This Day in History: 0000-02-04

February 4 – Obadiah 1:15-18 

The day is near when I, the Lord, will judge all godless nations!
As you have done to Israel, so it will be done to you.
All your evil deeds will fall back on your own heads. 
Just as you swallowed up My people on My holy mountain, 
so you and the surrounding nations will swallow the punishment I pour out on you.
Yes, all the nations will drink and stagger and disappear from history.
But Jerusalem will become a refuge for those who escape; it will be a holy place.
And the people of Israel will come back to reclaim their inheritance.
The people of Israel will be a raging fire, and Edom a field of dry stubble.
The descendants of Joseph will be a flame roaring across the field, devouring everything.
There will be no survivors in Edom. I, the Lord, have spoken! 

Just in case any one of us has any doubt, let these verses remind us, the nation of Israel is precious to our Lord. They are His chosen people, and though we have been grafted into that honored family through our faith in Jesus, it does not negate His fierce love for them. May the first lesson we draw from this passage in Obadiah be a simple, yet urgent warning – never, ever mess with Israel! This is not the only place in Scripture the warning is given – “As you have done to Israel, so it will be done to you!” May we be faithful to extend our loyalty and protection to that holy nation! 

But there’s more to this passage than a promise from God to repay every evil brought against His people. So much more. There is also the undeniable reminder that the story God is writing across the pages of history is not yet completed. He has made promises about what is to come that remain unfulfilled, but this is not a sign of His errancy, or His abandonment. Rather, it is the assurance we need to remember His timetable is so different than our own. In the scope of it all, we are but a breath. He alone knows the beginning from the end.  

Yet, if His faithfulness to Israel can span so many millennia, how much more His faithfulness to us! His love for them, the ones who denied and crucified His Son, is so fierce and unyielding that He will continue to place them under His unforgetting protection until the day when He sets all things right. So how much more will He continue to keep His new covenant with those of us on whom He’s placed the seal of His own Holy Spirit? 

His promises to us are many, and we can count on them! Because once the Sovereign Lord has spoken, it is certain!