This is Episode #267 and today we’ll read the books of Obadiah and Jonah together. We could call them, the book of Pride and the book of Stubbornness.
Joy: You’re listening to Season 2 of the Lifting Her Voice podcast. This is Episode #267 and today we’ll read the books of Obadiah and Jonah together. We could call them, the book of Pride and the book of Stubbornness.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Season 2! I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me – from the beginning – simply reading God’s word together. We built some spiritual muscles in 2020 with just the New Testament. But this year we’re going all out, cover-to-cover, Old Testament and New. So, whether with your first cup in the morning, your commute to work, or as the last thing on your mind before sleep, God’s Word will equip you for every good work. I’m really glad you’re here!
Intro to Obadiah and Jonah
It’s a good thing you’ve read the book of Genesis because you already know how and why there was so much animosity between Israel and Edom. As in most of the books of the prophets, Obadiah preaches about the coming judgement of, not only Edom, but all the nations. But, as in most of the books of the prophets, God offers hope of restoration.
The book of Jonah is a little different. The book focuses on two things. First, Ninevah and how God wants to use Jonah to give this pagan nation a chance to repent. Second, Jonah himself and his incredible stubbornness. He actually accuses God of being too compassionate.
I encourage you to watch both of the overview videos at The Bible Project for more details on these valuable little books.
Obadiah Chapter 1
The vision of Obadiah.
Edom’s Certain Judgment
This is what the Lord God has said about Edom:
We have heard a message from the Lord;
an envoy has been sent among the nations:
“Rise up, and let’s go to war against her.”
Look, I will make you insignificant
among the nations;
you will be deeply despised.
Your arrogant heart has deceived you,
you who live in clefts of the rock
in your home on the heights,
who say to yourself,
“Who can bring me down to the ground?”
Though you seem to soar like an eagle
and make your nest among the stars,
even from there I will bring you down.
This is the Lord’s declaration.
If thieves came to you,
if marauders by night —
how ravaged you would be! —
wouldn’t they steal only what they wanted?
If grape harvesters came to you,
wouldn’t they leave a few grapes?
How Esau will be pillaged,
his hidden treasures searched out!
Everyone who has a treaty with you
will drive you to the border;
everyone at peace with you
will deceive and conquer you.
Those who eat your bread
will set a trap for you.
He will be unaware of it.
In that day —
this is the Lord’s declaration —
will I not eliminate the wise ones of Edom
and those who understand
from the hill country of Esau?
Teman, your warriors will be terrified
so that everyone from the hill country of Esau
will be destroyed by slaughter.
Edom’s Sins against Judah
You will be covered with shame
and destroyed forever
because of violence done to your brother Jacob.
On the day you stood aloof,
on the day strangers captured his wealth,
while foreigners entered his city gate
and cast lots for Jerusalem,
you were just like one of them.
Do not gloat over your brother
in the day of his calamity;
do not rejoice over the people of Judah
in the day of their destruction;
do not boastfully mock
in the day of distress.
Do not enter my people’s city gate
in the day of their disaster.
Yes, you — do not gloat over their misery
in the day of their disaster,
and do not appropriate their possessions
in the day of their disaster.
Do not stand at the crossroads
to cut off their fugitives,
and do not hand over their survivors
in the day of distress.
Judgment of the Nations
For the day of the Lord is near,
against all the nations.
As you have done, it will be done to you;
what you deserve will return on your own head.
As you have drunk on my holy mountain,
so all the nations will drink continually.
They will drink and gulp down
and be as though they had never been.
But there will be a deliverance on Mount Zion,
and it will be holy;
the house of Jacob will dispossess
those who dispossessed them.
Then the house of Jacob will be a blazing fire,
and the house of Joseph, a burning flame,
but the house of Esau will be stubble;
Jacob will set them on fire and consume Edom.
Therefore no survivor will remain
of the house of Esau,
for the Lord has spoken.
Future Blessing for Israel
People from the Negev will possess
the hill country of Esau;
those from the Judean foothills will possess
the land of the Philistines.
They will possess
the territories of Ephraim and Samaria,
while Benjamin will possess Gilead.
The exiles of the Israelites who are in Halah
and who are among the Canaanites as far as Zarephath
as well as the exiles of Jerusalem who are in Sepharad
will possess the cities of the Negev.
Saviors will ascend Mount Zion
to rule over the hill country of Esau,
and the kingdom will be the Lord’s.
Jonah Chapter 1
The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: “Get up! Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it because their evil has come up before me.” Jonah got up to flee to Tarshish from the Lord’s presence. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. He paid the fare and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish from the Lord’s presence.
But the Lord threw a great wind onto the sea, and such a great storm arose on the sea that the ship threatened to break apart. The sailors were afraid, and each cried out to his god. They threw the ship’s cargo into the sea to lighten the load. Meanwhile, Jonah had gone down to the lowest part of the vessel and had stretched out and fallen into a deep sleep.
The captain approached him and said, “What are you doing sound asleep? Get up! Call to your god. Maybe this god will consider us, and we won’t perish.”
“Come on!” the sailors said to each other. “Let’s cast lots. Then we’ll know who is to blame for this trouble we’re in.” So they cast lots, and the lot singled out Jonah. Then they said to him, “Tell us who is to blame for this trouble we’re in. What is your business, and where are you from? What is your country, and what people are you from?”
