June 3, 2018 – Obadiah 1:1-21

Lesson Date: June 3, 2018

Focal Scripture Passage: Obadiah 1:1-21

AIM: To lead students to discover that pride caused the downfall of Edom, and to examine themselves for signs of pride so they can confess that sin and humble themselves before God.

 

Before class: Read the notes on Obadiah 1:1-21 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book. Read the Introduction to the Minor Prophets in the Sunday School Member Quarterly and the Introduction to Obadiah in the Sunday School Teacher Book. Write the following on the marker board or chalkboard: Sin – Judgment – Repentance – Renewal. Write the following scripture references on note cards or small pieces of paper: Genesis 12:3; Psalm 137:7; Proverbs 16:18; Mark 8:34; James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:6. Enlist some volunteers who are comfortable reading aloud to look up the verses and be prepared to read them to the class when called upon.

 

INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Ask the previously enlisted volunteer to read Proverbs 16:18. Tell the class that the Bible has much to say about pride. In fact, the words “pride” or “proud” appear over 100 times in Old and New Testaments. In addition, the Bible uses words like “haughty” and “puffed up” many more times. Pride is obviously a big problem.

Ask: “What is pride?” After students suggest some definitions, tell them that pride is an over-inflated opinion of ourselves. Pride may manifest itself in boasting or putting others down, but it is also evident whenever we choose to do what we want rather than obey God. In such a case we are elevating our ideas and opinions above God’s.

Tell the students that pride is the root of all sin. Satan boasted that he would be like God and Adam and Eve sinned because they believed Satan’s lie that they could be like God if they ate the forbidden fruit. Pride is a serious problem.

Ask the previously enlisted volunteer to read Proverbs 16:18 again. Ask: “What does pride lead to?” (a fall, destruction). Tell the class that today we will learn that that pride caused the downfall of Edom. We will also examine themselves for signs of pride.

 

HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):

