Walking Thru The Bible

Old Testament -- OBADIAH, JONAH and MICAH

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               Walking Thru The Bible

               OBADIAH, JONAH and MICAH
                 The book of Obadiah is not well known but it contains some
               powerful lessons for our day.  It is the only one-chapter book in the
               Old Testament and contains only 21 verses.

                 The occasion of the book is some recent sack of Jerusalem by the
               Philistines and Arabians in which Edom had aided and abetted. She
               had encouraged Judah's foes, enjoyed Judah's fall, and enslaved
               Judah's fugitives.  The book warns Edom of her own coming
               destruction for her sins against her brother.
                 The Edomites were descendants of Esau, Jacob's twin brother,
               and hence a "cousin" nation to Judah and Israel.  Yet the Edomites
               were in constant conflict with them.  Edom was a narrow strip of
               mountainous country to the south of the Dead Sea.  So rugged is the
               terrain that the valley in which Petra, one of their capital cities, is
               located can only be reached through a narrow canyon guarded by
               towering mountain walls 200-500 feet high (vs.3-4).
               EDOM's SIN
                 Edom is condemned for her pride and her cruelty.  Her crimes are
               described in progressive stages: 
		(1) Edom stood by while Jerusalem was invaded v.11; 
		(2) She rejoiced over the captivity of sons of Judah v.12; 
		(3) She actively participated in looting Jerusalem v.13; and 
		(4)  Edom set up road blocks to prevent the citizens from escaping v.14
               		and sold them into slavery.

                 She is condemned for her cruelty and unbrotherliness: 
		(1) cruelty of the feet, v.11 "she stood afar off";  
		(2) cruelty of the eyes, v.13 "looked on in his disaster; 
		(3) cruelty of the heart, v.12 she rejoiced in Jeru.'s destruction; 
		(4) cruelty of the tongue, v.12; she spoke proudly; 
		(5) cruelty of the hands, v.13, laid hands on Judah's 
			substance and cut off escape.
               OUTLINE OF OBADIAH

                 1. The Doom of Edom -- v. 1-9
                 2. The Denunciation of Edom -- v. 10-14
                 3. The Destruction of Edom -- v. 15-21

- - - - -                

                 The book of Jonah is a humiliating confession by its author that
               shows his growth in the Lord as he becomes the great prophet of 2
               Kings 14.  Jonah had to learn some important lessons: namely, that
               God is everywhere and one can't run away from Him; and secondly
               that God is concerned about every nation and the citizens, the children
               and even the animals in every nation.
                 The book is often accused of being myth by modernist and
               religious liberals because of the miracle of the great fish.  But Jonah
               was a real person (2 Kings 14:24) and Jesus credited the story of the
               great sea creature as factual (Matt. 12:39-41).

                 The Lord also represents the story as true that Nineveh repented
               (Luke 11:29-32).  There is no way to doubt the historicity of Jonah
               and have regard for the integrity of Jesus.
                 Jonah was a well known prophet of God associated with the royal
               court of Jeroboam II (ca 790-749 BC).  Jonah was a states-man
               prophet like Isaiah and Jeremiah, not a 'backwoods' prophet like
               Elijah or John the Baptist.

                 He was called to cry against that "great city" Nineveh, the capital
               of Assyria and long time enemy of Israel.  Nineveh was surrounded
               by a complex of suburbs with a heavy population of about 600,000
               at this time.  It was fortified with several walls, the greatest defense
               being a wall 8 miles long and 100 feet high and wide enough for three
               chariots to drive abreast, with 1500 towers which were 200 feet high.

                 Jonah's experience was a "sign" to the people of Nineveh and
               they repented upon hearing his message of destruction for their city. 
               In sack cloth and ashes they showed remorse for their evil and God
               spared them from destruction to the regret and pouting of Jonah.
               OUTLINE OF JONAH

                 Chapter 1 Jonah Running AWAY from God
                 Chapter 2 Jonah Running TO God
                 Chapter 3 Jonah Running WITH God
                 Chapter 4 Jonah Running AHEAD of God
               A key passage that allows us to understand why Jonah tried to resign
               his duty as a prophet, and also gives us great insight into the character
               of the wonderful and magnificent God who is our Creator is found in
               4:2 "... for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to
               anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil. (Jonah
- - - - - -                

                 Micah was from among the common people in a little town in
               southwest Judah, Moresheth, who prophesied for about a thirty year span
               during the reigns of Jotham (750-732 BC), Ahaz (736-716 BC) and
               Hezekiah (716-687 BC).

