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As You Have Done to Israel - Part 2 - Shepherd of Hope

“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 v. 15

 

In Part 1 of As You Have Done to Israel, we established that the way people or even nations treat Israel and her people has a direct effect on whether they will be blessed or cursed by God. And on that basis we looked at the link between the February 28th, 2020 Deal of the Century and its’ subtle acceptance of dividing the Land as the consequential cause for the division of our nation over the span of time since the Deal was unveiled.

The main verse from Obadiah we based this on is Obadiah verse 15 that states:

“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.”

In Part 1 we also referenced the early February 2020 Prophecy Update of J.D. Farag where he shared excerpts from the Deal of the Century which seemed to support the idea of the acceptability of dividing up the Land and Jerusalem to some degree itself. He explained that the Deal was still a “two state solution.” He quoted the document as follows:

“You’ll notice it’s under section twenty-one titled: END OF CLAIMS / END OF CONFLICT [page 38]. Here’s what it says, and I quote: “The Israeli-Palestinian Peace Agreement will end the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, and end all claims between the parties.”

This brings us to the first conclusion, which is that of this still being a Two-State Solution. Here are a couple of excerpts from the plan – quoting from page 17 of the plan:

– “Jerusalem will remain the sovereign capital of the State of Israel, and it should remain an undivided city. The sovereign capital of the State of Palestine should be in the section of East Jerusalem located in all areas east and north of the existing security barrier…”  “… The United States will recognize the State of Israel and the State of Palestine in their respective capitals and encourage other nations to relocate their embassies to Jerusalem and Al Quds, as applicable.”

The second conclusion is that Jerusalem still has no solution. Here are excerpts from pages 13-17:

– “Jerusalem is holy to multiple faiths and has religious significance for much of humanity. The issue of Jerusalem’s holy sites, particularly the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif should be treated with the utmost sensitivity.  …Jerusalem is a city unique in the history of civilization. No other place on earth can claim significance to three major religions. Each day, Jews pray at the Western Wall, Muslims bow in prayer at the al-Aqsa Mosque and Christians worship at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. … For Islam, Jerusalem acquires prominence as stated in the Holy Koran: “Glory to Him who made His Servant go by night from the Sacred Mosque (al-Masjid al-Haram) to the Farthest Mosque (al-Masjid al-Aqsa) whose surroundings We have blessed, that We might show him some of Our signs.”

JD references Daniel 9:27 and states whether or not the Deal is that covenant which will be conformed according to Daniel, is yet to be determined. He references Zechariah 12:1-3 where it states Jerusalem will be a burdensome stone and says this is yet to be fully determined as well. And then, as mentioned in Part 1 of this study, JD states (what I believe to have been a word of prophecy):

Here again, I have to answer this the same way, “yes and no, and or, not yet.” Again, nothing has been “confirmed” or agreed to as of yet, but to me, Trump’s peace plan does seem to divide Jerusalem. . . . Time will tell, as anyone who tries to divide Jerusalem will themselves be divided. If this is indeed Trumps intention, then we will likely witness the dividing of the United States, hmm!

“Time will tell, as anyone who tries to divide Jerusalem will themselves be divided. If this is indeed Trumps intention, then we will likely witness the dividing of the United States, hmm!” That was a prophetic word in a Prophecy Update by JD Farag.

In Part 1 we noted in Joel how God warns of judgment those who would divide the Land of Israel: 

  • Joel 3:1–3 – “For behold, in those days and at that time, When I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem, 2 I will also gather all nations, And bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; And I will enter into judgment with them there On account of My people, My heritage Israel, Whom they have scattered among the nations; They have also divided up My land. 3 They have cast lots for My people, have given a boy as payment for a harlot, and sold a girl for wine, that they may drink.

 We further noted that God here very specifically speaks of judgement for those who have “divided My land.” That’s something we and people generally overlook. THE LAND BELONGS TO GOD. God in His word states emphatically, “The land shall not be sold permanently, for the land is Mine; for you are strangers and sojourners with Me” (Leviticus 25:23).

And therefore, any “Deal” relating to Israel had better walk softly and reconsider any idea of dividing the Land of Israel. It is not Israel’s Land to give away. It is not anyone else’s Land to carve up. For those who disregard such clear statements of ownership by God, be ready to be divided up yourself as a consequence.

