In the final Lamentation the people say, “The joy of our heart has ceased…Woe to us, for we have sinned.” “Turn us back to You, O Lord, and we will be restored.” Sin is only pleasurable for a season (Hebrew 11:25) but it ultimately robs your heart of joy. Restoration is found in repentance and turning to the Lord.
Today the prophet Obadiah steps on the scene with a prophecy from the Lord against prideful Edom, descendants of Esau. The Lord rebukes them for their violence against their brother, Jacob. When Judah was being attacked by the Babylonians, Edom would capture the fugitives and either kill them or hand them over to the Babylonians. Edom rejoiced over the downfall of Judah and because of this they are going to experience judgment from the Lord. “For the day of the Lord upon all nations is near; as you have done, it shall be done to you.”
Over in Judah, Ishmael, of the royal family, kills Gedaliah, the governor of Judah recently appointed by Nebuchadnezzar. “Ishmael also struck down all the Jews who were with him, that is, with Gedaliah at Mizpah, and the Chaldeans who were found there, the men of war.” Ishmael goes on to kill more men and he carries the rest of the people off as captives to the Ammonites. Johanan is the military captain who warned Gedaliah of Ishmael’s plot to kill him but was ignored. Johanan rescues the people and heads toward Egypt for fear of the Chaldeans after Ishmael murdered their men.
Tomorrow the Lord tells the people to stay in the land and trust Him instead of fleeing to Egypt. Will the people trust the Lord? Keep reading to find out.
(Lamentations 5:1-22, Obadiah 1:1-21, 2 Kings 25:22-26, Jeremiah 40:7-41:18)