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You should not look down on your brother in the day of his misfortune,
nor rejoice over the people of Judah in the day of their destruction,
nor boast so much in the day of their trouble. 13 You should
not march through the gates of my people in the day of their disaster,
nor look down on them in their calamity in the day of their disaster,
nor seize their wealth in the day of their disaster.
Obadiah prophesied against the people of Edom, who were the
descendants of Esau (Gen. 27:41–45; 32:1–21; 33; 36), and therefore
relatives of Israel. Instead of grieving over the destruction of
Jerusalem, the Edomites had gloated with delight. They saw Israel's
demise as an opportunity to ridicule and plunder them. Obadiah declared
that Edom would face punishment from God for their open hostility and
arrogance toward Israel in their time of need.
Response and Action:
It is not good to gloat over the demise of others. It is
arrogant and obnoxious to delight in the suffering, punishment, and
judgment of others. God will judge those who consider the misfortunes
and failures of others to be opportunities for personal gain and smug
I will be careful to not delight in the troubles or
pain of others. Even when others are experiencing the consequences of
their own wickedness and moral failures, I will look on them with
compassion and sorrow. If God does not take delight in the destruction
of the wicked (Ez. 18:23),
how much less should I! When others experience judgment for sin, I
will humble myself, knowing that it is only by the grace of God that I
am not experiencing the same.
God, give me a humble and gracious heart. When others experience
hardship at the hands of others, give me compassion and move me to
action. When those who are wicked experience painful consequences for
their wickedness, give me the humility to empathize with them, and the
grace to help them. You have shown mercy to me, O God. Give me the
attitude of Christ Jesus that I might be a testimony and instrument of
that mercy to everyone around me. I pray in the name of Jesus, my
merciful Savior. Amen.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live
in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to
associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil.
Renovation of the Heart: Putting on the Character of Christ
by Dallas Willard