Lastly, in Part 1 we pointed out that, based on Obadiah, the root motivation for those who would divide the Land of Israel or mistreat her was pride.

Obadiah 2-3 – “Behold, I will make you small among the nations; You shall be greatly despised.3 The pride of your heart has deceived you, You who dwell in the clefts of the rock, Whose habitation is high; You who say in your heart, ‘Who will bring me down to the ground?’”

The LORD through Obadiah identifies “the pride of your heart” as the main root problem here. The “pride” mentioned in Obadiah 3 (Hebrew zadown) means pride, insolence, presumption, arrogance.

There is a steep price for those who are proud. That price is God’s grace (Jams 4:5-6; 1 Peter 5:5-6; and Galatians 3:10-13).

According to Obadiah, the signs of proud living are:

  1. Pride in a place – v. 3-4
  2. Pride in possessions – v. 5-7
  3. Pride in professionals – v. 8-9
  4. Pride that is appallingly loveless – vs. 10-14 (the NT alternative is Romans 12:9-21).

In the book of Jonah, (which we will study next) there is a verse that applies to our study of Obadiah, it states:

  • Jonah 2:8 – “Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.”  [1]

Someone has said, “There are no U-Haul trailers attached to hearses.” The popular proud motto, “He who dies with the most toys wins,” is a tragic fallacy. It is more true to say, “He who dies with the most toys still dies like he with no toys.” God has a plan for each person’s life and He seeks to work through the humble and surrendered. But those who are proud miss out on that wonderful plan of God.

We are, according to scripture, living in perilous “last days” based on the description of it being a time of proud self-love (2 Timothy 3:1-5).

The conclusion of Obadiah is that pride always precedes destruction, pride always leads to destruction.

Payment Due on Pride – God’s Just Reprisal – Consequences

From the beginning of the Abrahamic Covenant and the roots of the nation of Israel God has purposed to reveal Himself to this world through the patriarchs and the nation of Israel. He does this by stating and enforcing the dependence of blessings and curses on how people respond and treat Israel and her people. This is stated clearly in the Abrahamic Covenant:

  • Genesis 12:1–3 – Now the Lord had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. 2I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

This covenant of God with Abraham and his descendants to bring blessings or curses to the world is carried out throughout scripture and beyond in history. And the reason it is mentioned here is because Obadiah reiterates and reinforces this covenant promise.

Some would discount this covenant and say it no longer applies. They say God has rejected Israel and replaced her with the Church. But such teaching disregards the clear statements of God in scripture to the end that His covenant with Abraham and his descendants (Israel) is an “everlasting” covenant; it does not end. This is supported with the following:

  • Genesis 17:7–8 – And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you. Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”

 

  • Psalm 89:34–35 – My covenant I will not break, nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips. 35         Once I have sworn by My holiness; I will not lie to David:

 

  • Psalm 105:9–10 – The covenant which He made with Abraham, And His oath to Isaac, 10And confirmed it to Jacob for a statute, To Israel as an everlasting covenant,

 

  • Jeremiah 31:35–37 – Thus says the Lord, Who gives the sun for a light by day, The ordinances of the moon and the stars for a light by night, Who disturbs the sea, And its waves roar (The Lord of hosts is His name): 36“If those ordinances depart From before Me, says the Lord, Then the seed of Israel shall also cease From being a nation before Me forever.” 37 Thus says the Lord: “If heaven above can be measured, And the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel For all that they have done, says the Lord.

These are only a few of the portions of scripture where God states the everlasting nature of His covenant with Israel. And if that covenant is everlasting, it was in place during the time of Obadiah and his prophecy against Edom and the other nations, and it continues to be in place today.

Therefore, how people and how nations relate to Israel, by God’s everlasting covenant, there will follow either blessings or cursing. In the book of Obadiah, the nation of Edom is under a double whammy. They have mistreated Israel, and they have done it in pride. There is a consequence for mistreating Israel. There is a consequence to the sin of pride. The LORD through Obadiah lays it out for us:

Obadiah 15-16 – “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.16 For as you drank on my holy mountain, So shall all the nations drink continually; Yes, they shall drink, and swallow, And they shall be as though they had never been.”

