Pride and Prejudice

GloatingPride and Prejudice.  Sounds like one of those romance novels, huh?  But you see the two principles show up in the obscure book of Obadiah.  The prophet Obadiah was given a message of judgment from God to the people of Edom.  They had two problems that they needed to deal with – their pride, and their prejudice against God’s people.

When the nation of Judah fell to the Babylonians, the Edomites sat on the sidelines and cheered the destruction of their neighbors.  After all, they hated those despicable Jews.  Yet God had a warning for the Edomites, that they too would face judgment.

Their first problem was their pride.  God said, “The pride of your heart has deceived you… You who say in your heart, ‘Who will bring me down to the ground?’ (Obadiah 3) They felt that they were better than everyone else, and with that comforting thought, they turned their anger against their neighbors who were facing annihilation.  Again God spoke up, “Nor should you have rejoiced over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction; Nor should you have spoken proudly In the day of distress. (Obadiah 12)

It’s our pride that causes us to ignore our own issues and problems.  And when other people run into rough times, especially our “enemies”, we can gloat over their difficulty when we might have deserved that judgment as much as they did.  What if that particular trouble was happening to me?  Humility and compassion might be the thing that could turn an “enemy” into a “friend”.