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Book Review: The Twelve (Obadiah)

Welcome to December’s book review for, The Twelve- A Transformational Journey Through The Minor Prophets, by Parker Bradley.

Drawing from the insights of the Minor Prophets in the Bible, The Twelve, is an encouraging, but also challenging resource for followers of Jesus, and anyone wanting to honestly understand how God reveals Himself in Scripture.

If you haven’t heard the introduction episode, go ahead and do that - it only lasts a few minutes and will explain what the plan is going forward. We covered the chapter on Amos, last month, and are covering the chapter on Obadiah, in this episode.

There are lots of Obadiahs in the Bible and studying the book this time around prompted me to do some research on whether this Obadiah was the same one who met Elijah. It doesn’t appear to be the same one.

This study also promoted me to revisit my study on the kings of Israel and Judah - seeing which kings were in reign when the prophets were called by the Lord. This got intense, so I was happy to be reminded of the bigger picture by Parker Bradley, who focuses on the origin of the feud between the Edomites and Israel - their ancestry, Jacob and Esau.

Parker is very good at painting the bigger picture and making it very relevant to our daily lives. He covers the history of Jacob and Esau, which become the nations of Israel and Edom. He gets us to take a second look at how Jacob ended up with Esau’s birthright. It dawned on me that I had seen Esau in a bad light because he gave away his birthright for food. Yet, this time around, I reconsidered the role of Rebecca and Jacob in this significant event. I also considered: What if God had put an obstacle in the way of Jacob taking Esau’s blessing? What would the 12 tribes of Israel look like then? Esau gave up his birthright under the pressure of hunger. Would he had risen his 12 sons in the same manner as Jacob? Would Esau have worked 14 years for a wife? Did God make something good out of a seemingly bad situation, or was it God’s will that Jacob got the blessing, but not in the manner it was done?

Parker brings up the question of reconciliation between Esau and Jacob. Did it happen and if so, why the feud between their descendants? I really like how Parker makes the point of all of this being our history as people of faith, and how the dynamics of forgiveness between Esau and Jacob is an age old problem of mankind, that has a connection to how we relate to God, through Jesus Christ.

I like how Parker ties in the connection with Edom’s actions as a sinful man’s sense of justice and God’s righteous judgment.

Obadiah is a short but intense book. It’s only 21 verses long, and yet its depth goes way beyond the month of study I put aside. As Bradley said, “It covers a lot of ground.”

Parker highlights the key aspects, which quickly puts the main issue into perspective: forgiveness.

Once again, scripture reveals how mighty God’s mercy and grace are. I think of Lamentations 3:22-24 - Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,

Because His compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. 24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him!”

Thank you for reading this review. Until next time - peace be with you.


Scripture References:

Genesis 27: Esau’s stolen blessing.

Genesis 33:10-11: Forgiveness between Esau and Jacob

Numbers 20:14: Moses’ letter to Edomites, to pass through their land and the reaction of the king of Edom

Deuteronomy 2:3-5: Fear between the nations of Edom & Israel.

Ezekiel 25:12-14: God’s righteous judgment on people of Judah

Ezekiel 35: Edon’s rejoice of Israel’s judgement 35:2,4,6,11,15

Psalm 137:7 Edomites cheered as Jerusalem burned.

Obadiah 10: Edom’s violence against their brother, Jacob

Obadiah 3: Edom’s pride

Romans 7:21 - the fight between wanting to do good, but doing evil

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