The word “reprisal” (Hebrew gemul) means treatment, dealing, recompense, consequence. There is a consequence for proud living, a price to be paid, a payment that is due.

Consequences. As a nation, Edom would be judged by God for their bullying and taking advantage of Israel when she was in a vulnerable position. They would be judged for their gloating and lack of mercy toward Israel. The payment due on mistreating Israel in pride is assessed by God’s imposed principle, which states, “As you have done, it shall be done to you.” Here is the consequence of pride, retribution devoid of grace, and simple and undiluted retribution. In the Old Testament we see this principle stated in the following verses:

  • Proverbs 21:13 – “Whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor Will also cry himself and not be heard.”
  • Proverbs 24:11-12 – “Deliver those who are drawn toward death, and hold back those stumbling to the slaughter.12 If you say, “Surely we did not know this,” Does not He who weighs the hearts consider it? He who keeps your soul, does He not know it? And will He not render to each man according to his deeds?”

In the New Testament it continues this principle when it states:

  • Matthew 6:14-15 – “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.15 “But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
  • Luke 6:38 – “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”
  • James 2:13a – “For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy.”
  • Galatians 6:7-8 – “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.”

These are only a few verses that could have been cited. The Edomites will receive the same treatment they dished out to others (Ezekiel 25:11-14). This is the payment due on pride.

“As you have done” for today. What was true for Edom, would be true of any other nation that proudly mistreated Israel. A case can be made that historically such relatively modern empires as England, Nazi Germany, and Israel’s Middle Eastern foes, have all suffered as a consequence of their mistreating Israel. And folks, the same would apply to America if it mistreated or went against in some way God’s mandate for Israel.

It should not be missed on us that when we look at the beginnings of our nation, our founders were sympathetic and welcoming, and protective of Jews who immigrated to the colonies looking to make a new life for themselves.

The first Jewish colonists arrived on the shores of America in 1654. By 1790 they were firmly planted in the colonies and recognized as descendants of God’s covenant with Abraham. In fact, it was in 1790 that the first president of the United States George Washington stated:

May the Children of the Stock of Abraham, who dwell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants; while everyone shall sit under this own vine and fig tree, and there shall be none to make him afraid.[2]

Such favorable sentiment toward Israel and her people is an oft forgotten factor considered in the success of this nation against the British Empire.

But today, The Deal of the Century arguably keeps the door open to dividing the land of Israel and the geography of the capitol Jerusalem. As we have done to Israel, as we have thought it acceptable to divide Israel, we are being divided. We need to consider this seriously. And we need to consider an alternative route.

10 Alternative Promises of God for the Humble

Verse seventeen begins with the word, “but.” “But” is a word that conveys a contrast. The Edomites and other nations that treated Israel poorly would be judged. They would also miss out on God’s blessing. Pride leads to retribution from God. Pride leads to a forfeiture of God’s promises. Pride leads to missing God’s grace. But if the proud humbles themselves and returns to God as Israel eventually did, God will restore and bless with His promises once again.

Earlier we quoted 1 Peter 5:5, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” The following verse in this context provides us with a hopeful promise from God stating:

  • 1 Peter 5:6 – “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.”

That is true for people. And I believe that is true for nations as well. That is what we need to do. We need to humble ourselves before the mighty hand of God. He will then exalt us in due time. That is what ultimately happened to Israel. After her captivity she humbled herself before God. What follows in Obadiah is a picture of how God exalts the one who humble repents.

There is a better way than pride. The alternative to pride that leads to God’s promises is humility.

Obadiah 17-21 – “But on Mount Zion there shall be deliverance, And there shall be holiness; The house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.18 The house of Jacob shall be a fire, And the house of Joseph a flame; But the house of Esau shall be stubble; They shall kindle them and devour them, And no survivor shall remain of the house of Esau,” For the Lord has spoken.19 The South shall possess the mountains of Esau, And the Lowland shall possess Philistia. They shall possess the fields of Ephraim and the fields of Samaria. Benjamin shall possess Gilead.20 And the captives of this host of the children of Israel Shall possess the land of the Canaanites as far as Zarephath. The captives of Jerusalem who are in Sepharad Shall possess the cities of the South.21 Then saviors shall come to Mount Zion to judge the mountains of Esau, And the kingdom shall be the Lord’s.”

