Let It Go

Scholars are unsure of the date that Obadiah wrote his book. We know that it took place after invaders had caused problems in Judah and Edom responded in a way that angered God. Some scholars place this date after Nebuchadnezzar’s conquest of Judah in 586 BC, and others think it’s more likely to have occurred during the reign of Jehoram around 840 BC. The bottom line is that the date doesn’t matter because the underlying feud which led to God’s pronouncement of judgment had been smoldering for hundreds and hundreds of years! 

The feud was between Jacob (the father of the nation of Israel) and his twin brother Esau (the father of the nation of Edom). Esau was born first and should have received his father Isaac’s blessing, but Jacob took the birthright that was supposed to belong to Esau. 

As you might imagine, “Esau seethed in anger against Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him; he brooded, ‘The time for mourning my father’s death is close. And then I’ll kill my brother Jacob’” (Genesis 27:41). Jacob escaped Esau’s initial rage, but 400+ years later, when the Israelites left Egypt and were on their way to Canaan, the Edomites—trying to even the score—refused to let the Israelites pass through their territory. 

Now another few hundred years have passed and when Judah was invaded, the Edomites not only didn’t do anything to help their brothers, but they piled on with the invaders (vv. 10-14). Once again, their rage at the descendants of Jacob exploded!  

For this, God pronounced judgment on the nation of Edom through His prophet Obadiah. 

Edom’s downfall is very instructive because we are ALL liable to the same fate! 

  1. It starts with pride. Pride keeps us from forgiving our offenders because we think WE have to be the one to even the score. As C.S. Lewis noted, “Pride is a spiritual cancer: it eats up the very possibility of love, or contentment, or even common sense.”
  1. It then becomes thoughts of plotting our revenge. Jesus warned us of the dire consequences for dwelling on these kinds of thoughts (Matthew 5:21-22). 
  1. It next morphs into cheering on those who attack our offenders.
  1. It eventually becomes our revenge in action, which then brings God’s judgment against us!

Always remember this: It is God’s place to judge, but our place is to forgive our enemies and “get revenge” by blessing them beyond what they deserve (Romans 12:17-21). 

You might say, “But what they did to me is absolutely inexcusable!” You are probably right, but you are not going to make anything right. Making things right—handing out appropriate justice—is God’s business. Again, C.S. Lewis reminds us, “To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.”

There are three important words to remember when someone has wronged you: LET IT GO!

Carrying a grudge against someone who has inexcusably wronged you is toxic to your life and doesn’t leave room for God’s justice. LET IT GO!

If you missed any messages in our series called Major Lessons From Minor Prophets, you can check them out here. 

20 Useful Maxims

Useful MaximsI thoroughly enjoyed reading Useful Maxims by Brian Ridolfi (check out my review of his book by clicking here). Here are 20 of Brian’s useful maxims that caught my highlighter.

  1. Going to church is good; going to God is better.
  2. Progress is not good if you are progressing in the wrong direction.
  3. Good demeanor does not validate bad behavior.
  4. Broken commandments break down integrity.
  5. The Bible’s meaning is not hidden from men; men hide from its meaning.
  6. Actions are better indicators of character than rhetoric.
  7. The indifferent make no difference.
  8. Remaining weak takes strength. It takes power not to use power.
  9. Great men step in when everyone else steps out.
  10. Moral arguments which are entirely material are entirely immaterial.
  11. Peacemakers and saltshakers dispense enrichment.
  12. A grudge will keep you deep in sludge. Points of contention are points of retention.
  13. Revenge is hard to reverse.
  14. Never put faith in people who have no faith.
  15. Everything goes when anything goes.
  16. Your sin is not just your problem.
  17. Parental neglect prompts government parenting.
  18. Where no one fears God, everyone fears man.
  19. The right battle is lost with the wrong weapon.
  20. Insecurity secures instability.

Watch for more maxims soon. Or follow me on Twitter and Tumblr to read some of Brian Ridolfi’s maxims.

Links & Quotes

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“When we go through the trial of faith we gain so much wealth in our heavenly banking account, and the more we go through the trial of faith the wealthier we become in the heavenly regions.” —Oswald Chambers

“The promise that frees us from an unforgiving, bitter, vengeful spirit is the promise that God will settle our accounts. He will do it more justly and more thoroughly than we ever could. Therefore we can back off and leave room for God to work.” —John Piper, commenting on Romans 12:19

“‘Revenge is sweet;’ but not to the man who has tasted Christ, for he says, ‘How can I have vengeance upon my fellow, when Christ has put away my sin?’ Now, forgiveness is sweet, and he loathes malice, and turns aside from it as from venom itself.” —Charles Spurgeon

The Isaiah 53:5 Project reblogged one of my all-time favorite blog posts: The Parable Of The Lifeguard. Thanks, James!

Melinda Penner reminds us of the dangers of abusing our freedom. “If there is nothing objective to constrain our freedom, then there’s nothing objective to constrain the government. Our rights become whatever we declare them to be and whatever the government at any time and place declares them to be, changing with the fashions of the day.”

I Missed It

Greg Koukl does a good job explaining how the books of the Bible were compiled in this video.

Links & Quotes

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“What takes away the compulsion of revenge is our deep confidence that this world is not our home, and that God is our utterly sure and all-satisfying reward.” —John Piper

“Though it is clear as noonday in Scripture and in experience that stability is not to be found beneath the moon, yet men are for ever building upon earth’s quicksand as if it were substantial rock, and heaping up its dust, as though it would not all be blown away.” —Charles Spurgeon

[PHOTOS] 50 photos of Moms loving their kids in very trying times.

