The true God is the One Who ensures justice for all, even the most proud, and lofty of all. That is the theme of the book of Obadiah. This book is only twenty-one verses long, and speaks of the incessant hostility between the nation of Edom and the nation of Israel.

It all started in Genesis 25 when Esau (Edom), and Jacob (Israel) were born, reached a bit of a pinnacle hundreds of years later with Moses in Numbers 20:14-21, and then continued on-and-off throughout all the kings of Israel, reaching another pinnacle again in the days of Obadiah, and, if it is a different event, again in the days of Ezekiel (Ezekiel 35:1-15). This a prophecy by God Himself, that He is going to raise up an army to battle against Edom (Oba 1:1), and that He Himself will ensure the humbling of Edom (Oba 1:4).

Justice would come to Edom no matter how great their thoughts of themselves are (Oba 1:2-4). Justice would come to proud Edom as surely as a thief ransacking a house leaves nothing behind (Oba 1:5-6). Justice would come to Edom by turning their own wisdom and understanding into deception (Oba 1:7-8), and by turning their mighty men away in dismay (Oba 1:9).

The need for such justice was no secret. Edom had mistreated his brother Jacob ever since Genesis 25, and even stood proudly aloof when Jerusalem was plundered, making itself equally guilty of all the violence done (Oba 1:10-11).

Therefore, Obadiah warns Edom not to gloat over Israel as though Israel deserved judgment more than they themselves did (Oba 1:12-14). Just as the LORD had disciplined Israel for their sins, so the LORD would bring His day of reckoning to every nation, matching their judgment to their deeds (Oba 1:15-16).

One thing that would be very different between Israel and all the other nations, would be that Israel would recover again to the point of ruling over the other nations (Oba 1:17-21). The reason for this is because the Kingdom of Israel belongs to the LORD (Oba 1:21).

This one-chapter book is therefore a stunning testimony to how the justice of the LORD is perfect and without prejudice—He judges the proud from among His own nation as He does the proud from among the nations. But at the same time, the LORD still remains steadfast in His love for His own, and will at the end bring to pass all His promises to them.

There are two lines from the prophet Obadiah that sum up God’s justice,

As you have done, it shall be done to you;
your deeds shall return on your own head.

The kingdom shall be the LORD’s


* For further study on the continual fighting between Israel and Edom, read Genesis 25, Numbers 20:14-21, 2 Chronicles 28:16-17, Psalm 137:7 Ezekiel 35:1-15,