Obadiah is a prophecy of judgment on Edom – descendants of Esau who bore a grudge against Judah, the descendants of Jacob. The Edomites viewed all the wealth and prosperity of Judah as rightfully theirs. This centuries-old envy caused them to seek every opportunity to do harm to God’s people. St. Augustine saw in Obadiah an early example of the City of Man opposing the City of God. R. J. Rushdoony brings the conflict even closer, condemning the “spiritual Edomites” of our day who believe evildoers have the power to frustrate the progress of the Kingdom of God.
Jonah provides us with dramatic examples of God’s judgment and mercy. When reading Jonah, we tend to focus on God’s wrath upon Jonah while forgetting that his assigned mission was one of grace to Nineveh, capital of one of the most brutal empires in history. Despite being delivered from the fish, Jonah still complained when God showed mercy upon Nineveh. Rushdoony demonstrates that we play the part of Jonah when we second-guess God, complain about the work He gives us, or are peevish when outcomes are not to our liking. Rushdoony once wrote to himself in his own Bible, “JONAH RUSHDOONY, is it your gourd vine or the Lord’s work that fills your prayers and thoughts? ARISE, Nineveh is around you and its thousands of needy souls.”
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