Monday, June 16, 2003

Edifier du Jour-Obadiah 1:15-18(NASB)
15 "For the day of the LORD draws near on all the nations. As you have done, it will be done to you. Your dealings will return on your own head. 16 "Because just as you drank on My holy mountain, All the nations will drink continually. They will drink and swallow And become as if they had never existed. 17 "But on Mount Zion there will be those who escape, And it will be holy. And the house of Jacob will possess their possessions. 18 "Then the house of Jacob will be a fire And the house of Joseph a flame; But the house of Esau will be as 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
I decided to start my own Bible-reading system to get me to go over, listing the books I haven't spend much time on in the past, then doing a random-number generation thing to pick a book; Obadiah hopped up first on the list. The book, like a lot of the minor prophets, falls into the "Paybacks are a [she-dog]" or "You'll get yours someday" categories. I'm not totally comfortable with some of the glee that the writer gets out of the future demise of his enemies, but it is one way of coping with current injustice. If we know that the bad guys will get punished eventually, in the life to come if not in this one, it takes some of the sting out of the injustices we face. I remember talking to one family from church about how they kept their son out of kindergarten to give the kid's tender heart an extra year to grow; he had an innate sense of fairness which was about to be rudely challenged by the real world. He was the one to play the peacemaker, the one to take on the bully even if it meant that both of them would be suspended for fighting; as a young man today, he still doesn't suffer fools gladly. Unless you're Dubya running herd over the US military, you can't fight some of the bigger bullies of the world yourself. For those jobs that are above your pay grade, you rely on God to handle the bullies. They will get theirs. However, a better way to handle the thugs of the world is not to ask for their destruction but their conversion, that God would do a work in them to make them stop being a thug. It's hard as all get out to pray for your enemies and the mark of a mature believer. That's not to say that you want the thug to succeed in his thuggery, but that you are looking after his long-term best interest.

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