The Pride of Your Heart Has Deceived You

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OBADIAH 1:1-21 | REVELATION 4:1-11 | PSALM 132:1-18 | PROVERBS 29:24-25

This is the smallest book in the Old Testament, and it is packed with a verdict. 

Obadiah is a prophet of God who writes to condemn Edom for sins against both God and Israel. The Edomites are descendants of Esau, and the Israelites are descendants of his twin brother, Jacob. A quarrel between the brothers has affected their descendants to this day. This division caused the Edomites to forbid Israel to cross their land during the Israelites’ Exodus from Egypt. Edom’s sins of pride now require a strong word of judgment from the Lord.

The practical application of this book to me is that the sin of pride is a grievous one, and one that is abhorring to the Lord.  Even with your enemies you must be prepared to show mercy.  Or else, it is likely that you might be told what Edom was told:

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.

Turning next to our reading in the book of Revelations, we find the description of God’s throne in heaven to be an awesome one.  I am fascinated by the description of the four living creatures that are fantastical in their appearance — and the most distinguishing feature about them is that they are covered with eyes all over their bodies!  What a terrifying image! 

And what outrageous symbolism!  Even God is not described in that way although we know Him to be omnipresent and omniscient.  But to imagine a creature that is covered with eyes leaves no doubt about its powers to watch you at all times no matter where you are. 

You could see that as either a good or a bad thing, depending upon your perspective.  The good thing is that there is great comfort in the knowledge that you are being watched over, both in your good times and your bad times, and there is never a danger that your plight will go unnoticed.  For mere mortals like us, that ought be a reassurance of God’s attention to us at all times.

The praise offered by the twenty-four elders ought be a reminder for us to likewise offer praise and thanksgiving. 

11 “You are worthy, our Lord and God,
   to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
   and by your will they were created
   and have their being.”

The Psalm for today is a testament to David’s determination to build a temple for the Ark of the Covenant. David says this:

13 For the LORD has chosen Zion,
   he has desired it for his dwelling, saying,
14 “This is my resting place for ever and ever;
   here I will sit enthroned, for I have desired it.
15 I will bless her with abundant provisions;
   her poor I will satisfy with food.
16 I will clothe her priests with salvation,
   and her faithful people will ever sing for joy.

Finally, two verses from the book of Proverbs, penned by Solomon, wise king of Israel:

24 The accomplices of thieves are their own enemies;
   they are put under oath and dare not testify.

25 Fear of man will prove to be a snare,
   but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.

May God bless the reading and reflection of His Word.  Amen.

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