Generational Grudges


The lesson for each of us today, which is a lesson we have heard many times, is “As you have done, it will be done to you.”  We will reap what we sow.  In fact, the kingdom is the Lord’s.  Not ours.  Thy will be done. Thy kingdom come.  So why fight your brother?

3 The pride of your heart has deceived you,
you who live in the clefts of the rocks
and make your home on the heights,
you who say to yourself,
‘Who can bring me down to the ground?’
4 Though you soar like the eagle
and make your nest among the stars,
from there I will bring you down,”
declares the Lord.

10 Because of the violence against your brother Jacob,
you will be covered with shame;
you will be destroyed forever.
11 On the day you stood aloof
while strangers carried off his wealth
and foreigners entered his gates
and cast lots for Jerusalem,
you were like one of them.
12 You should not gloat over your brother
in the day of his misfortune,
nor rejoice over the people of Judah
in the day of their destruction,
nor boast so much
in the day of their trouble.

15 “The day of the Lord is near
for all nations.
As you have done, it will be done to you;
your deeds will return upon your own head.

21 Deliverers will go up on Mount Zion
to govern the mountains of Esau.
And the kingdom will be the Lord’s.
Obadiah 1:3-4, 10-12, 15, 21

Throughout scripture the sovereignty of God plays out.  Rulers of the nations can believe they have the power to do what they like and to advance their imperialistic plans, yet God is in control.  We see this today in the story of Edom and Judah, which is the story of Esau and Jacob.

Esau, as you might recall from Genesis 27, wants to kill Jacob for stealing his blessing as the favoured one of God.  The Edomites are the descendants of Esau, and they end up as the neighbours of Judah, who are descendants of Jacob.  When Babylon comes to overthrow Israel, which is the Lord’s exile of his people, Edom helps the enemy.

The message is clear. When we oppose God’s people, we oppose the Lord.  Edom can believe she is soaring like the eagle, yet God will bring her down. Particularly angering to the Lord is that Edom is doing this against her brother, Jacob.  The Lord inspires Obadiah to bring this right back to Jacob and Esau.  The jealousy of their forefathers shall not rule their relationship today, God is saying to Edom.

The lesson for each of us, which is a lesson we have heard many times, is “As you have done, it will be done to you” (vs. 15).  We will reap what we sow.  In fact, the kingdom (vs. 21) is the Lord’s.  Not ours.  Thy will be done. Thy kingdom come.

We often want things our way and if they go another way we blow up in a hissy fit which can last generations.  Grace should reign.  God’s sovereignty should be revered.  The in-fighting of brother against brother and sister against sister has no place in our vocabulary or actions, Christian.

Ephesians 2 outlines how Jesus brought all nations into a new humanity through his life and death and resurrection.  Sow into that new humanity.  Reap unity and thanksgiving as God’s children.

Amen.

Marc Kinna

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