Teaching Sermons For Pastors and Laymen

I SAW ESAU

   Obadiah 1:1-1:6

  

 

 1 The vision of Obadiah. Thus says the Lord GOD concerning Edom: We have heard tidings from the Lord, and a messenger has been sent among the nations: “Rise up! let us rise against her for battle!”
2 Behold, I will make you small among the nations, you shall be utterly despised.
3 The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rock, whose dwelling is high, who say in your heart, “Who will bring me down to the ground?”
4 Though you soar aloft like the eagle, though your nest is set among the stars, thence I will bring you down, says the Lord.
5 If thieves came to you, if plunderers by night— how you have been destroyed! — would they not steal only enough for themselves? If grape gatherers came to you, would they not leave gleanings?
6 How Esau has been pillaged, his treasures sought out!


WHO IS OBADIAH?  The man who wrote this.

 

He is one of four prophets that we know nothing about except what it says about them in their book of prophecy.

 

Esau’s name means "Servant of Jehovah." 

 

Obadiah ministered to the southern kingdom of Judah, and he was also God’s messenger to Edom, Judah’s hostile neighbor across the Dead Sea.

 

The Old Testament describes a history of conflict between these two nations.  

 

Obadiah proclaimed God’s judgment on Edom for injustices done to Judah, and also God’s future blessings on His people.

 

The book of Obadiah is the shortest book in the Old Testament.

 

It is a little book with a really big message.

 

It has a message for the world in which we live.

 

It has a message for America.

 

It has a message for Laurens, South Carolina.

 

It has a message for ______________________.   

 

It has a message for you and for me.

 

We need to hear that message, but first you may be asking--

WHO IS EDOM?

 

Verse 6 is the key verse: “How Esau has been pillaged, his treasures sought out!” 

                           

EDOM IS ESAU.

 

The Edomites are the descendants of Esau.

Genesis 36:1, 8, and 9 talk about Esau. 

 

Verse 1 says, “Now these are the generations of Esau, who is Edom.

 

And verses 8 and 9 add this: {8} Thus dwelt Esau in mount Seir: Esau is Edom. {9} And these are the generations of Esau the father of the Edomites in mount Seir:

 

God says that the nation of Edom stands for Esau.

Esau’s story is the story of twins.

 

It’s found in Genesis 25:19-34.

 
If you think the story took place like this --"Poor old Esau was out in the field and was just about dead from hunger and Jacob took advantage of him and stole his birthright"—you’re wrong.

 

That birthright meant nothing to Esau.

 

He is the true picture of one controlled by the flesh nature.

 

This is how Genesis reports what happened when Esau sold his birthright; beginning in verse 19.

 

19 This is the story of Isaac's children:

20 Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel the Aramean from Paddan-aram. Rebekah was the sister of Laban.

21 Isaac pleaded with Jehovah to give Rebekah a child, for even after many years of marriage she had no children. Then at last she became pregnant.

22 And it seemed as though children were fighting each other inside her! "I can't endure this," she exclaimed. So she asked the Lord about it.

23 And he told her, "The sons in your womb shall become two rival nations. One will be stronger than the other; and the older shall be a servant of the younger!"

24 And sure enough, she had twins.

25 The first was born so covered with reddish hair that one would think he was wearing a fur coat! So they called him "Esau."

26 Then the other twin was born with his hand on Esau's heel! So they called him Jacob (meaning "Grabber"). Isaac was sixty years old when the twins were born.

27 As the boys grew, Esau became a skillful hunter, while Jacob was a quiet sort who liked to stay at home.

28 Isaac's favorite was Esau, because of the venison he brought home, and Rebekah's favorite was Jacob.

29 One day Jacob was cooking stew when Esau arrived home exhausted from the hunt.

30 Esau (said): "Boy, am I starved! Give me a bite of that red stuff there!" (From this came his nickname "Edom," which means "Red Stuff.")

31 Jacob (replied): "All right, trade me your birthright for it!"

32 Esau (said): "When a man is dying of starvation, what good is his birthright?"

33 Jacob( answered): "Well then, vow to God that it is mine!" And Esau vowed, thereby selling all his eldest-son rights to his younger brother.

34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread, peas, and stew; so he ate and drank and went on about his business, indifferent to the loss of the rights he had thrown away.

  Gen 25:19-34 (Living)


WE HAVE BEEN TO THE FIRST BOOK OF THE OLD TESTAMENT - NOW LET LOOK AT THE LAST BOOK OF THE O.T.

 

It also has a message about EASU.


I will read Mal 1:1-3 for you.  

 

Malachi means, “my messenger.” 

 

He is the Western Union boy who brings the last message from God to Israel. 

