"For the Day of the Lord upon all the nations is near; as you have done, it shall be done to you; your reprisal shall return upon your own head." Obadiah 15
Obadiah means servant of the Lord. Obadiah is the shortest book in the Old Testament. The prophet Obadiah presented this vision from God in 845BC. This opened a period of 300 years, during which many prophets warned the people of God not to continue in ingratitude, injustice, immorality and idolatry.
Words of Rebuke and Reassurance
Obadiah warned Edom of imminent judgement and reassured God's people of His sovereign justice. Ultimately, it is not the evil will of men that will determine history, but the righteous purposes of God. When the people of God suffer persecution they need to turn to the prophecy of Obadiah to renew their faith that God cares for His suffering people and He will work all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).
Esau the Red
Obadiah proclaims judgement upon Edom. The Edomites descended from Esau, the first born (twin) son of Isaac and Rebekah (Genesis 25:24-26), who struggled with Jacob, even while in the womb (Gen. 25:22). Esau's name means hairy because "he was like a hairy garment all over." Esau was also called Edom, meaning "red". From birth he was red-headed (Gen. 25:25).
Despising His Heritage
The Bible says that God loved Jacob, but he hated Esau (Malachi 1:2-3). Esau showed contempt for the Covenant by marrying two Hittite women, who were a grief of mind to Isaac and Rebekah (Gen. 26:34-35). Esau later married a daughter of Ishmael (Gen. 28:9). Esau despised his heritage and sold his birthright for a mere plate of food (Gen. 25:33-34).