveals God's sovereignty and justice over all nations and offers hope for His people by promising restoration and victory over their enemies. The selected verses glimpse the book's central themes and demonstrate the principles of retribution and God's faithfulness to His people.