April 11, 2013

Revealing Christ in The Old Testament XXII: Where Eagles Dare

Obadiah…short book, short post. Lofty and mighty in its long term implications for God's chosen. As a matter of fact this post word for word will probably end up being longer than Obadiah itself.

On the outskirts of the Dead Sea lies a range of red sandstone heights. They are known as Mount Seir. It was there that Esau settled after he had given away his birthright. It had formerly been the residence of the Horites and they had occupied the entire mountain (range).

Genesis 14:6 ~and the Horites in their Mount Seir, as far as El-paran, which is by the wilderness”

Deuteronomy 2:12 ~ “The Horites formerly lived in Seir, but the sons of Esau dispossessed them and destroyed them from before them and settled in their place, just as Israel did to the land of their possession which the Lord gave to them.)

It is in this rise of stone that we find the capital Selah or as we understand it today- Petra. It is the Greek word for “Stone” or “Rock" for obvious reasons. Even today the uniqueness of the city is evident as it is literally carved into the side of the soft mountain sandstone. It sits like a nest high above in an inaccessible place. Literally, it is “where eagles dare.”

Obadiah 3-4 ~ ““The arrogance of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the 
rock, in the loftiness of your dwelling place, 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.

Yet we see in the above verses the judgment of Edom in their craggy mountain abode. A virtually unknown prophet of the living God foretells of the fall of the untouchables. God told Israel not to hate Edomites, but Edom had turned vicious to Israel. They had turned murderous and treacherous to their own by hating their brothers. They forbid passage through their land when the Israelites traveled from Egypt to Canaan.

Deuteronomy 23:7 ~ “You shall not detest an Edomite, for he is your brother; you shall not detest an Egyptian, because you were an alien in his land.

Numbers 20:18-21 ~ “…Edom, however, said to him, “You shall not pass through us, or I will come out with the sword against you.” Again, the sons of Israel said to him, “We will go up by the highway, and if I and my livestock do drink any of your water, then I will pay its price. Let me only pass through on my feet, nothing else.” But he said, “You shall not pass through.” And Edom came out against him with a heavy force and with a strong hand. Thus Edom refused to allow Israel to pass through his territory; so Israel turned away from him.

Because of Edom’s arrogance and cruelty they would be brought low and totally destroyed by decree of God. Nebuchadnezzar would crush them five years after the fall of Jerusalem. By the time of Rome’s capture of Jerusalem, Edom would disappear from history for goo.
God was clear:

Obadiah 1:15 ~  "For the day of the LORD draws near on all the nations. As you have done, it will be done to you. Your dealings will return on your own head.

So where is Christ in Obadiah? We see Him come to light in verse 15-21. We see Him in the deliverance of Israel. We see the deliverance of Zion.

Obadiah 17 ~ “But on Mount Zion there will be those who escape, and it will be holy. And the house of Jacob will possess their possessions.

We see a day when God’s people will repossess what was once theirs. What we see here is a day, a coming day, the Day of the Lord when Jesus will establish His messianic Kingdom. This has much deeper theological and spiritual implications but most are obvious and I won’t go into them here. There will come a time when God will not just reign in the house of Jacob but everywhere for all time.

This really small book shows something huge for a believer. It shows that those that invariably trust in God, they will be renewed and will be delivered in the Lord's strength and in His time, not ours.

Isaiah 40:31 ~ "Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.

Glory to God.

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