Obadiah, as you may well know was an Old Testament Prophet. His prophecy was spoken mainly to Edom, but Israel would have also been counted among his audience.
We don’t know who Obadiah was, there are anywhere from 11 to 13 ‘Obadiahs’ in the OT, but most don’t believe that Obadiah the prophet can be identified with any one of these ‘Obadiahs’. So here is someone we know virtually nothing about, he doesn’t tell us who his father was or even who the king of Judah or Israel was at the time he announced his prophecy. But here is what we do know, Obadiah had a vision from God (Obadiah 1).
Obadiah just gets down to business. “Who I am isn’t important, but what is important is that God has spoken to me and shown me His truth.” The first words of Obadiah are simply, “The vision of Obadiah.” They are followed immediately by, “Thus says the Lord GOD…” Obadiah’s few words give us a glimpse of what he understands his role to be. He is the eyes and ears of Israel and Judah. God has shown him something glorious and has spoken truth to him. He is adamant about the fact that these are the words of God and not his own invention. In fact, three more times in Obadiah’s short prophecy (4, 8, 18) he lets us know that it is God who speaks and not himself.
So here’s the point, Obadiah is often neglected, probably because of it’s length, the uncertainty concerning the author, and because the bulk of the prophecy is directed at Edom and not God’s people. But here is the main reason Obadiah should not be neglected, God has spoken. These are God’s words, and they too, are “…profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness…” (2 Timothy 3:16).
So, I’m going to do my part by blogging through Obadiah. I also reently preached a one sermon overview of Obadiah’s prophecy. So if you want to hear that , here’s the link: The Older Shall Serve The Younger: Brother Edom, Election, and the Vindication of God’s Kingdom. Sorry about the sound quality, our recorder messed up.
If you want to hear something shorter, but better, here’s a link to John Piper’s overview of Obadiah: Eagle Edom Will Come Down.
If that’s not enough for you, then listen to Mark Dever’s message: Does God Have Enemies? The Message of Obadiah.