The pride of your heart has deceived you,
you who live in the clefts of the rock,
in your lofty dwelling,
who say in your heart,
“Who will bring me down to the ground?”
Though you soar aloft like the eagle,
though your nest is set among the stars,
from there I will bring you down,
declares the Lord. Obadiah 3-4
The prophet Obadiah issued a warning to the Edomites. Judgment loomed for their merciless treatment of the refugees from Judah who fled from the invading Babylonian army. Instead of protecting them, the Edomites captured those refugees and turned them over to the invaders. They used the Jews as hostages to be traded to Nebuchadnezzar’s forces.
God’s ways are complex. Think about it. He sent the invading army to carry out His discipline against Judah. But He did not condone Edom’s piling on His people who were under His discipline. Instead, He sent a prophet to confront them for their pride and heartlessness.
James also warned against the failure to show mercy. “For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment” James 2:13.
Pride can blind a person to the suffering of others. That kind of blindness can lead to hardness of heart and failure to show love and compassion to those who are in trouble. Beware of piling on those who are suffering, even when they suffer for their own failures. A day of judgment is coming. God will bring down the proud and those who failed to show mercy. How can you show mercy today?
For more reflections on today’s reading, see the corresponding reading in my book Cover to Cover: Through the Bible in 365 days.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.