  1. Introduction to Obadiah and This Quarter’s Study of Minor Prophets.
    • Be sure everyone has a copy of the Sunday School Member Quarterly for Summer 2018, titled Judgment and Renewal.
    • Tell them this quarter we will study 5 of the Minor Prophets, short books of prophecy found at the end of the Old Testament.
    • Direct the students’ attention to the words Sin – Judgment – Repentance – Renewal written on the board. Tell them throughout this quarter we will be reminded that sin brings God’s judgment, but when we repent of our sin God sends renewal.
    • Tell the students the first book we will study is Obadiah. Help them locate Obadiah in their Bibles, between the books of Amos and Jonah.
  2. Edom’s Pride.
    • Read Obadiah 1:1.
    • Tell the class we don’t know anything about Obadiah except that his name means “servant of Yahweh.”
    • Ask: “According to verse 1, what message is he delivering?” (the word of the Lord concerning Edom).
    • Direct everyone’s attention to the map and explain that Edom was located south of the Dead Sea, making her Judah’s neighbor to the southeast. The Edomites were the descendants of Jacob’s brother Esau (Gen. 25:19-34; 36:1).
    • Remind them that Abraham’s son was Isaac and Isaac had twin sons named Jacob and Esau. Jacob was the father of all the Jews. The Edomites were relatives of the Jews.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Obadiah 1:2-4.
    • Ask: “What did God say to Edom in verse 2?” (He had made them small and hated).
    • Ask: “According to verse 3, what had Edom’s pride done?” (it deceived them into thinking they were great and no one could conquer them).
    • Tell the students that Edom was a mountainous land. The rock-cut city of Petra, a symbol of their pride, is a popular tourist attraction to this day.
    • Ask: “According to verse 4, what did the Lord promise to do?” (bring Edom down).
    • Read Obadiah 1:5-7.
    • Explain the following:
      • Thieves and grape harvesters might leave some remnants behind, but God promised to remove even Edom’s hidden secret treasures (verses 5-6).
      • The Edomites did not understand that their allies and neighbors would turn on them (verse 7).
    • Read Obadiah 1:8-9.
    • Ask: “What did God promise to do?” (destroy the wise, the powerful, and the regular folks of Edom).
    • Summarize: Edom was a proud and arrogant people. Because of Edom’s pride, the Lord promised to destroy her.
  3. Edom’s Hatred and Violence.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Obadiah 1:10.
    • Ask: “What did God rebuke Edom for in this verse?” (violence against “thy brother Jacob” – the Jews).
    • Explain that Obadiah probably wrote this prophecy just after the Babylonians conquered Jerusalem in 586 c. With that as the context, the next verses will make more sense.
    • Ask the students to listen for things the Edomites did to the Jews as your read Obadiah 1:11-14.
    • Ask: “What does verse 11 say the people of Edom did to the Jews?” (they stood by and did nothing as the Babylonians violently entered Jerusalem and carried the Jews away as captives).
    • Ask: “What does verse 12 say the people of Edom did to the Jews?” (they rejoiced over the destruction of Judah and boasted that the Jews got what they deserved).
    • Ask the previously enlisted volunteer to read Psalm 137:7. The Edomites gleefully rejoiced at the fall of Jerusalem.
    • Ask: “What does verse 13 say the people of Edom did to the Jews?” (like scavengers, they went into conquered Jerusalem and plundered its remaining riches).
    • Ask: “What does verse 14 say the people of Edom did to the Jews?” (they ambushed and killed Jews who were trying to escape).
    • Ask the previously enlisted volunteer to read Genesis 12:3.
    • Tell the class it is never a good idea to oppose the Jews.
    • Summarize: The Lord rebuked Edom for her violence against the Jews.
  4. Edom’s Destruction.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Obadiah 1:15-16.
    • Explain that the Day of the Lord is a term used throughout scripture to refer to a future time when the Lord will execute divine judgment upon the wicked.
    • Ask: “What did God say would happen to Edom?” (they would receive the same kind of cruel treatment they inflicted upon the Jews).
    • Tell the class in their revelry over Jerusalem’s destruction, the cruel Edomites callously drank alcohol on God’s holy mountain. Because they violated God’s holy place, they would be forced to drink the cup of God’s wrath.
    • Read Obadiah 1:17-21.
    • Ask: “What did God say about Jerusalem in verse 17?” (it will be a place of holiness and deliverance). That was the case when Jesus Christ died there for our sins and rose again.
    • Ask: “According to verse 18, what will happen to the house of Esau (Edom)?” (they will be consumed like stubble in a fire).
    • Tell the students verses 19-20 reveal that the Jews will eventually possess all the land God originally deeded to Abraham and his descendants. Verse 21 says Edom will be judged.
    • Ask: “According to the last part of verse 21, whose kingdom will remain?” (the Lord’s).
    • Summarize: Because of her pride and violence toward the Jews, God promised to judge and destroy Edom.

 

PERSONAL APPLICATION: Direct the students’ attention once again to the words Sin – Judgment – Repentance – Renewal written on the board. Ask: “What part of that progression have we seen illustrated in this lesson?” (sin and judgment: Edom’s sin brought God’s judgment).

Ask: “What were Edom’s two sins named in this lesson?” (pride and violence toward the Jews). Tell the students that all of Edom’s sins (like all of our sins) had their root in the sin of pride. Edom hated and resented the Jews. In their pride they looked down upon the Jews and rejoiced when calamity befell them. Tell the class that pride is the root of all sin.

Ask the previously enlisted volunteer to read Mark 8:34. Ask: “What did Jesus say we must do if we want to follow Him?” (deny ourselves; in other words, turn away from our pride). Ask the previously enlisted volunteer to read James 4:6. Ask: “How does God feel about proud people?” (He resists or opposes them). Ask: “To whom does He give grace?” (humble people). Ask the previously enlisted volunteer to read 1 Peter 5:6. Ask: “What will God do when we humble ourselves under His mighty hand?” (exalt us in His time).

Tell the class that God plainly identified Edom’s fundamental sin as pride. That is our problem, too. Tell the students this lesson will be nothing more than an academic exercise if we don’t seek to apply it to our lives. We must examine ourselves for signs of pride and then confess that sin and humble ourselves before God.

Ask everyone to bow their head and close their eyes. Tell them to ask the Lord to expose any pride in their heart. Urge them to confess that sin. Tell them to humble themselves before God. Voice a closing prayer.

 

CONCLUSION: Ask everyone to memorize James 4:6. Tell them to beware of pride this week. Encourage them to do the Daily Bible Readings found on pages 4-5 of their Sunday School Member Quarterly.

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