2018-06-21 - Does It Make a Difference?
Originally Published 2000-06-29
Obad 16 Because just as you drank on My holy mountain, All the nations will drink continually. They will drink and swallow, And become as if they had never existed. (NASB)
The book of Obadiah is a tiny book of the Old Testament - one chapter with 21 verses. It is a declaration of judgment primarily against Edom. The words written there promise that Edom will be completely and utterly destroyed. Today there are no Edomittes to return to the land that was once their ancestors. To put it simply, they are extinct.
Obad 18 "Then the house of Jacob will be a fire And the house of Joseph a flame; But the house of Esau will be as stubble. And they will set them on fire and consume them, So that there will be no survivor of the house of Esau," For the LORD has spoken (NASB)
I am willing to say that Edom probably did not set out to be destroyed. It is the desire of us all to prosper and grow strong, healthy families and nations. We want the best for our families and friends. We plan our steps and our paths using whatever wisdom is available to us. Edom did not take seriously the Lord's promise to jealously guard His people Israel. They either did not believe in the existence of or the power of God. In the end, their belief was flawed. Their plans were laid waste. Even though they believed with their full hearts and minds, it did not make a difference. The truth of God prevailed.
Luke 12:2-3 "But there is nothing covered up that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known. 3 "Accordingly, whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in the inner rooms shall be proclaimed upon the housetops (NASB)
When someone breaks into a house, they often do it late at night when life is still and darkness covers their actions. They work quickly and quietly and leave nothing of themselves behind. Because they have not been caught does not mean that a crime has not been committed. Even if they have not left so much as a fingerprint, there will be a day when what was done in darkness will be shown for all to see. God has promised that He will be righteous in His judgments. He will have all of the irrefutable facts to show that, by our actions alone, those not covered by the blood of Jesus Christ will be condemned. And the believer will be judged for his rewards before Jesus for the things nobody saw or heard - good and bad. Our thoughts and our hearts remain fragile and fickle to the desire to be faithful. Our old man, even though we may be as good as dead, is still kicking and fighting to have his way in spite of what God may call us to be.
Is there ever a time when you think nobody saw something? Careful examination of the surroundings may have indeed reveled no one to be present. But your examination or your belief didn't make any difference. God was there. There is forgiveness for these actions and thoughts. We are told to be constantly in prayer. Someone once joked, that way we can't get into trouble. There is a quiet truth in that thought. In prayer we humble ourselves before our Lord and learn dependence on Him. It is a lifelong process where one thing after another is slowly turned over to Jesus - thoughts and things and draw us away from what He has planned for us. As those things are turned over, we become more conformed into His image. It is not our strength, but His that makes the difference.
Lord Jesus - this is a marathon, not a sprint. When we stumble, help us to get up and keep running. When we feel like quitting, bring someone along to encourage us. Let us know, by the conviction of the Holy Spirit in our hearts, that You are with us every second of every day. Our character is best shown when we are alone, and our dependence on You becomes most evident. Amen.
Grace & Peace,
All verses are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) unless otherwise noted.