This brief book of Biblical prophecy was written concerning the ancient land of Edom which is no more. Nations rise and fall, but the Lord rules over the events of history. He is the One who accomplishes all His decrees. Men think they are in charge. They look at their strategic advantages and suppose themselves to be safer than they are. They do not see their weakness rightly, missing the danger that has come to them from their pride. God looks on the arrogance of the sons of men. He knows that their hubris is not an advantage for them. They too easily forget about the Creator of the world. They imagine that they are beyond defeat because of some natural advantage that they possess, but the Lord can bring them down swiftly.
When God fights against a country, it is His to decide how they will fare as a result of the attack. What would happen to the Edomites was more than could be explained by the typical results of other military engagements. An unusual destruction was envisioned. In that day, the allies that Edom considered to be their friends would show that they had been deceitful. Those who were thought to be trusted enough to sit around the table with the Edomites and eat with them like brothers would destroy them with alarming treachery. The wisdom and power of the most insightful men among the descendants of Esau would not be able to anticipate this loss nor deliver their countrymen from a horrifying slaughter.
It was a bitter pill for proud Edom to suddenly be destroyed. Why would such a thing happen? The answer was very plain. God was the Protector of His covenant people. It was easy to understand how those who treated Israel with brutality might presume that the God of the Jews had no abiding love for His people. Judgment was beginning with the household of God, but it was unwise for Edom to gloat over people that the Lord called His special possession. The Lord of Hosts would bring His justice upon the heads of Israel’s enemies.
When would this destruction of the descendants of Esau take place? When would the world see the vindication of the sons of Jacob? While there may have been some small taste of what the prophet referred to here in some moment from the histories of Edom and Judah, this little book is speaking about a much bigger battle, a much more wonderful victory, and a far more glorious kingdom than we can find in the annals of the Ancient Near East.
When the Lord, the Son of David, is ready to return, His resurrection people will be with Him in His final judgment of the world. These “survivors” of the “Mount Zion” which is above will inherit the earth, and they will face no further attacks from the adversaries that once tormented them. The “kingdom” has been given to the ultimate suffering Servant of the Lord. He has determined that those who have faced loss with Him in this era will also reign with Him in glory. (2 Timothy 2:12)
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Lord God Almighty, the pride of the most amazing men will not win for them any eternal security. Though we may belong to a wonderful country in the opinion of our fellow citizens, though we may have many wise and mighty men in our number, though other people groups may respect or fear us, You are able to bring us down in a moment. You can destroy any adversary very quickly. What is the case for our innocence that we would make before You? Edom gloated over Jerusalem in the day of her misfortune. Have our nations loved You and served You? There can never be a secure hope for us in any of the kingdoms of this world. There is much trouble and sin in every corner of creation. Judgment is near and there is only one place of safety. We come to You, the King of the city of God. All those who belong to You are citizens there. We are Your possession, and we shall inherit the earth. In Christ alone we have the fullest safety and peace.