In contrast to the judgment on the proud Edomites is the promise made by God to Israel. Those promises include the following.

First, the promise of deliverance – v. 17. “But on Mount Zion there shall be deliverance.” When Israel humbled themselves and repented of their sins of idolatry, immorality, etc., they were delivered from their captors by God. When they humbled themselves before God, He gave them favor with their captors. When they humbled themselves before God, He made a way for them to return to their Land, to Jerusalem (cf. Nehemiah). When they humbled themselves before God, He made a way for them to rebuild their temple, rededicate it and resume temple sacrifices (cf. Ezra). Unfortunately, by the time the captivity ended, many of those who had been taken captive to foreign lands like Assyrian and Babylon, had assimilated into the foreign land and culture and only about 50,000 Jews were willing to return when the Lord opened the door for them to do so (cf. Haggai).  But when God’s people responded to His discipline and served their time in captivity (i.e. 70 years for each of the Sabbatical years neglected over a 490-year period), He delivered them from their captors.

If we as a nation and as individuals ever hope to be delivered from the various forms of bondage we have fallen into, we must first humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God and wait on Him to exalt us in His timing.

Second, the promise of holiness – v. 17. “And there shall be holiness.” “Holiness” (Hebrew qodes) means sacred, a sacred place or thing, sanctity, consecrated, dedicated, hallowed, holiness, holy, saint, sanctuary. The idea of holiness is something or someone separated to or dedicated to God and His use. Ultimately, holiness is living in harmony with God. God through the prophet Jeremiah told the people this began with seeking Him wholeheartedly. Jeremiah was inspired to say:

  • Jeremiah 29:11–14 – 11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.

The primary reason why people do not find God or His truth, is that they are too proud to listen or read or take in what He has revealed about Himself in His word. God’s word is truth (John 17:17). The entire point of scripture is to “know God” (John 17:3).

Holiness is living in relationship with God. This concept is started in the Old Testament. God created humanity and invited them to fellowship with Him in the Garden and throughout the earth (Genesis 2-3). But they chose to rebel against Him. They chose to disregard God’s outstretched hand and loving intentions. They chose to listen ot the tempter, the devil, the serpent of old. They chose to listen to and accept the serpent’s lies instead of God’s love and truth. The consequence is falling out of fellowship with God and sin (e.g. Genesis 3; Romans 3).

What began in the Old Testament is completed in the New Testament. In the New Testament Jesus came to atone for the sins of humanity so that whoever believes in Him can be forgiven their sins and receive eternal life (e.g. John 3). We are legally and lawfully justified and made by God as if we’d never sinned (Romans 3-5). We then “walk in newness of life” or live in holiness; a life separated and dedicated to God (e.g. Romans 6). This holy life is not something we do in our own strength (Romans 7), it is something we are empowered to live by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8).

But all of it begins when we humbly respond to and receive the conviction of the Holy Spirit concerning our sins and need of a Savior Jesus Christ (John 16:8-11). When we admit our sins and ask God’s forgiveness, on the basis of Jesus’ atoning work on the cross and His resurrection from the dead, then we experience a second birth, spiritual birth (John 1:12; 3).

Holiness, holy living, life in the Holy Spirit, is something we live out in relationship to God in Christ. The New Testament puts it like this:

  • 2 Corinthians 6:17–7:1 – 17 Therefore “Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.” 18 “I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” 7 Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh – and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

 

  • 1 Thessalonians 5:16–24 – 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies. 21 Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil. 23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.

 

  • Hebrews 7:25 25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

 

  • Hebrews 10:12–14 – 12 But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, 13 from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. 14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.

 

  • Hebrews 12:1–2 – Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

 

  • 1 Peter 1:15–16 – 15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”

 

If we as individuals and we as a nation are ever to resume and live out the holy life wholly dedicated to God in Christ, we must first humble ourselves before God in faith trusting that He will exalt us in due time.

