• William T. Howe Ph.D.

September 24, 2021

Daily Reading: Obadiah 1 & Jonah 1-4

Obadiah 1:1

The vision of Obadiah. Thus saith the Lord GOD concerning Edom; We have heard a rumour from the LORD, and an ambassador is sent among the heathen, Arise ye, and let us rise up against her in battle.

Obadiah prophesied the complete overthrow and extinction of the Edomites. These were descendants of Esau and great enemies of the Jewish people (note the conflict between Esau and Jacob). They were constantly raiding Israel and then retreating into their craggy mountainous strongholds.

By 70 A.D. when Jerusalem was totally destroyed, Edom disappeared from history just as Obadiah prophesied. Consider these prophetic statements; vs 10 …thou shalt be cut off for ever, vs. 16 …they shall be as though they had not been, vs. 18 …there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau; for the Lord hath spoken it.

Jonah 1:2

Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.

Jonah is not a book of prophecy, it is a book of history, but it was written by and about a prophet. He, being a nationalistic Jew and somewhat of a statesman, would have known the threat that Assyria was to the nation of Israel. In II Kings 14:25 this prophet helped Jeroboam II to recover some of Israel’s disputed landmass.

Jonah’s story has several key purposes. It is a missionary book, demonstrating to Israel God’s desire to save Gentiles. Nineveh was the capital city of Assyria; the Assyrian’s were sworn enemies to Israel. Interestingly enough, Jonah went down to Joppa where he found, and boarded, a ship going to Tarshish. Eight hundred years later, Joppa is the same city wherein Peter resided when the Lord told him in a strange vision to preach the Gospel to people of Gentile nations (Acts 10).

Another purpose of Jonah’s story was to set up the impossibility of the Resurrection of Christ (see Matthew 12:40). In all, this historical story of Jonah is a tremendous tribute to the nature of the Lord God in caring for all people of all nations, and the Messiah’s resurrection.

Until tomorrow, live for Christ today.

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