Bible Text: Obadiah, Joel | Preacher: Jeff Voegtlin | Series: A Survey of the Minor Prophets
The shortest of OT books. Prophecy against Edom—they were proud, they would be completely destroyed, they would be betrayed by their allies, all because they had joined the destruction of Judah. This judgment will be upon all the heathen, all reap what they sow! Israel will finally be delivered and restored.
An appropriate application: Esau/Edom(flesh), Israel(spirit). Flesh is prideful, lofty, betrayed, destroyed, reaping what is sows. In the end the spirit will rule and destroy the flesh.
The vision of Obadiah. Thus says the Lord Jehovah concerning Edom;
We have heard a rumor from Jehovah,
and an ambassador is sent among the heathen,
Arise ye, and let us rise up against her in battle.
Behold, I have made thee small among the heathen:
thou art greatly despised.
The pride of thy heart has deceived thee,
thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock,
whose habitation is high;
that says in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground?
Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle,
and though thou set thy nest among the stars,
thence will I bring thee down, says Jehovah.
If thieves came to thee, if robbers by night,
(how art thou cut off!)
would they not have stolen till they had enough?
If the grape-gatherers came to thee,
would they not leave some grapes?
How are the things of Esau searched out!
How are his hidden things sought up!
All the men of thy confederacy have brought thee even to the border:
the men that were at peace with thee have deceived thee,
and prevailed against thee;
they that eat thy bread have laid a wound under thee:
there is none understanding in him.
Shall I not in that day, says Jehovah,
even destroy the wise men out of Edom,
and understanding out of the mount of Esau?
And thy mighty men, O Teman, shall be dismayed,
to the end that every one of the mount of Esau may be cut off by slaughter.
For thy violence against thy brother Jacob shame shall cover thee,
and thou shalt be cut off for ever.
In the day that thou stoodest on the other side,
in the day that the strangers carried away captive his forces,
and foreigners entered into his gates,
and cast lots upon Jerusalem, even thou wast as one of them.
But thou shouldest not have looked on the day of thy brother
in the day that he became a stranger;
neither shouldest thou have rejoiced over the children of Judah
in the day of their destruction;
neither shouldest thou have spoken proudly in the day of distress.
Thou shouldest not have entered into the gate of my people
in the day of their calamity;
yea, thou shouldest not have looked on their affliction
in the day of their calamity,
nor have laid hands on their substance
in the day of their calamity;
Neither shouldest thou have stood in the crossway,
to cut off those of his that did escape;
neither shouldest thou have delivered up those of his that did remain in the day of distress.
For the day of Jehovah is near upon all the heathen:
as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee:
thy reward shall return upon thine own head.
For as ye have drunk upon my holy mountain,
so shall all the heathen drink continually,
yea, they shall drink, and they shall swallow down,
and they shall be as though they had not been.
But upon mount Zion shall be deliverance,
and there shall be holiness;
and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.
And the house of Jacob shall be a fire,
and the house of Joseph a flame,
and the house of Esau for stubble,
and they shall kindle in them, and devour them;
and there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau;
for Jehovah hath spoken it.
And they of the south shall possess the mount of Esau; and they of the plain the Philistines: and they shall possess the fields of Ephraim, and the fields of Samaria: and Benjamin shall possess Gilead. And the captivity of this host of the children of Israel shall possess that of the Canaanites, even unto Zarephath; and the captivity of Jerusalem, which is in Sepharad, shall possess the cities of the south. And saviors shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be Jehovah’s.
There are different prophetic “days.” The “Day of the Lord” is a long period of time when Jehovah reclaims the earth, the world, and restores Israel. Joel refers to this day more than any other OT prophet (five times in three chapters).
Begins by describing the present distress. It is the judgment of God. Affects the wine drinkers (affluent), the priests (religious), and the farmers (everyone). Tremendous suffering
The word of Jehovah that came to Joel the son of Pethuel.
Hear this, ye old men, and give ear, all ye inhabitants of the land. Has this been in your days, or even in the days of your fathers? Tell ye your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children another generation. That which the palmerworm has left has the locust eaten; and that which the locust has left has the cankerworm eaten; and that which the cankerworm has left has the caterpillar eaten.
Awake, ye drunkards, and weep; and howl, all ye drinkers of wine, because of the new wine; for it is cut off from your mouth. For a nation is come up upon my land, strong, and without number, whose teeth are the teeth of a lion, and he has the cheek teeth of a great lion. He has laid my vine waste, and barked my fig tree: he has made it clean bare, and cast it away; the branches thereof are made white.
Lament like a virgin girded with sackcloth for the husband of her youth. The meat offering and the drink offering is cut off from the house of Jehovah; the priests, Jehovah’s ministers, mourn. The field is wasted, the land mourns; for the corn is wasted: the new wine is dried up, the oil languishes.
