Peril of Pride

Key Verse: “The day of the LORD is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head.”
—Obadiah 15

Lesson Scriptures:
Obadiah; Jeremiah 49:14-17

OUR LESSON FOR TODAY revolves around a dream which Obadiah had. This dream concerned Edom. The Edomites, who were descendants of Esau (Gen. 32:3), were called dwellers in the “clefts of the rock.” (Jer. 49:16) The name Obadiah means ‘Servant of God.’ In his dream he saw the coming destruction of Edom and his part as an ambassador of the Lord in forecasting their doom.—Obad.1

Obadiah’s vision is almost word-for-word like that of Jeremiah, chapter forty-nine, where we read, “I have heard a rumour from the Lord, and an ambassador is sent unto the heathen, saying, Gather ye together, and come against her, and rise up to the battle. For, lo, I will make thee small among the heathen, and despised among men. Thy terribleness hath deceived thee, and the pride of thine heart, O thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, that holdest the height of the hill: though thou shouldest make thy nest as high as the eagle, I will bring thee down from thence, saith the Lord.”—Jer. 49:14-16

The lesson of Obadiah is about pride and hatred. The Edomites had a long-standing grudge against Israel since the days of Jacob and Esau. They imagined that Jacob had cheated their ancestor out of his birthright. (Gen. 25:31-34; 27:41) Later, they refused Israel passage through their country. (Num. 20:14-21) Finally, they rejoiced when Israel was captured by their enemies and the city of Jerusalem taken. (Ps. 137:7) As brethren, they should have felt remorse and pity for Israel, and have gone to their aid.

Living in the clefts of the rocks these people imagined themselves better than, and safer from, other nations around them. Today there are many nations whose pride puffs them up. Edom’s hatred for Israel, coupled with their pride and arrogance, caused God to say, “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?’” These ‘clefts of the rocks’ represent the great financial and religious institutions of power in today’s world. “‘Though you soar like the eagle and make your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down,’ declares the Lord.” (vss. 3-4, New International Version) Eagles live in the high places overlooking all below, making their nests among the stars.

The wise man Solomon wrote, “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” (Prov. 16:18) God hates pride (Prov. 6:17), and the Bible tells us about the pride of Lucifer, called “The day star.” (Job 38:7) This beautiful spiritual being became Satan, the one who brought sin, sickness, and death to all mankind. His pride and desire to become like God caused his downfall.—Isa. 14:12-14

Edom’s pride, likewise, was its downfall. The lesson for us is to erase pride from our hearts, and replace it with humility. “God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” (James 4:6) In the last verse of Obadiah we find Israel being saved from its heathen neighbors. The “saviours” mentioned are Christ and his church. (Zech. 14:9; Neh. 9:27) These saviors will eradicate all pride and bring in a kingdom of righteousness.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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