Obadiah and Psalm 82 & 83
In yesterday’s devotion, one of four bullet points focused on making God the judge. In today’s reading, there are calls from Obadiah and the Psalmist(s) for justice to come from on high. To be clear, we are not appointing God to a position He doesn’t already command, and we aren’t necessarily persuading Him to intervene. When we implore God to judge, we are inviting Him to rule in our favor by having a life-contrast or dichotomy that would allow Him to easily see we are for Him. We are the wheat. We are the sheep. Whether he intervenes today or not, ultimately, “Come” will be the words of invitation we will hear from our King inviting us to dwell with God in love and in eternity. Conversely, we are all declared guilty for the first death, but we can be condemned to a second and permanent death if we are not found covered by the innocent blood of Jesus Christ. Those who remain are against Him. The chaff. The goats. “Depart” will be the words of condemnation to those who made themselves a stranger. There is no invitation. There is no love. There is no eternity. God’s ruling is truly sovereign. There is no room for shades of gray.
Although the following isn’t a joy-filling thought to charge the beginning of your day, we need to be reminded there is a place opposite of God. Sometimes those who dwell there actively and openly oppose Him (Obadiah 1:3). In fact, there are people in this world who would love nothing more than to imprison Christians, outlaw prayer, burn down churches, and try to expunge the name of Jesus Christ from existence. Sadly, this happens quite a bit across the world today, and I dare say, at an ever-increasing pace in the United States. However, we must also remember, open defiance and apathetic faith are equally punishable in the eyes of God: women and men who prioritize their lives by accumulating wealth, try to make a name for themselves, acquire dizzying intellects, repeatedly give into vices, forget to take care of those who are hungry, thirsty, or imprisoned, or many other acts not listed here that do not center solely around God (Psalm 82:3,34, Matt 25:44,45). Apathy, complaisance, half-heartedness, and postponement can place us in imminent condemnation of God as plainly as open defiance.
To not share the name of Jesus Christ is to annul his message. To not lift up the church is to tear it down. To not empower the weak is to place them in the hands of those who would do them harm. Where is the contrast in your life? Are you living for the finite or existing for the eternal? Are you with Him or against Him? Yes, there is a place opposite of God, but let us pray that God uses these words we read today to convict us, bringing us closer to His calling as good and faithful servants.
Today’s Bible passage can be read or listened to at https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Obadiah+1%2C+Psalm+82%2C83&version=NIV
Tomorrow’s reading will be 2 Kings 1-4 as we continue our journey through the 2020 Chronological Bible Reading Plan