August 09, 2011

Sibling Rivalry

Obadiah 8-21

And the kingdom will be the Lord’s.
Obadiah 21


Israel lived with sibling rivalry. The conflict began in Rebekah’s womb, as her twins, Jacob and Esau, wrestled one another (Genesis 25:22). As the brothers grew, they lived in tension— even hatred—with each other (Genesis 27).

Each brother fathered a nation. Jacob fathered the Israelites, and Esau the Edomites. The two nations lived as enemies. When Israel suffered, Edom delighted. When Israel was weak, Edom attacked. And when Israel was overtaken by enemy nations, Edom gloated.

Through the prophet Obadiah the Lord promised that Israel would rise again, and Edom would not claim ultimate victory. In fact, God would punish Edom for their mistreatment of Israel, and he would vindicate Israel. Justice would prevail!

This promise is realized in Christ. When Jesus was born, King Herod, an Edomite (Idumean), tried to kill Jesus, an Israelite. But God preserved Jesus, and Herod soon died (Matthew 2). Then eventually at the cross, Jesus defeated the powers of sin and death that hold sway over all the kingdoms of this world.

We too live in conflict with the kingdoms of this world. We struggle with sin and its effects, but we know that in Jesus, God has already won the victory! Sin may seem to triumph at times, but sin and darkness will not prevail because “the kingdom will be the Lord’s.”

All powerful God, comfort us with the assurance of your victory, and keep us strong in the face of adversity. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Rob Toornstra

Rob Toornstra has served as pastor of Sunnyslope Christian Reformed Church in Salem, Oregon, since 2006. When not busy with pastoral duties, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Amy, and their three children.

Start your day with quick daily devotions.

See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!