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Friday, August 5, 2016

A False Sense of Security (Obadiah 1:3-4)

"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?' Though you soar like the eagle and make your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down," declares the LORD."

The Edomites answer to God for distancing themselves, for standing 'aloof' (1:11) from Israel when Israel is attacked and carried away to Babylon. It is easy to distance ourselves from the troubles of others while we sit in our high tech dens and comfortable sanctuaries. Our padded lives create an illusion of safety.

I immediately think of our Indian brothers and sisters in Christ who lost their lives this past week as their villages were burned by Islamic radicals. We cannot imagine the ashes of our homes nor the deaths of our own children at the hands of such evil men. Generations of American Christians have lived safely tucked into the protective 'clefts of the rock' of our constitution which promises us freedom of worship and high nests fluffed with plenty which creates a false sense of security. We've found ourselves not needing God very much. Therefore, we may not be as immune, as we think we are, to persecution because of our faith in Christ.

Pride distances itself from the suffering of others and creates an illusion of security with emotional and physical 'clefts' and 'nests' yet the clefts we seek and the nests we build cannot escape the storms of life and God. Just as God promises Edom's downfall so He promises the downfall of those who are proud (Proverbs 16:18).

Edom teaches us that God's judgments are inescapable and that God holds those who have the ability and resources to help responsible. Those who hide themselves from their responsibility toward others cannot escape God's judgment.

Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading:
Jeremiah 22:24-23:8; 2 Kings 24:10-17; 2 Chronicles 36:10
  • Who does God hold responsible for allowing the people to scatter and live in sin?
  • What does God promise that He will do for the remnant of the people?
  • How does King Jehoiachin compare or differ with the promised coming king?
  • What does Daniel prophecy regarding the coming king and His kingdom in Daniel 2:44?
  • Why does Nebuchadnezzar remove all the treasures of the temple?
  • Review the Kingdom time line in the front of your Bible and note how many years between Johoichin's captivity and the end of Zedekiah's reign.
Jeremiah 49:1-33
  • What does God promise regarding the Ammonites? the Edomites? the people of Damascus? people of Hazor?
  • What does this tell you about God and his activity in history?
  • Review Daniel 2:21. What does Daniel understand about God and earthly rulers?
Obadiah (Obadiah prophesies against the Edomites who descended from Esau; they were hostile, militarily strong, and wanted nothing to do with Israel's God.)
  • How does God respond to the Edomite's treatment of Israel? What does this tell you about God?
  • What does God promise the Israelite exiles that will happen in the future? What does this promise do for them?
  • Read Isaiah 46:9-11. When does God declare the end? What happens when God makes promises regarding future events?
  • Who does God use to accomplish His purposes?
Turning Truth Into Prayer
Pray for the persecuted church around the world, especially those who live in India and are suffering for their faith in Christ.