Q&A: What is the general theme of Obadiah?

What is the general theme of Obadiah?

Question

What is the general theme of Obadiah?

Answer

Obadiah's prophecy concerns Edom (Obad.1:1) and is repeatedly addressed to that nation, but it was given to the covenant community as holy Scripture. It's purpose, therefore, is to reassure God's people of His triumphant justice at work for them more than to warn Edom of imminent judgment. Judah lay defeated, Edom prospered, and the moral order of the world appeared to have been overthrown by lawless forces. The prophet Obadiah was raised up with a message of God's sovereign justice in order to strengthen his people's weakened faith; it is the righteous purpose of God, not the evil will of men, that determines history.

When the church suffers at the hands of God's enemies, she needs to return to the prophecy of Obadiah and renew her faith in the just God who is revealed there. He cares for His persecuted people, and he is always at work for them behind their present circumstances.

Reference

Whitlock, L. G., Sproul, R. C., Waltke, B. K., & Silva, M. (1995). Reformation Study Bible. Nashville: T. Nelson.

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill).