THE WORD: God will keep his promises

PHOTO CAPTION: “Esau and Jacob” by Matthias Stom (circa 1640) is a painting in the Hermitage Museum Saint Petersburg, Russia. (Public Domain)

Obadiah follows the books of Philemon, Third John and Second John on the list of the shortest books of the Bible. Like the others on this list, Obadiah is a single chapter. It has fewer verses than Philemon, with 21, but has more words.

The Book of Obadiah is the shortest book in the Old Testament and concerns the fall of Edom, a nation founded by Jacob’s brother Esau. For much of its history, Edom was controlled by Jerusalem. But, when the Babylonians sacked Jerusalem, the Edomites helped the Babylonians loot the city.

The prophet Obadiah delivered a simple message to the Edomites: God will keep his promises to Israel. The entire book of Obadiah was a message from God to the people of Edom condemning their actions in helping outsiders take over the lands of Israel. God, through Obadiah, warned the people of Edom that when people place themselves in opposition to God’s people, they will be judged.

Obadiah: 15-17

15 For the day of the Lord is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head. 16 For as ye have drunk upon my holy mountain, so shall all the heathen drink continually, yea, they shall drink, and they shall swallow down, and they shall be as though they had not been. 17 But upon mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.