“For the day of the Lord is near for all the nations.
Just as you have done, it will be done to you.
Your dealings will return on your own head.
For just as you drank on My holy mountain,
All the nations will drink continually.
They will drink to the last drop,
And become as if they had never existed.
But on Mount Zion there will be those who escape,
And it will be holy.
And the house of Jacob will possess their property.
Then the house of Jacob will be a fire,
And the house of Joseph a flame;
But the house of Esau will be like 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.
Then those of the Negev will possess the mountain of Esau,
And those of the Shephelah the Philistine plain;
Also, they will possess the territory of Ephraim and the territory of Samaria,
And Benjamin the territory of Gilead.
And the exiles of this army of the sons of Israel,
Who are among the Canaanites as far as Zarephath,
And the exiles of Jerusalem who are in Sepharad,
Will possess the cities of the Negev.
The deliverers will ascend Mount Zion
To judge the mountain of Esau,
And the kingdom will be the Lord’s.

Israel knew what it was to hope for the future. And they also knew what it was to suffer in the in-between. Long before, God had promised Abraham that He would bless the world through His decedents. (See Gen. 12:1-3.) Then He promised to bring the Messiah through the line of King David. (See 2 Sam. 7:12-13.) They knew their covenant God had a plan for them. But then they were exiled. Jerusalem was destroyed and they sat in Babylon—under foreign rule, away from their land, wondering if God would ever restore them.

Through the prophet Obadiah, God warned Israel (and all nations) to not live as the neighboring Edomites (the house of Esau) had. They had aided the Babylonians in bringing harm to the Israelites, and God warned that their pride would cause them to fall. Edom was a picture and an example of the pervasive pride and sin of humanity. But God’s word of judgement wasn’t the final word. He would restore Jerusalem and He would restore the children of Israel.

God lifted Israel’s head above their present circumstances. He called them to look forward to a day that was coming. He wasn’t overlooking their suffering, but He gave them a glimpse of the bigger picture. God, in His kindness, is always calling us to trust Him in hope of the future that He has in store for us. (See Rom. 15:13.) Nothing and no one else can provide this type of hope. God alone can see the future. He alone can sustain us in the in-betweens.

  • How do you struggle to hope in God for the future?
  • How do you struggle to trust God in the midst of painful circumstances?
  • Ask the Lord to meet you in the midst of your circumstances. Ask Him to cast your eyes forward and fill you with hope in Him.