 

After this there will be 400 years of silence from heaven, until John the Baptist begins his ministry of preparing the way for Jesus.

 

Here is part of that message: “An oracle(means a prophesy): The word of the LORD to Israel through Malachi. "I have loved you," says the LORD. "But you ask, ’How have you loved us?’ "Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?" the LORD says. "Yet I have loved Jacob, but Esau I have hated, and I have turned his mountains into a wasteland and left his inheritance to the desert jackals."

 

The Word from God is a judgment, and it will be a very strong and harsh rebuke that God will give them.

WHY DID GOD HATE ESAU?


A student came in and said to Bro. Reed (The president of the seminary) "I have a problem".

 

"What is your problem," ask Bro. Reed?

"I don’t understand why God said He hated Esau?" the student replied.


Bro. Reed responded, "I have a problem with that passage also, but my problem is different than yours. I don’t know how God could have LOVED JACOB?"

 

Let me make this a little personal, I don’t understand why God loves Tom Lowe and puts up with me, but believe me, I am thankful that He does.  

 

Malachi’s message starts out in this very marvelous, wonderful way: "I have loved you," says the LORD.”

 

Isn’t that a wonderful way to begin!

 

Now how do you think these people are going to respond to that? 

 

Allow me to fill you in on what has happened to Israel before you answer. 

 

Israel was defeated and taken captive. 

 

Jerusalem was leveled and for all practical purposes the nation ceased to exist. 

 

But now they had returned to the land and under the leadership of Nehemiah they have rebuilt Jerusalem and the temple. 

 

They are becoming prosperous again and are going through a form of worship. 

 

They are going through the ritual of worship, and on the surface everything looks good. 

 

But, you see, they are a sarcastic, stuck-up, sophisticated, carefree group! 

 

God says to them, “I have loved you, saith the Lord.” 

 

Now listen to their reply, “How have you loved us?” 

 

Can you believe that these people would have the audacity to speak to God like that?  

 

I am not sure, but I believe there are a lot of people in churches today who would raise that same question and say, “Look at the things that are happening to us today.  How can you say that God loves us?” 

 

Well God made it very clear to Israel from the very beginning that He loved them. 

 

It’s interesting that you go a long way into the Bible before you find God telling anybody that He loved them.  

 

But when you get to Deuteronomy, there is Moses who has been in the wilderness for forty years, and it is going to be pretty hard for anybody to believe that God loves him. 

 

But listen to what Moses says in Deuteronomy 10:15: “Only the Lord had a delight in thy fathers to love them…” 

 

God simply had not been saying that to anyone. 

 

You go through the time of the flood and afterwards, and God never told anyone that. 

 

God didn’t tell Abraham that He loved him, but He did, of course. 

 

The point is that God was in no hurry to let mankind know that He loved them. 

 

But He says here, “Only the Lord had a delight in thy fathers to love them, and He chose their seed after them, even you above all people, as it is this day.”

 

Now God is prepared to prove what He has said, and His answer is this: "Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?" the LORD says. "Yet I have loved Jacob, but Esau I have hated, and I have turned his mountains into a wasteland and left his inheritance to the desert jackals." 

 

This is a tremendous statement that God makes to them. 

 

The people were questioning, they doubted the love of God, and God reminds them of the origin of their nation. 

 

Jacob and Esau were twins. 

 

God made a difference between them at the very beginning, because we reed, “And it seemed as though children were fighting each other inside her! "I can't endure this," she exclaimed. So she asked the Lord about it.  And he told her, "The sons in your womb shall become two rival nations. One will be stronger than the other; and the older shall be a servant of the younger!"  

 

But it would be about 1500 years before he stated as He does here that He loved Jacob. 

 

This presents a problem: Why would God say that He loved Jacob and hated Esau? 

 

Folks, the real problem here is why God would say that He loved this people, Israel. 

 

But let’s understand one thing: God never said this until Jacob and Esau had become two great nations which had long histories. 

 

Therefore, God said that He loved Jacob because of the fact that He knew what was in Jacob’s heart. 

 

He knew that here was a man who had a desire for Him and that Esau did not have a desire for Him at all. 

 

But it had to be worked out in 1500 years of history before God was prepared to make the kind of statement that He makes here in Malachi. 

 

We need to understand that the difference here between loving and hating is simply that the life of the nation that came from Esau, which is Edom, and the life of the nation which cane from Jacob, which is Israel, demonstrates that God was right when He said that He loved the one and hated the other. 

 

All this reveals something that we need to face up to today. 

 

We have concentrated so much on the love of God. 

 

Do you know that if God loves, God also hates—because you cannot love without hating? 