                 Micah was a contemporary with Isaiah and was preaching the same
               message Isaiah was preaching, but Isaiah was God's prophet to the royal
               court while Micah preached among the common people rather than the
               Jewish aristocracy.

                 The book of Micah is sometimes called a miniature version of Isaiah 
               (cf. Micah 4:1-3 and Isaiah 2:2-4).
               HIS MESSAGE
                 Micah preached a message of repentance to the people of Judah and
               looked forward to the day of the coming Messiah's universal kingdom
               (4:1-3). The reign of Christ would offer salvation to all nations alike.  He
               promised a peace and prosperity that has its fulfillment in the spiritual
               life of the kingdom of God and not in the affairs of civil states.

                 Like Isaiah, he condemned the meaningless ritual of their sacrifices
               and ceremonies (6:7-8).  He emphasized that the people's heart and
               conduct must match their professed allegiance and worship to God.  They
               were performing their religious ceremonies but ignoring the kind of life
               their commitment to God expected from them.

                 The Lord's expectation from his people is express in Micah 6:8 "He
               hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD
               require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly
               with thy God?"
               MICAH Elsewhere In The BIBLE

                 Some important quotations from Micah are found elsewhere in the
               Bible.  One saved the live of the prophet Jeremiah (Jer. 26:18 from Mic.
               3:12).  The priests and scribes quoted Micah 5:2 in answer to Herod's
               question about the birthplace of the Messiah (Matt. 2:5-6).  Christ
               quoted Micah 7:6 when He commissioned the disciples the first time
               (Matt. 10:35-36).
               OVERVIEW of the Book of MICAH
                 Micah announced punishment from God against both Israel (1:1-7)
               and Judah (1:8-16).  The reasons for this judgment are given (2:1-11),
               and the restoration of the remnant is promised (2:12-13).  After
               describing the present sorry state of affairs (3:1-12), he speaks of the
               future glory to be revealed in Christ in the Christian age (4:1-5:15).  

                 The book ends with a plea for repentance.  God's complaint against
               the people (6:1-16) leads Micah to lament the lack of righteousness in
               Jerusalem (7:1-6), confess the sins of the nation (7:7-17), and rejoice in
                              the mercies of the Lord (7:18-20).

- - - - SERMON - - - -

                 Background on Edom:  The Edomites were a rough and tough group
               of mountain people.  They lived in the desert-mountain region of Mt.
               Seir, reaching from south of the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Arabah.  They
               carved great protective fortresses in the rock mountains and canyons. 
               One of their principle cities was Sela (Hebrew), or Petra (Greek), which
               simply meant "The Rock" and was carved out of the side of the
               mountains.  The rose-red, orange and yellow mountain wall made Petra
               a colorful stronghold.
               I.   EDOM TRUSTED HER FORTIFICATIONS  (v. 3-4)

                 Nestled in the cliffs high above the plains they likened them-selves
                                to the eagle which made its next in the heights of the mountains. 
                                They thought their city was impregnable and that they could never
                                be brought down.
               II. EDOM TRUSTED IN HER TREASURES (v. 5-6)

                 At this time Edom was the center of caravan routes from south to
                                north and east to west.  The caves in Petra were used as storehouses
                                for merchandise.

                    Edom trusted her confederates and peace treaties but God warns
                                   they would deceive her and turn against her.

                 The Edomites were known for their wisdom and cunning.  But the
                                time was to come when such would be destroyed among them and
                                they could not be counted on for deliverance.
               V. EDOM TRUSTED IN HER "MIGHTY MEN" (warriors v. 9)

                 Edom trusted that her mighty army of strong warriors would be able
                                to defend her against any and every foe.  But when God was ready
                                to bring her down it didn't matter what size army or how brave they

                 No human effort can save the guilty nation from God's destructive
               power.  Rock fortresses, impregnable mountains, narrow mountain
               gorges, dependable allies and proud warriors cannot avail.  When the
               Lord has decreed a nations' humiliation nothing will change that except

                 We must remember that our hope is in God.  Prov. 16:18; 29:23. 

-- Windell Gann -- Walking Thru the Bible --

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