Prophet Obadiah had a message for the modern man

The great Obadiah, a mind luminous with divine splendour

Great Obadiah

His name translates as 'servant of God', and he was one of the twelve minor prophets of the Old Testament. He wrote the fourth book of the minor prophets, the Book of Obadiah. It is one of the shortest books in the bible, where he predicted the coming of the Saviour from Mount Zion and the salvation of the gentiles.

He lived a life full of dangers and perils. He served at the court of the Israeli King Ahab, who reigned at the time when the God-chosen people fell away from God and began to offer sacrifices to idols. He was one of the few who remained loyal, continuing to serve the true God in secret. The impious wife of the apostate king launched the persecution of all prophets, directing her wrath at the Prophet Elias. Obadiah offered the beleaguered prophets shelter and gave them food. Three parties of soldiers were sent to capture Elias, two of which two perished in the Divine fire. By the prayer of Elias, and the Lord spared the third, led by Obadiah. Obadiah left military service and eventually acquired the gift of prophecy.

From the perspective of the present day, Obadiah's prophesies remind us about the dangers of pride, selfishness and disregard for the implications of our actions on other people. He tells us the tragedy of the people of Edom who took up arms against God's people and formed alliances with their enemies – only to find themselves betrayed. In icons, he is painted as a sage with a white beard, holding a scroll predicting that all those who rely on human scheming in defiance of the will of God will be humbled.

December 02, 2021
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