STATUS UPDATE: OTHERWISE UNKNOWN

Before I begin reading through a book in the Bible, I read the introductory information given in the pages before the first chapter. Knowing the background, date, and purpose of the book helps me better understand what I read and make personal application. Today I want to share how an “otherwise unknown” prophet delivered just the word I needed today.

About Obadiah

As a writer, I’m always fascinated by other writers. I enjoy knowing how they live, their writing process, and what inspires them. I’m especially intrigued by the Old and New Testament writers. What an assignment!

The Book of Obadiah is the shortest book in the Old Testament with only one chapter of twenty-one verses. According to the introduction in my study Bible to the book of Obadiah, the author is known only as “Obadiah, Servant/Worshiper of Yahweh,” followed by this statement:

No additional information is available about him.

Wow!

We live in a world of status updates and clever profiles, where everyone wants their voice and their message to be heard. The stage and the spotlight go to the bizarre and beautiful, the loud and laughable, or the ones with deep pockets and wide egos.

Everyone from the well-known to the unknown wants to be noticed and “liked” and “followed”.

Everyday we rubber-neck our  way through the internet and life, attempting to entertain ourselves, satisfy our boredom, and find out the latest news that will matter little—if at all—in eternity.

Lest you think I’m on some wordy high horse over here, I’ll confess  I’ve spent wasted a lot of time crafting sentences to accompany the perfect profile pic that make me seem smart, savvy, spiritual, or whatever it is I’m trying to be at the moment. The other side of that attention seeking coin is hashtag keepingitreal.

And then I read the introduction to Obadiah.

No additional information is available about him.

More Than Words

Chuck Swindoll says this about the Book of Obadiah:

As a worshiper of Yahweh, Obadiah placed himself in a position of humility before the Lord; he embraced his lowly place before the almighty God.

That God sent a man named “worshiper of Yahweh” to the people of Edom was no mistake. Edom had been found guilty of pride before the Lord (Obadiah 1:3). They had thought themselves greater than they actually were; great enough to mock, steal from, and even harm God’s chosen people. But the “Lord GOD,” a name Obadiah used to stress God’s sovereign power over the nations, will not stand idly by and let His people suffer forever (1:1). Through Obadiah, God reminded Edom of their poor treatment of His people (1:12–14) and promised redemption, not to the Edomites but to the people of Judah (1:17–18). The nation of Edom, which eventually disappeared into history, remains one of the prime examples of the truth found in Proverbs 16:18: “Pride goes before destruction, / And a haughty spirit before stumbling.”

The Edomites were troublemakers and we cheer loudly as we see God pronounce judgment on those who harmed His people.

I identity as “God’s people” and maybe you do, too. But in this Book written by humble Obadiah, I see myself looking too much like the Edomites. I have been found guilty of pride before the Lord.

God sent a man named Obadiah who was content to be known and remembered only as “worshiper of Yahweh” to a woman (me) who claims to be a worshiper of Yahweh yet wants to be known and remembered for so much more.

The question is this: Could I be an Obadiah, content to only be known an remembered as “worshiper of Yahweh”?

This post of mine isn’t meant to be commentary on the internet or social media although I find both equally useful and deplorable.

This is just me thinking out loud about a few things:

  • How pride rears its ugly head in my life (and maybe yours, too).
  • How pride harms the Body of Christ.
  • How His Divine plan would have me reading a Book in 2017 that was written in the 6th or 7th century B.C. because He’s still working on me!
  • How that Book, classified as the minor-est of the Old Testament minor prophets, would affect a major shift in my soul.
  • How a man, willing to remain otherwise unknown, would obediently pen inspired words that would today, divide my soul and spirit, joints and marrow; judging the thoughts and attitudes of my heart.

One day you and I will eventually disappear into history.   May we choose today to place ourselves in a position of humility before the Lord;  and embrace our lowly place before the almighty God, so that with the disciple whom Jesus loved we can say:

He must increase, but I must decrease. (John 3:30)

A Final Thought for You:

If today, you are feeling “otherwise unknown”, know that your God sees and knows and cares about you and your work.

 

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2 Responses to STATUS UPDATE: OTHERWISE UNKNOWN

  1. Sara Rutledge November 2, 2017 at 5:53 am #

    A bold challenge. Thank you.

  2. Charles Jones November 2, 2017 at 5:22 am #

    I always enjoy reading your articles…they make me think.

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