Long ago, Obadiah described how God would deal with the nations who mistreated His people, Israel. While this was an ancient man writing about ancient nations, please don’t check out – there is still much for us to learn!
First, we see the loving concern of our God for His people. That was true then, and it remains true today. We also learn that the nature of mankind has not changed much over time either. The Edomites (descendants of Isaac’s twin brother, Esau) were constant thorns in Israel’s side. Of them, Obadiah wrote:
The pride of your heart has deceived you… who say in your heart, “Who will bring me down to the ground?” (Obadiah 1:3)
In the next verse, we read that God could (and did) take Edom down. But, what stuck out to me was what led to Edom’s destruction – their pride. They had arrogantly thumbed their collective noses at God. Unfortunately, what Edom did any other nation is capable of as well. Even more frightening, every individual is also at risk.
Pride in this verse refers to an “arrogant presumptiveness.” Pride presumes that we are better than others, we know better than others, and we don’t need God. Is it any wonder God opposes the proud (James 4:6)? Yet, pride has one quality that allows it to flourish – its ability to deceive the heart of its owner. Actually, “deceive” comes from a word that means debt or credit. The ironic reality is that pride owns the heart of the person where it resides, and they don’t even know it.
Because that’s true, we are the last one to recognize our own pride. May I encourage you to humbly ask those around you to point out your own areas of pride? Then submit those things to Christ. Don’t be deceived any longer; and don’t risk the humbling hand of God. –Dave
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