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May 28, 2018

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Brad Jersak

My thoughts on Obadiah:

1. The repeated series of "you should not have" is a powerful rhetorical tool leading to the climax in which we sense, "Your day is coming!" And while the 'enemy' may have never heard the prophecy, Obadiah's readers were meant to overhear it as a word of hope. A new covenant read would need to redirect our eyes to what constitutes the enemy that Christ has or will overthrow. Thus, in Patristic fashion, I recall one OT prof (of the Brevard Childs school) preaching this at cancer, at divorce, at war and at death itself. So without precluding the reality of an enemy, in Christ, we reject directing violent vindication against the human enemy other, but nevertheless proclaim, "Your day is coming" to all that which oppresses humanity.

2. In light of this re-minting of Obadiah in canonical context, the pairing of Obadiah back to back with Jonah is significant, cautioning us against resentment against the God who loves our enemies and would use us to avert their destruction. To the one drunk on Obadiah's vengeance, Jonah would feel like cold water in the face ... or the face in cold water and a fish's belly.

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