1 The vision of Obadiah.
This is what the Sovereign Lord says about Edom—We have heard a message from the Lord:
An envoy was sent to the nations to say, “Rise, let us go against her for battle”—
2 “See, I will make you small among the nations; you will be utterly despised.
3 The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rocks and
make your home on the heights, you who say to yourself, ‘Who can bring me down to the ground?’
4 Though you soar like the eagle and make your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down,”
declares the Lord.
The book of Obadiah is only twenty-one verses long. Twenty-one verses! To have an overarching view of this short book go the The Bible Project on Obadiah and watch almost five minutes of video not only for a summary of the book, but the ‘back story’ behind the book.
We know from verse one above this is a message from the Lord to Edom via the prophet Obadiah. Also, we know from verse three the pride of your heart has deceived you is the problem, not where they lived though their homes provided great defenses from attacks.
The whole southern country of the Edomites,” says Jerome, “from Eleutheropolis to Petra and Selah (which are the possessions of Esau), hath minute dwellings in caves; and on account of the oppressive heat of the sun, as being a southern province, hath underground cottages.” Its inhabitants, whom Edom expelled (Deuteronomy 2:12), were hence called Horites, i. e., dwellers in caves. Its chief city was called Selah or Petra, “rock.” It was a city single of its kind amid the works of man.
Barnes’ Notes on the Bible
During a trip to Israel a number of us took a day to go to Petra in Jordan and visited the Valley of the Kings where some of the movie Temple of Doom was filmed. There we observed many of these dwelling as well as many tombs and temples on the sides of the valley.
However, Obadiah makes clear it was not their high perches that deceived them, but the pride of their hearts.
Because of their pride they thought they could do as they pleased and do so without fearing the judgment of God. Thus when God sent judgment upon Judah and Jerusalem they sacked the outer cities and killed those fleeing the conquest of their own nation instead of offering assistance and help to the people of God. Even though the Edomites were of the bloodline of Abraham they had forgotten what God had promised Abram
I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you
Today it is easy for us to have pride in our hearts and question if we need God at all. After all we live in the strongest nation in the world, we have – in general – fine medical care, we have insurance for all sorts of protection. So what do we need God for? There is an old saying that says “If you live long enough, you will die.” None of us will get out of here alive and at the time of our death we will face a judgment. We will answer for all of our sins against God … unless we have gotten rid of the pride in our hearts and accepted the free gift of Grace through His Son Jesus the Christ.