Pride loses again!
Scripture reading for September 17th: Obadiah
Jacob and Esau were twin brothers. Prophesy was given over them even before they were born that there would be conflict with each other. Esau was the first-born and Jacob came out holding onto his brother’s heel. A spiritual conflict ensued that caused these brothers and their descendants to be in a struggle that lasted for hundreds of years. Jacob got Esau’s birthright for a bowl of soup. (Genesis 25:32-34) Jacob stole his brother’s blessing from their father Isaac with the help of their mother Rebekah. Esau was furious and held a grudge against Jacob, plotting to kill him. (Genesis 27:41) Jacob fled to Paddan Aram, to Laban’s house to find a wife. (Genesis 28:1-3) Esau had upset his parents by marrying Hittite women who were idolaters! (Genesis 27:44) So this conflict between two brothers smoldered like a fire, particularly in the heart of Esau!
Now, over 500 years later, Obadiah the prophet is sent with a message for Esau’s descendants. They had become a nation that was dwelling next to Israel and Judah but still held a grudge! They had pride in their hearts that they in their own power and strength would make their own way. (Obadiah 3-4) They had violence in their hearts against their brother Jacob and stood aloof while Jacob was under attack. (Obadiah 10-12) They had looked down on their brothers when they were being overtaken by foreigners and actually rejoiced over their misfortune rather than helping to defend them. (Obadiah 12-14) God’s message was that as they had done, it would be done to them! Edom would reap what they had sowed and their pride would result in the destruction of the House of Esau! (Obadiah 15-18)
We can all learn from this sad story! A grudge held can infect a family which can eventually destroy a nation of people. Esau’s grudge was never fully dealt with! Esau’s focus on his own needs, appetites, and personal pride caused his family and eventually a nation that came from him to dwell in pride. This pride and despising of their brothers resulted in God’s judgment and their destruction! Unforgiveness is just as dangerous for us today! It will isolate us from our family and open us up to the enemy of our souls. It will cut us off from God’s grace! Jesus Christ died to heal our broken family ties and restore us to God’s family! Take time today to ask for God’s mercy and forgiveness! Humility always wins and defeats pride’s death traps!