The pride of your heart has deceived you. Obadiah 1:3
Loving God, thank You for Your gentle, nudging correction. With my shoulders slumped, I murmured those difficult words. I’ve been so arrogant, thinking I could do it all on my own. For months, I’d been enjoying successful work projects, and the accolades lulled me into trusting my capabilities and rejecting God’s leading. It took a challenging project for me to realize I wasn’t as smart as I thought. My proud heart had deceived me into believing I didn’t need God’s help.
The powerful kingdom of Edom received discipline from God for its pride. Edom was located amid mountainous terrain, making her seemingly invulnerable to enemies (Obadiah 1:3). Edom was also a wealthy nation, situated at the center of strategic trade routes and rich in copper, a highly valued commodity in the ancient world. It was full of good things yet also full of pride. Its citizens believed their kingdom was invincible, even as they oppressed God’s people (vv. 10–14). But God used the prophet Obadiah to tell them of His judgment. Nations would rise up against Edom, and the once-powerful kingdom would be defenseless and humiliated (vv. 1–2).
Pride deceives us into thinking we can live life on our terms, without God. It makes us feel invulnerable to authority, correction, and weakness. But God calls us to humble ourselves before Him (1 Peter 5:6). As we turn from our pride and choose repentance, God will guide us toward total trust in Him.
What happens when blessings in your life become sources of pride? How can pride deceive you?
Father, protect me from pride. Please give me a humble heart.
The book of Obadiah is a prophecy written for the people of Israel, but the prophecy has to do with the nation of Edom located to the south of Israel. The people of Edom were the descendants of Esau, Jacob’s twin brother, making them close relatives of the Israelite people. This is why Israel was forbidden to hate the Edomites (Deuteronomy 23:7). But the tense relationship between Jacob and Esau continued among their descendants. The Edomites wouldn’t allow the Israelites to pass through their land during their journey to Canaan (Numbers 20:14–21). And Edom stood by when Jerusalem was ransacked (Obadiah 1:11–14). Because of this indifference to their brother’s plight, Edom would be brought down (v. 4). This prophecy is repeated in Ezekiel 35. After the death of Herod the Great (an Edomite), the nation and people of Edom eventually disappeared from the historical record, fulfilling the prophecies against them.