The book of Obadiah in the Bible contains a prophecy about the nation of Edom.
Among other things, Edom is criticized for their pride. The primary issue, however, is not what they did, but what they didn’t do. Theirs is not an act of commission, but of omission.
Specially, the gripe that God has for them is for violence afflicted on the nation of Judah. Not that Edom actually committed the violence, but that they merely stood by and watched as other nations did it.
For this they are destined to be “covered with shame” and “destroyed forever.” That is a harsh judgment for doing nothing. There is no forgiveness offered to Edom and no restoration recorded; just punishment.
This shows us God’s heart for us to act justly and his displeasure for those who stand idly by and not helping those in trouble.
When we see someone in need, someone being taken advantage of or being treated unfairly, do we take action to assist or stand aloof like Edom?
Learn more about all twelve of the Bible’s Minor Prophets in Peter’s new book, Dear Theophilus, Minor Prophets: 40 Prophetic Teachings about Unfaithfulness, Punishment, and Hope
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.