Unit 17, Session 1: Obadiah the Prophet
The conflict between Edom and Israel originates in the story of Jacob and Esau. The twins struggled in the womb, and their mother, Rebekah, asked God why. God explained that from her womb would come two nations, and the older would serve the younger. (Gen. 25:23)
The nation of Israel descended from Jacob (the younger), and the nation of Edom descended from Esau (the older). God promised to Jacob the same promises He made to Abraham (Gen. 28:15), but Esau was a godless man who despised God’s promises. (Heb. 12:16)
For centuries, the two families were at odds. When Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, the king of Edom refused to let the Israelites pass through his country to get to the promised land. (Num. 20:14-21) Edom fought against Israel on several occasions. (See 2 Chron. 20:2; 28:17; 2 Kings 8:20-22.)
The Book of Obadiah is God’s message about Edom in response to their sin—specifically their gloating over the Babylonian invasion of Jerusalem. When the Babylonians invaded Jerusalem, the people of Edom didn’t help. Like an envious brother, Edom was glad to see Judah overcome. In fact, Edom was a guilty participant in the action against Judah. (Obad. 11)
The prophet Obadiah detailed the charges against Edom, announced their guilt, and handed down the sentence from the Lord: Edom would be totally destroyed. No remnant of Esau’s family would remain. On the other hand, Obadiah said God’s people would be restored.
God said the people of Edom would get what they deserved. “As you have done, it will be done to you; what you deserve will return on your own head” (Obad. 15). God’s rule is just. The fate of the Edomites might as well be ours. But here’s the reality: As you have done, it was done to Christ; what you deserve was returned on His head. Jesus is King, and one day He will deliver His people from their enemies once and for all.
Like God’s people were mistreated by the people of Edom, Jesus was mistreated by His own people. God will punish sin. Jesus died on the cross to take the punishment we deserve for our sin. We can trust Jesus to make wrong things right.
Check this session’s Activity Page and Big Picture Card as well as the Gospel Project for Kids Family App for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.
FAMILY STARTING POINTS
● Babies and Toddlers
The prophets told about Jesus.
One day, Jesus will make wrong things right.
Edom was happy when God punished Judah.
Obadiah said God would bring His people back to their land.
Jesus will be king over God’s people forever.
How is Jesus the perfect Prophet? God speaks to us through Jesus.
God promised to take care of His people.
How is Jesus the perfect Prophet? Jesus perfectly reveals God the Father and fulfills what the prophets spoke.
God promised to restore Israel and rule the earth as King.
UNIT KEY PASSAGE
● Jeremiah 29:11
● “The Captives Came Home” (Ezra 1–3)
Royal Ambassadors, Girls in Action, Mission Friends
This month, children will learn how One More Child helps children across the United States and around the world. One More Child trains foster parents to care for children in Christian homes. They support single moms by providing a safe place for them to live until they are self-sufficient. They host a safe house program that helps victims overcome their pasts. They also run feeding programs, training conferences, and schools in Uganda, Colombia, and Nicaragua. As One More Child meets these physical needs, they are sharing God’s love and spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The story of Jonah reveals that we can call out to God for help, and the Lord will generously give us a second chance. Jonah was running away from God. He did not want to deliver God’s message to Nineveh. He found himself in the midst of a storm in the middle of the ocean and in the belly of a huge fish. Jonah called out to the Lord for help from inside the fish belly. God listened to him and answered him. You can pray to God at any time and in any place.
Dr. Jerry Haag is the president and CEO of One More Child. Nothing brings him greater joy than feeding children physically and spiritually. But there are so many more children who need help. They need homes and loving families. When Jerry visited a school in Uganda, he saw a young boy on the outside of the school grounds looking through a fence. This boy desperately wanted to be with these children who were well-cared-for. This is the reality all around the world and even in our own backyard. There are children who are hungry and in need of love because there are not enough foster homes, food, and resources to care for them.