This is the vision that the Sovereign Lord revealed to Obadiah concerning the land of Edom.
Obadiah 1:1a New Living Translation
The story of Edom and Israel is the story of a sibling rivalry that lasted for more than one thousand years. Just as Israel was a nation of descendants of Jacob, Edom was a nation formed by the descendants of his twin brother, Esau. Many years before the prophecy of Obadiah was written, Esau had held a grudge against Jacob for tricking him out of his birthright and blessing from their father, Isaac. Even though Esau had reconciled with Jacob while they were both still alive, Edom was a constant challenge to Israel throughout its history. It began with the king of Edom not allowing the wandering Israelites to pass through their territory during their journey from slavery in Egypt to the land God had promised them. The battles continued through the period of the kings of Israel and into the period of the exile of Israel and after.
God’s message to Edom through Obadiah is a warning to all of us who carry grudges toward another person. The grudge between Edom and Israel had grown so much that Edom celebrated when Israel and Judah were taken away into exile. As we read through the prophecy of Obadiah we see that God was not pleased with the attitude of the Edomites toward their ancient cousins and they were going to experience the consequences of their attitude and actions. God doesn’t look kindly toward the grudges we hold either. He calls us to a life of relationships of reconciliation. Holding a grudge toward another person diminishes our ability to live in that reconciliation and keeps us from fully experiencing the freedom that comes through a life of reconciled relationship with God.
God, it is Your hope that we experience reconciliation in all of our relationships. Help us to let go of all past hurt and grudges we hold toward others in our lives.