Third, the promise of possessing God’s assigned possessions for you – v. 17. “The house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.” This is God’s promise to His people that if they humble themselves and return in heart to Him, that they will experience all of what He originally intended for them to possess. Realizing the fullness of the Land God promised His people will be fulfilled in the Millennial Kingdom of Christ (cf. Revelation 20). But humility before the LORD opens the door for us to step into and possess all that He has for us (e.g. Joshua 1). That’s God’s promise to the one who humbles themselves before Him.

Fourth, the promise of “Fire” (revival), vitality – v. 18. “The house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame.” When God’s people humble themselves before Him, His promise to put a holy fire in them. Jeremiah experienced this when He was inspired to write:

  • Jeremiah 5:14 – 14 Therefore thus says the Lord God of hosts: “Because you speak this word, Behold, I will make My words in your mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them.

 

  • Jeremiah 20:9 – Then I said, “I will not make mention of Him, nor speak anymore in His name.” But His word was in my heart like a burning fire Shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, And I could not.

 

  • Jeremiah 23:29 – 29Is not My word like a fire?” says the Lord, “And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?

 

  • Hebrews 4:12 – 12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

 

It’s not an accident that on the day of Pentecost, one of the manifestations of the Spirit was tongues of fire over each person’s head (Acts 2:1-4). When we humble ourselves before God, He will put a fire in us that will consume sin and drive us forward with holy passion to fulfill His plans.

Fifth, the promise that proud Esau will be stubble – v. 18. “But the house of Esau shall be stubble.” When we humble ourselves before God, and even give him our enemies, their threats, injustices, and oppressive mistreatment, God steps in and defends us (e.g. Psalm 9; 18; 20-25; 108; etc.). Rather than seek vengeance against and enemy, it would be better for us to humble ourselves before the LORD and trust Him to justly recompense the sinful oppressor. The New Testament states:

  • Romans 12:17–21 – 17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

 

If we as a nation and as individuals are ever to be reconciled to one another, we must put our grievances in God’s hands and overcome evil with good. Our attitude should be as the inspired words of Paul to the Ephesians who wrote:

  • Ephesians 4:30–32 – 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

 

Are you willing to humble yourself before God and do that? It’s truly our only viable and guarantee to victory. This is God’s promise to those who will humble themselves before Him.

Sixth, the promise that what the LORD speaks in your regard will happen – v. 18. “They shall kindle them and devour them, and no survivor shall remain of the house of Esau,’ for the LORD has spoken.” God’s promise to those who humble themselves before Him is that He will take care of their enemies. God’s justice is more complete and thorough and just than any alternative. And His promise to those who humble themselves before Him is that what “the LORD has spoken,” will be enacted and completed in their lives.

We see this in the New Testament where it states:

  • 2 Corinthians 1:20–22 – 20 For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. 21 Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, 22 who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.

Just think of those words, “All the promises of God in Him [i.e. Jesus] are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.” All of God’s promises, all of them are there for us, when we humble ourselves before Him and trust Him for them. And even beyond that, the New Testament says God “is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” (Ephesians 3:20). GOD IS NOT LIMITED BY OUR REQUESTS OR UNDERSTANDING! God is willing and able to exceed our requests. And to that we can only go on to say, “To Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen” (Ephesians 3:21).

Seventh, the promise of restoration – v. 19. “The south shall possess the mountains of Esau, and the lowland shall possess Philistia. They shall possess the fields of Ephraim and the fields of Samaria.” Here God speaks of how He will restore those who humble themselves before Him. These geographical points speak of regaining land that was lost when they went into captivity. God is able to restore what has been lost. In the Minor Prophetic book of Joel, it states:

  • Joel 2:25–27 – 25“So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the crawling locust, the consuming locust, and the chewing locust, My great army which I sent among you. 26 You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you; And My people shall never be put to shame. 27    Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel: I am the Lord your God And there is no other. My people shall never be put to shame.

No matter how bad things get, no matter how enslaved or captive your feel, if you humble yourself before God, He is able to restore what has been consumed. If our nation is to fully recover from the damage done by the divisive behavior we have experienced of late, that restoration begins with humbling ourselves before God.

