A Special People

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Obadiah 1-10

TO CHEW ON: "Because of the violence against your brother Jacob, you will be covered with shame; you will be destroyed forever." Obadiah 1:10

Do you have brothers and/or sisters with whom you quarrel? Arguments and quarrels between siblings are common. Bible brothers and sisters had their differences too.

Take Jacob and Esau. Though they were twins, they were always competing against each other. Jacob tricked Esau into giving him the birthright (the inheritance that belonged to Esau as the oldest). Then he tricked Isaac, their father, into blessing him instead of Esau. This made Esau so angry, he threatened to kill Jacob. So Jacob left home.

"Isaac and Esau" Fresco painting by Raphael (1518-1519)

Over the years the descendants of Esau became the nation of Edom. Jacob’s descendants became Israel. But there was no more love between the nations of Edom and Israel than there had been between their great-great-great-... grandfathers.

"Obadiah" painted by James Tissot

When Nebuchaednezzar destroyed and looted Judah, he was joined by soldiers from Edom. They took stuff from Judah for themselves and turned the Israelite people who tried to escape over to Nebuchadnezzar.

It was at this time that the prophet Obadiah lived. The book he wrote is short (one chapter). It was a message condemning Edom for their treatment of the Jews. Obadiah scolded them for their pride. He told Edom that though they thought their strong cities couldn’t be conquered, because they had mistreated the Jews, they would be defeated and disappear as a nation. And this happened. After 70 A.D. there is no more mention of Edom anywhere in history.

Still today the Jews have a special place in God’s heart (Deuteronomy 26:18,19). They are the people through whom God chose to bring His Son Jesus to earth. God has promised to raise them up as a strong nation again (Deuteronomy 30:3). God promises to bless those that bless and help the Jews (Genesis 12:3).

Though we may not understand or agree with everything that modern Israel does, God’s feelings about Israel haven’t changed. This nation is still His treasured possession. It is a nation Christians everywhere love and pray for.

PRAYER: Dear God, please bless the nation of Israel and the Jewish people. Amen.

MORE: Jews in the News

1. Since Israel became a nation again in 1946, there has been a lot of conflict in the Middle East between the Jewish people and their neighbors.

- Using newspapers and/or the internet, find out what is presently happening in Israel.

2. Pray for Israel’s peace (Psalm 122:6).

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