THINK: Be honest-have you ever taken delight, pleasure or satisfaction in someone else's trouble, difficulty or defeat? While that attitude may be a natural human tendency, the Lord isn't pleased when we delight in the downfall of others. Even God himself takes no pleasure in the demise of those who defy Him (cf. Ezekiel 18:23,32; 33:11). Yet, being a God of perfect justice, He must judge those who disregard His intentions. This includes those who mistreat, take advantage of, or look down on others who suffer demise, distress or difficulty. God expects His people-who have received His help and mercy-to demonstrate His compassion. People who are apathetic, self-centered or lack compassion toward those in need do not have God's love in them (1 John 3:15-17).
RESPOND: Who was Obadiah, to whom did he prophesy and what was his message? (See 1:1 first note.) Who were the Edomites and what was their primary offense against God? (See 1:1 second note.) What was Edom's attitude (v. 3), and why did they feel this way? (See 1:3 note.) How can this same attitude be destructive to individuals as well as nations? (See 1:3 note.) In what ways would Edom's evil and deceptive practices come back to destroy them (vv. 5-7)? (See 1:5-6 note.) What would happen to Edom because of it's cruelty, particularly toward God's people (vv. 8-10)? (See 1:10 note.) How did Edom respond when Israel - its neighbor and relative nation - was in trouble (vv. 11-14), and how would God respond to Edom as a result? (See 1:11-14 note.) How would the fate of Edom differ from the hope of God's people in Judah and Israel (vv. 17-18)? (See 1:10 note.) How does the principle in verse 15 apply to God's judgment of individuals? (See 1:15 note.)
PRAY: Ask God to help you avoid arrogance in regard to Him and others. Pray for compassion and forgiveness toward those who have opposed or mistreated you. Pray that you'll be alert and responsive to others' needs. Give God thanks for giving you ultimate victory over sin, evil and all your enemies.
ACT: If you've been arrogant about your abilities, position or opportunities, ask God to forgive you. Apologize to anyone you may have offended or taken for granted. Then behave more humbly and sincerely. Also, if you have disregarded or overlooked someone who is down, hurting or in need-particularly someone who has given you difficulty in the past - change your attitude and offer help in a way that honors God.