14 I have heard a message from the Lord; an envoy was sent to the nations to say,
“Assemble yourselves to attack it! Rise up for battle!”
15 “Now I will make you small among the nations, despised by mankind.
16 The terror you inspire and the pride of your heart have deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rocks,
who occupy the heights of the hill. Though you build your nest as high as the eagle’s,
from there I will bring you down,” declares the Lord.
This section, verses 7-22 of chapter 49 is strictly about Edom and in the NIV has the title A Message About Edom. It is not a good message at all. Preceding the verses above we have
12 This is what the Lord says: “If those who do not deserve to drink the cup must drink it, why should you go unpunished? You will not go unpunished, but must drink it. 13 I swear by myself,” declares the Lord, “that Bozrah will become a ruin and a curse*, an object of horror and reproach; and all its towns will be in ruins forever.”
*its name will be used in cursing
Looking at verse sixteen, we see once again it is the pride of the heart that deceives. When I looked at all the English translations here all but a few used the word pride and most of them used arrogance. Though we seldom think of it that way, pride often times is a form of arrogance – especially when it is our opinion verses what God tells us concerning what we should be doing. Where does our pride or arrogance reside? The verse answers that question for us, in our hearts as the vast majority of the translations point as well.
Because the Edomites live in the mountains – the clefts of the rocks, occupying the heights of the hill – they thought themselves save from attack. So they would attack whomever they wished and retreat to what they thought was real safety. God was about to punish both their behavior and their beliefs about their safety.
20 Therefore, hear what the Lord has planned against Edom, what he has purposed against those who live in Teman:
The young of the flock will be dragged away; their pasture will be appalled at their fate.
21 At the sound of their fall the earth will tremble; their cry will resound to the Red Sea.
22 Look! An eagle will soar and swoop down, spreading its wings over Bozrah.
In that day the hearts of Edom’s warriors will be like the heart of a woman in labor.
How often do we think we are safe from God’s judgment? After all we have great health care, most of us have insurance, and most of us live in the greatest nation in the world. What could go wrong? Everything. Anything. Accidents happen every day. A few months ago, a young man (18) and his younger brother (14) were on their way home and something happened. The van they were in went off the road, flipped over, and went into a pond where they both drowned. Were they ready to meet God? Did they know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. I hope so. How about you and your loved ones? Are they ready?
There is an old joke that asks “Why do so many old people study the Bible?” The answer is “Finals.” The problem is finals can come any day at any age as the two brothers found out. Are you and your loved ones ready for finals? Or are you putting it off, after all there is still plenty of time. Is there?