Vengeance Is the LORD’s
September 28, 2014 Series: The Old Testament
Passage: Obadiah 1:3-4, 12-18
Where have you seen a family history of conflict that bred longstanding animosity?
COVENANT LOVE & FULLNESS
Read Genesis 27:30-41. The descendents of Esau became the country of Edom. So how was their sin against Judah (the descendents of Jacob) sourced out of long-held envy? The context of Obadiah’s prophecy was after Babylon had conquered Jerusalem and Edom had joined in the killing and exploitation of Judah. Read Obadiah 1:12-14. As we believe God made us for communion with Himself and together with one another, how was Edom failing to embody Covenant faithfulness?
As God owns us even in the midst of failures, how is it hard to embody Grace to someone when they fail? What does it mean to not gloat, rejoice, or boast over someone else’s demise? If you really know that you’re saved by Grace alone, how does that produce a genuine, deeply rooted humility? How should view someone being judged, or defeated? How can mercy characterize all I do, or all my relationships?
ENVY & HATRED
The opposite of this is the ugliness of self-righteousness. Read Luke 18:9-14. How are we capable of rejoicing over those who suffer, especially when we believe they’ve sinned? Read Obadiah 1:3-4 & 12-15. How does pride deceive us and obscure God? How does it lead you to being self-inflated and to treating others as if they’re less?
The Edomites had rejected their own cousins! Read John 1:11. How is Jesus able to understand what that is really like? Vengeance is powerful in our time, so how well do you understand how it works? And how are you prone to self-righteous indignation? How have you lived condescending and proud over those around you who’ve failed? Confess your pride and hard-heartedness to Jesus, asking Him to forgive you and to soften your heart to love as He does.
Read Obadiah 1:15, 17-18 & 1 Corinthians 3:10-15. How does the effect of fire differ drastically from stubble to fine metal? Without the cross, how is God’s justice withering? Yet in the Cross how does God’s justice work to destroy sin (like gold refined)?
By the Cross God destroys His enemies, counting them as killed in Jesus. What’s miraculous is how He raises them, re-creating them to be His bride, children and friends. Read Galatians 2:20 & Romans 12:19-21. Knowing the Apostle Paul’s history (especially before his conversion), how was he a transformed man? Read 1 Peter 2:23-24. Where are you bitter and with whom? Where do you churn over the hope of vengeance? How do you need the Holy Spirit to work into you such fullness as to drive out any discontentment or envy? Pray for such humility – at your own forgiveness in Christ – that you are merciful to others who fail.
- Worship the LORD for His Covenant faithfulness and goodness. Praise Him, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit that by His steadfast love He is true to us even in the midst of our failures.
- How have you lived condescending and proud over those around you who’ve failed? Confess your pride and hard-heartedness to Jesus, asking Him to forgive you and to soften your heart to love as He does.
- Give thanks to Jesus that in the Cross He satisfied justice (for our crimes) in such a way as to count us as punished yet spare us from hell. Thank Him for raising us to new life, transforming us from enemies to be His true friends.
- Who do you know that is self-righteous and hard toward those who are weak, low or broken? Pray for them, asking the Lord to humble them that they would see what they truly deserve for their sin, and that they would genuinely turn toward Christ.
- Read Romans 12:19-21. Ask the Holy Spirit to work into you such fullness as to drive out any discontentment or envy. And pray for such humility – at your own forgiveness in Christ – that you are merciful to others who fail.