Sometimes I am struck by how real the Bible truly is. Today I started reading Obadiah which is really a whole book of the Bible dedicated to war. Being that our Nation is involved in a war and I personally have a brother who served in this war, I became very intrigued by why the Bible dedicated a whole book to war and what it had to say on the subject.
The book of Obadiah tells the story of two nations, Israel and Edom. It is also the story of the two twin brothers (yes, brothers), who rule these Nations, Jacob and Esau. It all begins in Genesis when Rachel, their mother, learns that she is giving birth to twins.
And the Lord told her, “The sons in your womb will become two nations. From the very beginning, the two nations will be rivals. One nation will be stronger than the other; and your older son will serve your younger son.” Genesis 25:23
From the very beginning God knew. I think about what is going on today and the same holds true. From the very beginning God knew that we would be at war right now. He didn’t change his plan because he knew two Nations would be fighting and killing, he knew, and it is still happening. I wonder if God realized that in a sinful world that war is sometimes necessary to achieve peace. Even saying that I feel a little bold. I don’t want to put words into Gods mouth or try to twist my beliefs into Biblical translation, I am not that crass. But that is certainly what I believe and to go even further I don’t think a world with sin is even probable, it is just a momentary lull in the storm.
Anyways…back to the story. Esau and Jacob could not have been more different. Jacob related well to his mother and like to cook and stay in the kitchen, while Esau was a great hunter and outdoorsman who was well liked by his father. The problem was that Esau was the first-born son, and back then this was very important, but Jacob was able to get Esau to hand over his birth right by not giving him food after a long hunting trip. Esau returned home hungry and nearly starved and before he could eat Jacob made him swear over his birth right. The second thorn in Esau’s side was at his father’s death. With the aid of his mother Jacob tricked his father into thinking that he was his brother so that he could get his father’s blessing instead of Esau. After these two events occurred and brother very bitter towards the other they each went their separate ways into different areas of the land.
Tomorrow I will continue with Obadiah. I really thought the background history was interesting enough to share first. I think that is one problem I have with the Bible is that it is read in pieces and you never make the connections between two brothers spoken of in Genesis to a war spoken of in Obadiah. When you truly understand the beginning middle and end of a story that is when it really becomes real to me. It is not about one moral lesson from one verse. It is a full circle. Full circles are much more fulfilling.
I am excited to see what the Bible has to say about war tomorrow.