每日诗歌: Angels We Have Heard On High
俄巴底亚书都是关于以东的预言。以东和以色列之间冲突的历史可以追溯到他们的祖先 - 以扫和雅各（以扫就是以东）。以扫轻看了他长子的名分（创25:34），并且雅各又偷了他们的父亲对他的祝福（创27:27-29）。这些就成了他们冲突的根源。以扫心中所怀的苦毒迫使雅各被送走20年（创27:41），但尽管如此，雅各还是非常担心他兄弟对他回来的反应。以色列人在旷野漂流了40年，并准备进入应许之地，以东拒绝让他们穿过他们的土地（民20:14-21）。这种仇恨持续到巴比伦时代。当尼布甲尼撒进入耶路撒冷的城门，以东竟站在一旁，像与他们同伙（俄11）。在他兄弟遭难的日子，他瞪眼看着；犹大人被灭的日子，他因此欢乐（俄12）。苦毒似乎在日积月累。
Revelation 8 [Read]
How much bitterness can one contain in the heart? How many generations will such bitterness extend before it is finally forgiven and forgotten? These are the questions came to my mind when I read Obadiah.
Obadiah is all about prophecy against Edom. The history of conflict between Edom and Israel goes back to their ancestors – Esau and Jacob (Esau is Edom). Esau despised his birth right (Gen 25:34), and Jacob stole his blessings from their father (Gen 27:27-29). These became the source of their conflicts. The bitterness Esau harbored caused Jacob to be sent away for 20 years (Gen 27:41), but even then Jacob was very concerned about his brother’s reaction upon his return. After Israelites wandering in the wilderness for 40 years and were ready to enter the Promised Land, Edomites refused to allow them travel through their land (Nu 20:14-21). Such hatred continued to the Babylonian era. When Nebuchadnezzar entered the gates of Jerusalem, Edom stood aloof like one of them (Obad 11). In the days of misfortune for his brother, Edom looked down on him, rejoiced over their destruction, and boasted at their trouble (Obad 12). Bitterness seemed to accumulate with time.
Therefore, Obadiah announced God’s judgments upon Edom. “I will make you small among the nations; you will be utterly despised” (Obad 2). Israel will be like fire, and it will consume Edom like burning stubbles. When the day of the LORD is near, his deeds will return upon his own head (Obad 15). Bitterness will eventually bring destruction.
Such history should alarm us. Bitterness is something destructive to human relationship, and it is unlikely to simply go away with time. The human heart has the capacity to accumulate much bitterness, and such bitter juice will eventually overflow into everything we do and say in our daily life, even unto someone who has nothing to do with it. Therefore, Paul wants the Ephesians to “get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice” (Eph 4:31), and the author of Hebrews warns us to “see to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many” (Heb 12:15). If you have bitterness against someone, pray for God’s mercy to help you let go of it before it destroys you and defiles many.
Keep on reading, you have finished the 57th book.