July 1 (Daily reading: Obadiah; Psalms 82-83) The identity of Obadiah, who wrote this short book, is not clear. But more important is the message of his vision. Why would he prophesy against the Edomites, descendants of Esau, at this particular time? We have already discussed that we are to avoid the attitude of independence, or more clearly, of non-dependence on God, that was exhibited by Esau. Maybe this is a reminder!
We do not want to be like Esau, who, in the act of despising his birthright, was elevating himself – he was refusing to accept God’s right to control his life. Pride is evident in the words: “‘The arrogance of your heart has deceived you, you…who say in your heart, ‘Who will bring me down to earth?’ Though you build high like the eagle, though you set your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down,’ declares the LORD” (Obadiah, 3-4). Remember the proverb: “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall” (Prov. 16:18, NIV).
Asaph wrote in Psalm 83 that Esau’s descendants, “the tents of Edom and Amalek,” conspired against God’s “treasured ones” and that they were dedicated to their destruction (vv. 4-7). Christians appear to be more and more under attack by unbelievers in our time, but our biggest enemy may be ourselves. Satan’s goals have not changed, and his methods can be subtle. He would influence Christians to possess the self-centered spirit that Esau had, which would deny God control over their lives. John warned us that “the spirit of the antichrist…is already in the world” (1 Jn. 4:3). There is clearly an “anti-Christ” spirit in America. Let us be sure that our witness to the lifechanging love, grace, forgiveness, and power of Christ is stronger than ever!
– Al Gary