Be ye ashamed, O ye husbandmen; howl, O ye vinedressers, for the wheat and for the barley; because the harvest of the field is perished. The vine is dried up, and the fig tree languishes; the pomegranate tree, the palm tree also, and the apple tree, even all the trees of the field, are withered: because joy is withered away from the sons of men. Gird yourselves, and lament, ye priests: howl, ye ministers of the altar: come, lie all night in sackcloth, ye ministers of my God: for the meat offering and the drink offering is withheld from the house of your God.
Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of Jehovah your God, and cry unto Jehovah, Alas for the day! For the day of Jehovah is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come. Is not the meat cut off before our eyes, yea, joy and gladness from the house of our God? The seed is rotten under their clods, the garners are laid desolate, the barns are broken down; for the corn is withered. How do the beasts groan! The herds of cattle are perplexed, because they have no pasture; yea, the flocks of sheep are made desolate.
O Jehovah, to thee will I cry: for the fire has devoured the pastures of the wilderness, and the flame has burned all the trees of the field. The beasts of the field cry also unto thee: for the rivers of waters are dried up, and the fire has devoured the pastures of the wilderness.
The present is just a “taste” of what is coming. We often ascribe the present to natural causes. We forget that God is in control of all that happens. He uses natural and political events for his own purposes. This does not release the heathen of their fault and guilt. But that they are doing it does not mean God is not working through them. This could be a worse natural destruction or a national destruction orchestrated by God. He will use the ungodly for His own purposes.
Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of Jehovah cometh, for it is nigh at hand; a day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there has not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations. A fire devours before them; and behind them a flame burns: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them. The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen, so shall they run. Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devours the stubble, as a strong people set in battle array. Before their face the people shall be much pained: all faces shall gather blackness. They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks: neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk every one in his path: and when they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded. They shall run to and fro in the city; they shall run upon the wall, they shall climb up upon the houses; they shall enter in at the windows like a thief. The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining: and Jehovah shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executes his word: for the day of Jehovah is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?
God calls for true repentance. What had been foretold did not HAVE to take place.
Therefore also now, says Jehovah, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: and rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto Jehovah your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repents him of the evil. Who knows if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him; even a meat offering and a drink offering unto Jehovah your God?
In the Day of the Lord, there will finally be a true repentance of Israel.
Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly: gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet. Let the priests, the ministers of Jehovah, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O Jehovah, and give not thy heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God?
We begin to see what Jehovah will do in that day.
Then will Jehovah be jealous for his land, and pity his people. Yea, Jehovah will answer and say unto his people, Behold, I will send you corn, and wine, and oil, and ye shall be satisfied therewith: and I will no more make you a reproach among the heathen: but I will remove far off from you the northern army, and will drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the east sea, and his hinder part toward the utmost sea, and his stink shall come up, and his ill savor shall come up, because he has done great things.
Agricultural (natural) restoration.
Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for Jehovah will do great things. Be not afraid, ye beasts of the field: for the pastures of the wilderness do spring, for the tree bears her fruit, the fig tree and the vine do yield their strength. Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in Jehovah your God: for he has given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month. And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.
And I will restore to you the years that the locust has eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you. And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of Jehovah your God, that has dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed. And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am Jehovah your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed.
Spiritual restoration. Blessing to all through the people of Israel again.
And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: and also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.
The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of Jehovah come. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of Jehovah shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as Jehovah has said, and in the remnant whom Jehovah shall call.
Judgment on the nations for how they have treated the people of the LORD.
For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat (the judgment of the LORD), and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land. And they have cast lots for my people; and have given a boy for a harlot, and sold a girl for wine, that they might drink. Yea, and what have ye to do with me, O Tyre, and Zidon, and all the coasts of Palestine? Will ye render me a recompense? and if ye recompense me, swiftly and speedily will I return your recompense upon your own head; because ye have taken my silver and my gold, and have carried into your temples my goodly pleasant things: the children also of Judah and the children of Jerusalem have ye sold unto the Grecians, that ye might remove them far from their border. Behold, I will raise them out of the place whither ye have sold them, and will return your recompense upon your own head: and I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of the children of Judah, and they shall sell them to the Sabeans, to a people far off: for Jehovah has spoken it.
A “challenge” to all the heathen.
Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up: beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning-hooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong. Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O Jehovah. Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about.
The destruction of all the heathen.
Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the vats overflow; for their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of Jehovah is near in the valley of decision (threshing/dividing). The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. Jehovah also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but Jehovah will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.
So shall ye know that I am Jehovah your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more.
A description of the final state of Jerusalem.
And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth of the house of Jehovah, and shall water the valley of Shittim. Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness, for the violence against the children of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land. But Judah shall dwell for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation. For I will cleanse their blood that I have not cleansed: for Jehovah dwells in Zion.