What does it say?

There are 13 men in the Old Testament named Obadiah and it is impossible to make a convincing case to identify the author of this shortest of all Old Testament books with any of them. Some speculate that this is the same Obadiah that meets with Elijah in 1 Kings 18, and this is probably why the reading of the Book of Obadiah is included here in this chronological reading though the date of its writing is as uncertain as the identity of the author. Obadiah is a pronouncement of God’s judgment upon the Gentile nation of Edom, just as Nahum and Jonah are also non-Jewish prophecies directed at Assyria.

Psalms 82 and 83 are psalms of Asaph. Psalm 82 historically deals with corruption and injustice in the courts of Israel as God calls in account the judges themselves. This probably explains the reference in verse 6 to those judges who had set themselves up as gods but would die like men. Psalm 83 is a plea for help against the nations that surrounded Israel.

What does it mean?

The pronouncement of judgment on Israel’s enemies, such as Edom in Obadiah, is in a real sense a word of hope for God’s people. Despite their many failures and sins, God does not abandon his people and brings judgment upon their enemies.

Psalm 83:17-18 puts God’s judgment of the nations into proper perspective – that all may know God whose name is Jehovah, the most high over all the earth. Once again God reminds us of the mission. We, too, have a record of many failures and sins. God grants us grace and mercy not merely for our comfort and security, but in order that God’s name be lifted up and glorified in all the earth.

How will I respond?

What shortcomings do I have in my life, what enemies (habits, sins, people, circumstances, etc.) threaten to defeat me? In what specific way will I trust and obey God in order that his name be lifted up and glorified in my life that others around me may know that he is God?