This post from a Live Dead team member—The Risk Of Security—reminds me to (1) pray for our front-line missionaries, and (2) pray that God will move on people’s hearts to raise up more missionaries!

How to poison your marriage in 3 easy steps: blame, compare, withdraw. Married couple should definitely read this post.

I love the leadership insights from Tim Elmore. He’s got a thoughtful post today on 2 temptations leaders face in turbulent times.

[VIDEO] Frank Turek and Boby Conway discuss the question: Can Science Disprove God?

Links & Quotes

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Max Lucado told this story―A man was bitten by a dog. When he learned the dog had rabies, he began a list. The doctor said, “There’s no need to make a will—you’ll be fine.” “Oh, I’m not making a will,” he said, “I’m making a list of all the people I want to bite!”

“There is a problem in the church of North America today. The problem is, for the most part, she isn’t hungry for God.” Read more in A Burning Church Is The Only Hope For America.

Evolutionists cannot agree on the mutation rate that holds their theory together.

“You can do two things with pumpkin seeds. Eat them, an excellent source of protein, or plant them, and watch a successful seed bring back 100 more. The farmer who plants the seeds aggressively, without regard for, ‘hey, be careful, I could have eaten that seed,’ often ends up with many more pumpkins and many more seeds. On the other hand, the person who guards all the seeds and then eats them ends up with not much. And of course, money works the same way. Time, too.” —Seth Godin

“According to Christian teachers, the essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride. Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere fleabites in comparison: it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind.” ―C.S. Lewis

Good read: Nothing In Constitution Requires States To Redefine Marriage.

John Stonestreet said, “One reason to stand for religious freedom in America is so that we can speak for our persecuted brethren elsewhere. But turning religion in the U.S. into a purely private matter makes coming to the aid of our persecuted brethren less, not more, likely.” Read the rest of his commentary here.

Links & Quotes

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Some interesting reading from this weekend…

A very informative piece on the history of Israel.

Some ministers today preach only a positive message. To hear them tell it, every Christian is getting instant answers to prayer and receiving miracles; everybody is feeling good, living well; and the whole world is bright and rosy. I like to hear that kind of preaching because I really desire all those good and healthy things for God’s people. But that is not the way things are for a great number of very honest, sincere Christians.” Read more in David Wilkerson’s post At The Breaking Point.

[PHOTO] 100 random acts of kindness almost anyone could do.

Judgment is God’s job. To assume otherwise is to assume God can’t do it. God has not asked us to settle the score or get even. Ever!” Read more in Max Lucado’s post Judgment Is God’s Job.

Pretty cool: researchers are discovering ways to restore brain function after an injury.

You may have seen the headlines that claimed children with same-sex parents fared better than children in traditional homes. Hold on a second: the research was flawed.

Regis Nicoll asks a great question: How Should Churches Receive Same-Sex Couples?

These kinds of atrocious reports about Planned Parenthood’s irresponsibility make me angry! Any why are my tax dollars funding this?!?

One of the basic propositions that supposedly makes evolution work is that things remain relatively the same over long periods of time. Yet here is another scientific study telling us that things haven’t remained the same.

“The people with the calculators have seen the problem, but they have not seen God. They have figured things out, but they have not figured God in.” —A.W. Tozer 

Noble Revenge

Noble revengePerhaps one of the most counter culture things a Christian will ever do is to forgive. More specifically, to forgive God’s way in which the offending party is forgiven and the offense is no longer counter against him.

But this isn’t what today’s culture teaches us. Instead they say things like—

  • “I’ll forgive them only if they’re really, really, REALLY sorry for what they did….
  • …and I’ll forgive them only if they ask for forgiveness…
  • …and then only I’ll only forgive them a certain number of times…
  • …and most importantly, I may forgive, but I’ll never forget.

Why do we feel this way?

  • We buy into the old line: “Hurt me once, shame on you; hurt me twice, shame on me,” and we don’t want to feel shame.
  • We like to be in control. If we hold on to slights and injuries, then we have a trump card we can play later—“You owe me” or “This is why I don’t trust you.”
  • We mistakenly think that forgiveness makes us appear weak, like our offender won and we lost. And we certainly don’t want them to think they can take advantage of us again.
  • Because if they take advantage of us again it’s right back to, “Hurt me once…” so I’m going to make a preemptive strike and not forgive them.

Yes, forgiveness could make us appear vulnerable. Yes, we could be hurt again by the same offender. And, yes, we could be viewed as weak. But—The foolish thing that has its source in God is wiser than men, and the weak thing that springs from God is stronger than men (1 Corinthians 1:25, AMP). Total forgiveness is foolish looking in the natural, but it has God’s blessing on it.

With this in mind, the Apostle Paul wrote—

But Jesus said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

When we are totally reliant on Christ, that’s when His power rests on us. When we say, “I’m going to do this my way,” we block ourselves off from Christ’s grace and power and strength.

We need to remember HOW MUCH God has forgiven in us—He forgave ALL my sins and He no longer counts any of my treachery and rebellion against me. With this in mind, how dare I hold on to the comparatively small injuries others have inflicted on me (see Matthew 18:21-35).

“The noblest revenge is to forgive.” —Thomas Fuller


Forgiveness gives me a nobility.
Forgiveness sets me free from the hurt.
Forgiveness makes me a child of God.
Forgiveness gives me God-sent strength.
Forgiveness is counter culture.
Because forgiveness glorifies God, and not my wound.

What are you waiting for? Get free today by giving and receiving forgiveness.

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