Swallowed By a Great Fish
He answered them, “I’m a Hebrew. I worship the Lord, the God of the heavens, who made the sea and the dry land.”
Then the men were seized by a great fear and said to him, “What have you done?” The men knew he was fleeing from the Lord’s presence because he had told them. So they said to him, “What should we do to you so that the sea will calm down for us?” For the sea was getting worse and worse.
He answered them, “Pick me up and throw me into the sea so that it will calm down for you, for I know that I’m to blame for this great storm that is against you.” Nevertheless, the men rowed hard to get back to dry land, but they couldn’t because the sea was raging against them more and more.
So they called out to the Lord, “Please, Lord, don’t let us perish because of this man’s life, and don’t charge us with innocent blood! For you, Lord, have done just as you pleased.” Then they picked up Jonah and threw him into the sea, and the sea stopped its raging. The men were seized by great fear of the Lord, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows.
The Lord appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
Jonah Chapter 2
Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the belly of the fish:
I called to the Lord in my distress,
and he answered me.
I cried out for help from deep inside Sheol;
you heard my voice.
When you threw me into the depths,
into the heart of the seas,
the current overcame me.
All your breakers and your billows swept over me.
And I said, “I have been banished
from your sight,
yet I will look once more
toward your holy temple.”
The water engulfed me up to the neck;
the watery depths overcame me;
seaweed was wrapped around my head.
I sank to the foundations of the mountains,
the earth’s gates shut behind me forever!
Then you raised my life from the Pit, Lord my God!
As my life was fading away,
I remembered the Lord,
and my prayer came to you,
to your holy temple.
Those who cherish worthless idols
abandon their faithful love,
but as for me, I will sacrifice to you
with a voice of thanksgiving.
I will fulfill what I have vowed.
Salvation belongs to the Lord.
Then the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.
Jonah Chapter 3
The word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: “Get up! Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach the message that I tell you.” Jonah got up and went to Nineveh according to the Lord’s command.
Now Nineveh was an extremely great city, a three-day walk. Jonah set out on the first day of his walk in the city and proclaimed, “In forty days Nineveh will be demolished!” Then the people of Nineveh believed God. They proclaimed a fast and dressed in sackcloth — from the greatest of them to the least.
When word reached the king of Nineveh, he got up from his throne, took off his royal robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. Then he issued a decree in Nineveh:
By order of the king and his nobles: No person or animal, herd or flock, is to taste anything at all. They must not eat or drink water. Furthermore, both people and animals must be covered with sackcloth, and everyone must call out earnestly to God. Each must turn from his evil ways and from his wrongdoing. Who knows? God may turn and relent; he may turn from his burning anger so that we will not perish.
God saw their actions — that they had turned from their evil ways — so God relented from the disaster he had threatened them with. And he did not do it.
Jonah Chapter 4
Jonah was greatly displeased and became furious. He prayed to the Lord, “Please, Lord, isn’t this what I said while I was still in my own country? That’s why I fled toward Tarshish in the first place. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger, abounding in faithful love, and one who relents from sending disaster. And now, Lord, take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.”
The Lord asked, “Is it right for you to be angry?”
Jonah left the city and found a place east of it. He made himself a shelter there and sat in its shade to see what would happen to the city. Then the Lord God appointed a plant, and it grew over Jonah to provide shade for his head to rescue him from his trouble.
Jonah was greatly pleased with the plant. When dawn came the next day, God appointed a worm that attacked the plant, and it withered.
As the sun was rising, God appointed a scorching east wind. The sun beat down on Jonah’s head so much that he almost fainted, and he wanted to die. He said, “It’s better for me to die than to live.”
Then God asked Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?”
“Yes, it’s right!” he replied. “I’m angry enough to die!”
And the Lord said, “You cared about the plant, which you did not labor over and did not grow. It appeared in a night and perished in a night. So may I not care about the great city of Nineveh, which has more than a hundred twenty thousand people who cannot distinguish between their right and their left, as well as many animals?”
It’s at this point in the prophets where we start to be able to predict what the course of the book’s message is going to be. The sins are identified, then warnings of coming judgement and punishment, and finally hope of restoration. God’s message is the same, just as He boiled it down in Ezekiel 18:32…repent and live!
Well, I have always characterized Jonah as stubborn and self-serving, but Tim Mackie at The Bible Project takes it a step further by calling him mean and nasty. We do agree on one thing though…this is definitely an upside-down book that leaves you scratching your head wondering if you just read what you thought you read. What I love is what it says about God. I’d like to tell you that I have never exhibited awful character defects like Jonah, but that just wouldn’t be true. And God has this incredible passion whether for Nineveh or Jonah…or for you and me. 2 Peter 3:9 tells us, The Lord does not delay his promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance. And no truer statement was ever made.
See You Tomorrow!
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray that by spending time in His Word every day, you will be changed. Visit me at Lifting Her Voice.com with your comments and questions. And don’t forget to visit the Blog page while you’re there. If you like the podcast, it would be great if you’d give it a five-star review and share it with everyone you know. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you tomorrow!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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