The book of Obadiah

You may be wondering why this little book, tucked in the back of the Old Testament, comes next in our reading plan. This is because the internal evidence of the book suggests that it was written in the sixth century B.C., although there are seven schools of thought on exactly when it was written.

The book is an oracle against Edom for rejoicing in Jerusalem’s fall at the hands of the Babylonians and possible attacks at that vulnerable time. The Edomites were the descendants of Esau. They inhabited a large piece of land south of Israel and south and south east of Judah.

Relations between God’s people and the Edomites were always antagonistic and violent. Edom refused to let Israel move through their territory along the King’s Highway when they left Egypt (Numbers 20:14-21). King Saul fought the Edomites. David conquered Edom with considerable force. He planted garrisons in Edom sending Joab there for six months until ‘he had cut off every male in Edom’ (1 Kings). It must be that all the men weren’t killed as the Edomites join with the Ammonites and the Moabites to attack Judah under Jehoshaphat’s rule (2 Chronicles 20:1).

There was a time when Judah and Edom formed a coalition, but the Edomites rebelled and could not be subdued for forty years (2 Kings 8:20-22). After Jerusalem fell to the Babylonians, Edom rejoiced and planned small raids and attacks to gain more land. In the third century the Edomites were taken over by the Nabateans (famous for their buildings at Petra). Some Edomites settled in southern Judah and became known as Idumeans. Interestingly, the Herods of the New Testament were Idumeans.

Obadiah is unknown to us other than his name means ‘servant of Yahweh’. He wrote for us the shortest of the Old Testament books. There are two mains parts to the letter – the future doom of Edom (v.1-16) and the sure deliverance of God’s true people (v. 17-21). We see here that Yahweh is indisputably the God of every nation in the world, no matter which god they take as theirs. We can assume that Obadiah actually went to Edom and read to them the word from the Lord. It seems they didn’t listen at all. Further, Yahweh is a God who keeps his promises. Abraham was promised a land and in due time neither Edom nor Babylon will keep them out of it.

Probably the greatest message for Christians and non-Christians is verse 3: “The pride of your heart has deceived you.” If we think that we could get along just fine without God we could never be more wrong. A day is near when this will be proved true.

A Study on the Book of Psalms (Psalms 1 – 72)

The composition of the Psalms may be the most loved book of the entire Bible. New Testament writers certainly loved the composition of these emotionally and intellectually stimulating canticles. In this study we look at the Psalms that relate to the life of David from Psalm 1 – 72.

This course is periodically taught at our Equipping Courses (evenings or mornings).

Download the course booklet in your preferred format below:

The Twelve: John

TITLE: The Twelve: John
PREACHER: Marcus Herbert
DATE: 23 MARCH 2014 – Sunday AM at Bedfordview

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TITLE: The Twelve: John
PREACHER: Craig Herbert
DATE: 23 MARCH 2014 – Sunday AM at Rosebank

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Download the transcript (PDF)


Nickname: Together with his brother James, they were known as the “Sons of the Thunder”
Marital status: Unknown
Hometown: Bethsaida (was living in Capernaum)
Profession: Fisherman
Age: 16-18 years old
Relatives: Father – Zebedee
Mother: Possibly Salome (according to some Church tradition)
Brother: James
Social Status: Uneducated. He was in partnership with Peter and James. Fishing business
Personality: Bold, loyal, zealous, intensive, passionate (“son of thunder”)
Death: He was never martyred according to tradition. He died in Ephesus around 98AD. Died as an old man, outlasting the other disciples.

General facts: According to many interpretations, he was, for a time, a disciple of John the Baptist and was called by Christ from the circle of John’s followers, together with Peter and Andrew, to become Jesus’ disciples (John 1:35-42). The apostle John also is credited with writing five books of the New Testament: the gospel according to John, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John and the book of Revelation.


We can’t talk about the twelve disciples without looking at the life of John in detail. Although we looked at him earlier along with his brother James, we need to also look at him specifically. Remember, the point of this series is to bring back a clear understanding of discipleship and how Jesus did it. As we come to Jesus, some of us have run into dead ends, but we’re given the Gospels in particular to go back and check and see what Jesus intended and find answers to the question of why he called us. Read more