Eighth, the promise of liberation of captives to possess what God has for them – v. 20. “And the captives of this host of the children of Israel shall possess the land of the Canaanites as far as Zarephath. The captives of Jerusalem who are in Sepharad shall possess the cities of the South.” God’s promise to those who would humble themselves before Him is liberty. God liberated His people at the Exodus when they humbly cried out to Him (cf. Exodus 1-2). Over and over again He delivered and liberated His people when they returned to Him as recorded in the book of Judges. And this theme is continued in the New Testament when the greatest oppressor, sin, is conquered in Christ.

  • Isaiah 61:1 – “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;

 

  • Luke 4:18–19 18“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; 19  To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”

 

  • 2 Corinthians 3:17 – 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

 

  • Galatians 5:1 – Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.

 

  • Galatians 5:13 – 13 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

 

If we as individuals and as a nation ever hope to experience true liberty from the bondages of sin, we must humble ourselves before God and seek His promise of liberty in Christ Jesus by the Holy Spirit.

Ninth, the promise of “Saviors shall come” – v. 21. “The saviors shall come to Mount Zion to judge the mountains of Esau, . . .” God promised His people He would send deliverers to help them out of captivity. Ezra and Nehemiah were such deliverers. Jesus is our greatest Deliverer. “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God – through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:24-25a). Here are some other verses speaking of the deliverance of the LORD:

  • Galatians 1:3–5 – Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

 

  • 2 Timothy 4:17–18 – 17 But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear. Also I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. 18 And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!

 

  • 2 Peter 2:9 – then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment,

 

God has a way of rescuing us no matter what state or peril we are in. In fact, when we humble ourselves before God, He enables us to weather any storm and persevere through any trial. Paul testified to this when he was inspired to write:

  • 2 Corinthians 4:7–18 – But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—10 always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11 For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So then death is working in us, but life in you. 13 And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak, 14 knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you. 15 For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God. 16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

All of this begins with humbling ourselves before God.

Tenth, the promise of “And the kingdom shall be the LORD’s” – v. 21.  “And the kingdom shall be the LORD’s.” Lastly, God speaks of His promise of His kingdom. This will be ultimately seen in the Millennial Kingdom of Christ on earth (cf. Revelation 20). This is a kingdom God will provide us and establish. We do not establish the kingdom in order that Jesus would return (i.e. Dominionism – which I believe id counter to scripture). But the kingdom of God begins in us. Where God rules, His kingdom is reigns. Does God rule your heart? Have you humbled yourself before Him? If you want to experience the promises of God, it begins with humble faith in Him. Jesus instructed us to pray, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done” (Matthew 6:10; Luke 11:2).  That kingdom begins in our heart and will find its ultimate fulfillment when Jesus returns to establish His kingdom on earth for a thousand years. Is that something you want to experience? Is that something you want to be a part of? It all begins with humbling yourself under the mighty hand of God.

While Israel and Judah both had a history of pride, they did experience a humbling in their history. Here we see in a sense how the humble will triumph over the proud. This is what the Bible says; the humble will receive the blessings of God’s grace.

Humble faith. When we look at the people God uses in the Bible one characteristic that is ever present is humility. Moses was humble (Numbers 12:3), Job was humble (Job 1:20-22); John the Baptist was humble (John 3:25-31), and Peter became humble (John 18:10; cf. also the centurion in Luke 7:6-10). This is likely because humility precedes faith, a person must approach God in humility if they are to receive faith.

Grace to the humble. As quoted earlier, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble,” that is the primary promise missed by the proud (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5). And that is a BIG promise to miss out on because grace is essential to salvation. Grace is God’s undeserved favor and provision in our lives. God reaches out to those lost in sin by His grace. God’s grace is motivated by His love.  It is grace that brings salvation and change into a persons’ life as the following verses attest:

  • Ephesians 2:8-9 – “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.”
  • 1 Corinthians 15:10 – “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”
  • 2 Peter 3:17-18 – “You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked;18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.”

A person cannot be saved apart from God’s grace and cannot grow in spiritual life apart from God’s grace. Therefore, pride cuts a person off from spiritual life and growth. Pride cuts a person off from their eternal lifeblood, grace. Everyone needs God’s grace, but pride cuts us off from it.

