Expositor's Dictionary of Texts
The vision of Obadiah. Thus saith the Lord GOD concerning Edom; We have heard a rumour from the LORD, and an ambassador is sent among the heathen, Arise ye, and let us rise up against her in battle.Possessions Possessed
They shall not finally lack anything which is rightly theirs. Their promised inheritance shall ultimately appertain to them. God will see to it that His people have estate corresponding to their dignity of character. 'The house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.'
I. Precious Possessions.—The house of Jacob have 'their possessions'. We are informed by our scholars that the word here rendered 'possessions' is a rare word in the original. A rare word is used to describe rare possessions. So special is the quality of that which is alluded to that a unique word has to be requisitioned. The possessions of the people of God as singularly precious.
The possessions set forth by Obadiah are (1) vision, (2) deliverance, (3) holiness.
II. Precious Possessions Unpossessed.—'The house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.' That 'shall' is ominous. Do they not possess them now? And if not, why not?
Reason is assigned by Obadiah. The house of Jacob was enduring 'the day of their destruction' (Obadiah 1:12). It was 'the day of their calamity' (Obadiah 1:13).
And how had this come about? Alas! Partly as retribution for their past negligence and sin.
They did once possess their possessions, but they had been retributively dispossessed of them. They had proved unworthy of such treasure.
III. Precious Possessions Possessed.—'The house of Jacob shall possess their possessions' is a grander word far on Christian lips than on the lips which uttered it first The channels of grace deepen as they run through Scripture. Numerous converts to the faith are a precious possession we may possess. John Bunyan said in his immortal Grace Abounding: 'I have counted as if I had goodly buildings and lordships in those places where my children were born'. And the glorious evangelist was right in his accounting. No possession is more precious than spiritual children. May Zion's converts be many! May each of us possess our possessions!
Fellowship with God is a possession we may all possess. By grace many of us do possess that precious possession. Temporal provision is another of our possessions, and God promises us we shall possess it. Hold to the promise amid all the strain and poverty of these times, my much-cumbered hearers.
Heaven is of all our possessions the most precious, and that we shall at length possess. God told Abraham that to him and to his seed after him He would give Canaan 'for an everlasting possession'. To the Christian—Abraham's seed—this promise is secured. And when the Lord willeth we shall go in and enjoy the good land for ever.
—Dinsdale T. Young, The Gospel of the Left Hand, p. 179.
Behold, I have made thee small among the heathen: thou art greatly despised.
The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground?
Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the LORD.
If thieves came to thee, if robbers by night, (how art thou cut off!) would they not have stolen till they had enough? if the grapegatherers came to thee, would they not leave some grapes?
How are the things of Esau searched out! how are his hidden things sought up!
All the men of thy confederacy have brought thee even to the border: the men that were at peace with thee have deceived thee, and prevailed against thee; they that eat thy bread have laid a wound under thee: there is none understanding in him.
Shall I not in that day, saith the LORD, even destroy the wise men out of Edom, and understanding out of the mount of Esau?
And thy mighty men, O Teman, shall be dismayed, to the end that every one of the mount of Esau may be cut off by slaughter.
For thy violence against thy brother Jacob shame shall cover thee, and thou shalt be cut off for ever.
In the day that thou stoodest on the other side, in the day that the strangers carried away captive his forces, and foreigners entered into his gates, and cast lots upon Jerusalem, even thou wast as one of them.
But thou shouldest not have looked on the day of thy brother in the day that he became a stranger; neither shouldest thou have rejoiced over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction; neither shouldest thou have spoken proudly in the day of distress.
Thou shouldest not have entered into the gate of my people in the day of their calamity; yea, thou shouldest not have looked on their affliction in the day of their calamity, nor have laid hands on their substance in the day of their calamity;
Neither shouldest thou have stood in the crossway, to cut off those of his that did escape; neither shouldest thou have delivered up those of his that did remain in the day of distress.
For the day of the LORD is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head.
For as ye have drunk upon my holy mountain, so shall all the heathen drink continually, yea, they shall drink, and they shall swallow down, and they shall be as though they had not been.
But upon mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.
And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble, and they shall kindle in them, and devour them; and there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau; for the LORD hath spoken it.
And they of the south shall possess the mount of Esau; and they of the plain the Philistines: and they shall possess the fields of Ephraim, and the fields of Samaria: and Benjamin shall possess Gilead.
And the captivity of this host of the children of Israel shall possess that of the Canaanites, even unto Zarephath; and the captivity of Jerusalem, which is in Sepharad, shall possess the cities of the south.
And saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the LORD'S.