In the final Lamentation Jeremiah says, “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. Because Edom rejoiced over the downfall of Judah, 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.” The. Ishmael kills more men, and he carries the rest of the people off as captives to the Ammonites.
Johanan, the military captain who warned Gedaliah of Ishmael’s plot to kill him but was ignored, intercedes and rescues the people from the hands of Ishmael. However, Ishmael escapes and flees to the Amorites. Then Johanan, all the captains who were with him, and the rest of the people “departed and dwelt in the habitation of Chimham, which is near Bethlehem, as they went on their way to Egypt, because of the Chaldeans; for they were afraid of them, because Ishmael the son of Nethaniah had murdered Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, whom the king of Babylon had made governor in the land.”
Tomorrow the Lord instructs the people to stay in the land and trust Him instead of fleeing to Egypt. Will the people obey? Keep reading to find out. (Lamentations 5:1-22, Obadiah 1:1-21, 2 Kings 25:22-26, Jeremiah 40:7-41:18)