Contentment for those who trust in God. There is another related passage in the context of Philippians, which is frequently misapplied. In Philippians 4 Paul speaks of how he has learned to be humbly content in all circumstances and he says he has been able to do this through Christ who strengthens him. Read what it states:

  • Philippians 4:11-13 – “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content:12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

The proud are enslaved to a never-ending quest for more. The proud are consumed with their pursuit of bigger and what they perceive to be better things. But the end of pride is poverty because pride will never allow a person to have enough. But humility breeds a trusting faith in God that enables a person to be content in whatever situation they find themselves in. contentment leads to peace and allows the person to be used by God in His plans. This is the example of Jesus and this is what worked for Paul. This is something the proud can never understand. This is a promise missed by the proud.

The following excerpt was taken from an interview in Leadership magazine:

All he ever really wanted in life was more. He wanted more money, so he parlayed inherited wealth into a billion-dollar pile of assets. He wanted more fame, so he broke into the Hollywood scene and soon became a filmmaker and star. He wanted more sensual pleasures, so he paid handsome sums to indulge his every sexual urge. He wanted more thrills, so he designed, built, and piloted the fastest aircraft in the world. He wanted more power, so he secretly dealt political favors so skillfully that two U.S. presidents became his pawns. All he ever wanted was more. He was absolutely convinced that more would bring him true satisfaction. Unfortunately, history shows otherwise. He concluded his life emaciated; colorless; sunken chest; fingernails in grotesque, inches-long corkscrews; rotting, black teeth; tumors; innumerable needle marks from his drug addiction. Howard Hughes died believing the myth of more. He died a billionaire junkie, insane by all reasonable standards. [3]

In contrast to Howard Hughes, Martin Luther once said:

“I have held many things in my hands and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God’s hands, that I still possess.” [4]

John Wesley, the 18th century minister through whom God worked a mighty revival in England, once had his house burned to the ground. His response is an illustration of true humility. He said:

“The Lord’s house burned. One less responsibility for me!” [5]

C.T. Studd, a famed professional cricket player from London in the 19th century, had reached a place of fame and fortune. But with all he had, he still felt lacking. Then he came to Jesus and everything changed. He surrendered everything to Jesus and answered His call to the mission field. Later in life Studd penned the words:

“This one life will soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last. And when I am old how happy I’ll be, if the lamp of my life has been burned out for Thee.”

These quotes did not come from men who were stuck in the pride of possessions. These men had humbly surrendered to God all that they had. Pride, in its many forms, leads to destruction. God has made many promises to us, but pride will cause people to miss them all. Obadiah may have been a poet as his short book is written in Hebrew poetic form. If that is the case, the judgment pronounced upon the Edomites is an expression of poetic justice.

In the book of Jonah, (which we will study next) there is a verse that applies to our study of Obadiah, it states:

  • Jonah 2:8 – “Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.”  [6]

Someone has said, “There are no U-Haul trailers attached to hearses.” The popular proud motto, “He who dies with the most toys wins,” is a tragic fallacy. It is more true to say, “He who dies with the most toys still dies like he with no toys.” God has a plan for each person’s life and He seeks to work through the humble and surrendered. It is through the humble that God impacts the world. Such was the case of “Big Angus” in World War II.

Love in humility. Our greatest example of humility is of course, Jesus. A beautiful passage in Paul’s letter to the Philippians shows us the humility of Jesus and how His humble obedience led to the fulfillment of His mission. In Philippians it states:

  • Philippians 2:5-11 – “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Jesus submitted in humility to the Father’s plan and the result is that he was successful in His mission. And He did that because of love.

  • 2 Corinthians 5:14–15 – 14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.

Author Ernest Gordon wrote a true account of life in a World War II Japanese prison camp, in his book, Through the Valley of the Kwai. In this book is a story of what God can do through a person who humbly surrenders to Him.

The man’s name was Angus McGillivray. Angus was a Scottish prisoner in one of the camps filled with Americans, Australians, and Britons who had helped build the infamous Bridge over the River Kwai. The camp had become an ugly situation. A dog-eat-dog mentality had set in. Allies would literally steal from each other and cheat each other; men would sleep on their packs and yet have them stolen from under their heads. Survival was everything. The law of the jungle prevailed…until the news of Angus McGillivray’s death spread throughout the camp. Rumors spread in the wake of his death. No one could believe big Angus had succumbed. He was strong, one of those whom they had expected to be the last to die. Actually, it wasn’t the fact of his death that shocked the men, but the reason he died. Finally, they pieced together the true story.

