As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
Key Verse Thought: Before beginning today’s lesson, consider today’s key verse. It is important to remember that this is God speaking. We must remember that God hates sin and wickedness. See what we read about Jesus, God’s Son: “Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity …” (Hebrews 1:9). See that in this verse righteousness means “disposition or conduct in common life — i.e.: just, uprightness, good character, virtue” and iniquity means “sin, unrighteousness, lawlessness.” If you are teaching a class, ask your students if they remember the twins Jacob and Esau from the Bible. Remember that Esau rejected what was right. As we look at this Bible Lesson, we will better understand why God hated Esau. We will see how Esau, and his descendants, had rejected God and the things of God. For that (and because of his hatred toward Jacob and his descendants) God promised destruction to that people.
Emphasis: First, we are to make sure we have chosen a life pleasing to God (have Jesus in our heart). Afterward, we should learn to live as an ambassador in this world, knowing we represent Jesus to the lost.
Lesson Summary: Obadiah is the shortest book in the Old Testament. It is considered one of the older books of prophecy. No one is quite sure when it was written. There are no clues within the book to help us place it in history as many other books of prophecy have. However, we do know that it is a book of warning. It warns us of what will happen to those who are against God’s people. It was written as a warning to those who persecuted the Israelites.
God called Obadiah as an ambassador (a messenger representing God) to warn Edom of their pending doom. First, though, we will remember who the people of Edom were. They were descendants of Esau. Remember that he was the twin brother of Jacob. We will recall the events that transpired, causing them to become enemies, and will consider a few times that Israel had conflict with the Edomites. They were also a vocal adversary when Israel was threatened. They took pleasure in the troubles of Israel. Because of that, God would deal with them. We will read that another reason they would be destroyed was because of their pride; God would bring them down.
Finally, we will read of the judgments that would fall upon Edom; and the recompense God would pay His people, the Israelites.
If you are doing this with children, the following is a craft idea to go with this lesson:
We made a book of Obadiah. Because it is the shortest book of the Bible, we glued a copy of the entire book of Obadiah inside of folded black construction paper (to look like a Bible).