 

As someone has said, love and hate are very close together. 

 

If God loves the good, He has to hate the evil—it couldn’t be otherwise—and that is exactly what we find here. 

 

The histories of the nation of Israel and the nation of Edom are all together different. 

 

God says that because of Esau’s life, because of the evil which was inborn in this man and which worked itself into the nation of Edom; He is justified in making this statement.


So it is easy to understand why God loved Jacob.

 

But why did God hate Esau.

 

I have tried to answer in generalities, but now I will give you some specifics.

 

The answer is found in the book of Obadiah.


The Edomites were the decendants of Esau.

 

They were 250,000 strong at the time of the writing of this book.

 

They had built their strong hold in the side of a mountain.

 

They thought they were impregnable.

 

They had become allies of Israel’s enemies.

 

They were a thorn in Israel’s side.

 

They helped in the plundering and destruction of Jerusalem.

 

The best dating of this book of Obadiah is about 587/586 BC.

Listen to VERSE 6 again: “How Esau has been pillaged, his treasures sought out!”  

 

It is a microscope.

 

God is going to put Edom under the microscope and we will see some things that are not visible otherwise.

Look, under the microscope and see how it magnifies.

 

There is not just one Esau now - Now there are 250,000 little Esau’s running around.

 

The pimple that was EASU has now become a raging, festering, cancer.

What is wrong with Edom?


Verse 3 tell us what is wrong with Edom: “The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rock, whose dwelling is high, who say in your heart, “Who will bring me down to the ground?”

PRIDE - DECEPTION - FALSE SECURITY

I. THEY WERE EATEN UP WITH PRIDE:

Folks, WE HAVE LOST OUR PERSPECTIVE OF SIN.


Suppose one member of my church is committing adultery or drunk or stoned on drugs, a thief, murderer, etc.

 

However, suppose I told you that one of our members has a proud spirit.

PRIDE IS A DEADLY SIN.


Proverbs 6:16-19 declares, “These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”

 

God definitely says that He hates that.

 

He hates these things, and we ought to put them on our hate list too.

 

You see, God loves, but also God hates. 

 

These things are all works of the flesh. 

 

A proud look is the attitude that overvalues self and under values others. 

 

This is pride. 

 

It is that thought of the heart, that little look and that turn of the face, that flash of the eye which says you are better than someone else. 

 

God says, “I hate it!” 

 

It is number one on His list. 

 

He puts it ahead of murder and ahead of drunkenness.  

 

God hates the proud look. 

 

Do you know the first overt act of sin in heaven, the original sin, was pride? 

 

It was when Satan, Lucifer, son of the morning, Said in his heart, “I will ascend into heaven, I will exhalt my throne above the stars of God: I will set also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High” (Isa. 14:13-14).

 

And he is the one who came to man in the Garden of Eden and said, “Ye shall be as gods.”

Proverbs 21:4 states, “An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing (work) of the wicked, is sin.”

 

What is a “high look?” 

 

Let me explain it like this, since it may have happened to you. 

 

You walk into church one Sunday morning and there stands Mr. Jones or Mr. Smith and he turns his head so he doesn’t have to speak to you. 

 

Maybe no one else saw that “high look” but God did. 

 

God calls it sin, and it is as much of a sin as going out and getting drunk. 

James 4:6 says, “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.”

 

This is the kind of container that God’s grace must be carried in; it must be carried in a humble individual.

PRIDE IS AMERICA’S DEADLY SIN.


God saves the drunks, prostitutes, the down and out, gutter rat sinner but He resists the proud.

LET ME GIVE YOU A DEFINITION OF PRIDE: Pride is the attitude of a life that declares its ability to live without God.

Esau said, "I’d rather have a bowl of soup than to be the spiritual leader in my family.”

 

Believe me when I say there are millions that have that same frame of mind today.

BUT what about the Edomites?

 

II. THEY WERE DECEIVING THEMSELVES:

They had built their fortress in the mountain.

 

They thought they were impregnable.

I am afraid that our nation has believed that our security is in the government, the military and in our human effort.

 

We are only deceiving ourselves if we trust any other power but that of God.


That is what we call--

III. FALSE SECURITY

We thought as Americans that we were immune from attack from foreign powers, but 9-11 taught us different.

 

America’s strength has never been in the war machines that we have built, but in the FAITH we put in our God.

 

Our money says, "IN GOD WE TRUST" and when our nation puts its FAITH in something other than that we will end up like the EDOMITES.

 

CONCLUSION:

 

What are you putting your faith in today?

 

If your hand is in any thing other than the nailed scarred hand - you have false security.

 

If you believe you can make it without God, you are in the state of Pride.

 

 

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