The Argylls (Scottish soldiers) took their buddy system very seriously. Their buddy was called their “mucker,” and these Argylls believed that it was literally up to each of them to make sure their “mucker” survived. Angus’s mucker, though, was dying, and everyone had given up on him, everyone, of course, but Angus. He had made up his mind that his friend would not die. Someone had stolen his mucker’s blanket. So, Angus gave him his own, telling his mucker that he had “just come across an extra one.” Likewise, every mealtime, Angus would get his rations and take them to his friend, stand over him and force him to eat them, again stating that he was able to get “extra food.” Angus was going to do anything and everything to see that his buddy got what he needed to recover.

But as Angus’s mucker began to recover, Angus collapsed, slumped over, and died. The doctors discovered that he had died of starvation complicated by exhaustion. He had been giving of his own food and shelter. He had given everything he had — even his very life. The ramifications of his acts of love and unselfishness had a startling impact on the compound.

“Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:12).

As word circulated of the reason for Angus McGillivray’s death, the feel of the camp began to change. Suddenly, men began to focus on their mates, their friends, and humanity of living beyond survival, of giving oneself away. They began to pool their talents — one was a violinmaker, another an orchestra leader, another a cabinetmaker, another a professor. Soon the camp had an orchestra full of homemade instruments and a church called the “Church Without Walls” that was so powerful, so compelling, that even the Japanese guards attended. The men began a university, a hospital, and a library system. The place was transformed; an all but smothered love revived, all because one man named Angus gave all he had for his friend. For many of those men this turnaround meant survival. What happened is an awesome illustration of the potential unleashed when one person actually gives it all away. [7]

Poetic justice for the proud or prophetic promise to the humble, which will it be for you?

Conclusion

Remember, Jesus said, “Every kingdom divided against itself id brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand” (Matthew 12:25). That’s a reality we, as divided as we presently are, need to take seriously. And we need to consider and take seriously what we have seen in this study of As You Have Done to Israel. May I suggest the following prayers? Let’s come together in the sight of God and pray for His help.

If you have yet to receive Jesus as Savior and desire to do so:

Father, I come to You in Jesus name. I admit my sin before You. I turn from my sin and ask You to forgive my sin, not because of any good works or efforts of my own, but solely because I believe Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty of my sin. I believe He rose from the dead. Please Holy Spirit indwell me and give me spiritual life; eternal life. Help me to live for You. I receive Your forgiveness as a gift of Your grace received by faith. Please now make me what I need to be, to do whatever You direct me to do, for Your glory, until Jesus’ return. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

If you know the LORD already, please join me in seeking the LORD accordingly:

Father in heaven, I come to You in Jesus’ name. Please search me to see if there be any sin or anything offensive to You in my heart. Show me what I need to repent of and have cleansed. I pray You would do that for me. And I pray You would do that for our nation, its Federal, State and local representatives, and people. Show us and help us to repent. Lord make us right with You. If we have offended You by our treatment of Israel and her people, or Your Land, please show us, help us repent, forgive us, restore us, revive us. Father, please remove curse and bring blessing. Father, Sone Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit, please have mercy and grace toward us. Please by Your grace, make us what we need to be, to do what you call us to do, for Your glory, until You return. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Pray and do that knowing that if we don’t humble ourselves before God, we will likely end up as those the Lord describes being, “as though they had never been” (v.16).

In His service, by His grace, for His glory,

Pastor Claude

 

[1]The New International Version, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House) 1984.

[2] John McTernan, As America has Done to ‘Israel (Liverpool, PA: Whitaker House, 2006) Chapter 2.

[3] Bill Hybels in Leadership, Vol X, #3 (Summer, 1989), p. 38.

[4] http://www.sermonillustrations.com/a-z/p/possessions.htm

[5] http://www.sermonillustrations.com/a-z/p/possessions.htm

[6]The New International Version, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House) 1984.

[7] Tim Hansel, Holy Sweat, 1987, Word Books Publisher, pp. 146-147. http://www.sermonillustrations.com/a-z/s/selflessness.htm

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