John Greenleaf Whittier wrote, "For of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: 'It might have been!'"
Harriet Beecher Stowe said this, "The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone."
What message is being conveyed in these two pithy sayings? The message seems to be that the saddest words of all are words or thoughts of regret. Words of regret spoken after disasters are so tragic!
Proud Edom, comfortable and resolute in proud deceit that nothing could ever harm them has seen their destruction. Their pride led to their very great problem. Their problem was the abandonment of their brother in time of need, the gloating over their brother's destruction, and the participation in plundering their defeated brothers goods. This problem led to their punishment by God.
Judgment fell on Edom and God caused them to drink from the very same cup that their brother Judah drank from. Edom was overthrown and destroyed. The house of Jacob and the house of Joseph burned the house of Edom as fire burns and consumes stubble. The punishment was so severe that God promised Edom that there would be no survivors of the house of Edom. This leads us then to:
Verses 19-21 Edom's Penalty
God has told how Israel will be used as a "flame" to thoroughly burn up and destroy Edom. God now shows how He will "redistribute" the people of Israel throughout the various regions in the area. Included in this "redistribution" Israel will be expand into the mountain areas of Esau.
The children of Israel that are scattered in the Negev or the very southern desert will become the new owners of the land of Edom. The children of God which had been scattered to the Shephelah (a region still unknown today, although may have been in the area of modern Turkey) will be given ownership over the land occupied by the Philistines. So Obadiah indicates that God's children will move into areas occupied by Ephraim, Samaria, Gilead, the Canaanites. The Israelites that have been scattered by Babylon will be regathered one day and will occupy the land as God gave it to them.
God will appoint men who can lead armies and will gain ownership of all this land. They will then set up governments that will rule justly and righteously under God.
So what is Edom's Penalty? They forfeited any right to their land and any right in the future plans of God. They will not retain their precious mountain region where they felt so secure and superior. They will not be part of God fulfilling His promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They will not receive any inheritance in the promised land. That my friend is a terrible penalty to pay for pride.
In the coming Day of the LORD, God is going to judge the nations for the mistreatment of His covenant people. He has already judged and destroyed Edom because of Edom's pride and participation in Judah's destruction. Isn't ironic, when God restores Judah to its land, God is going to give Judah Edom's territory.
How sad to think of what could have been? Edom could have had a part in the blessing and redistribution of God's people. But alas, they will have no part! Instead of keeping what was theirs and maybe receiving more, they are wiped out.
We must always be on guard against forfeiting God's blessing by our own pride and sin. We will not be destroyed nor forfeit our inheritance in Christ when we sin, but the penalty (chastisement or discipline) can be severe. Their are consequences to sin, even to those children of God who are forgiven and redeemed. Edom paid a terrible penalty for their pride.
************************************** 30 Days of Thanksgiving!
I am thankful for the snow. Longview received her first snow fall November 21 and then some more the morning of November 22nd this year. I love the snow and thank God for it.
"God thunders wondrously with his voice, he does great things that we cannot comprehend. For to the snow he says, 'Fall on the earth,' likewise to the downpour, his mighty downpour." Job 37:5-6 (ESV)
Thank you Lord that you told the snow to fall on Longview, if only for a couple of hours and it did not stick!
"Have you entered the storehouses of the snow or have you seen the storehouses of the hail, ..." Job 38:22 (ESV)
I wonder what those storehouses look like? I once worked in the ice cream producing factory of Alta Dena Dairy and it was 50 degrees below zero in our warehouse. What must those storehouses be like?