Study 4 OBADIAH: A HALF-PAGE OF PROPHECY
STUDIES IN THE MINOR PROPHETS
by Francis Dixon
(Key-verse: Obadiah 17)
In this brief prophecy there is one very important command that every Christian needs to notice and obey, and that is to possess your possessions (KJV)! The words in verse 17 of the prophecy imply that it is possible to have possessions that are not inherited; to have possessions and not know it; to have possessions and not use them. In fact it is possible to be spiritually rich (as every Christian is!), and yet to live as a spiritual pauper.
- 1. Many years ago a widow said goodbye to her son as he left her to seek a fortune in America. Every week the boy wrote to his mother and sent her a few dollars. She lived in a small room in poverty. One day a friend noticed that one whole wall of her room was covered with dollar notes. He asked her the reason and she said, ‘My son sends me these little pieces of paper in each letter and I thought I would paste them on the wall, and there are hundreds of them, as you can see!’ She possessed every one of those dollar notes, but what use were they? She did not possess her possessions and so continued to live in poverty. Many Christians are just like that. God has given great riches in Christ, but these only benefit us as we personally appropriate them.
- 2. Suppose someone deposits £10,000 in your bank account and then writes to tell you what has been done. That money will do you no good, and you will not benefit from it until you use it.
Look up Romans 8:32, Ephesians 1:3 and 1Timothy 6:17. God has already given us every spiritual blessing in Christ, but if we are to enjoy these blessings and get the benefit of them we must appropriate them. What are these wonderful spiritual possessions that are given to us in Christ and that are described by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 2:12?
By nature we are spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1) - but see what 1 John 5:11-13 tells us, and compare John 10:28. If you are a Christian you already have this life, eternal life, life to the full; it is yours by virtue of your union with the Lord Jesus Christ, but what you need to do is to go on receiving by faith the fullness of life that is in Christ for you (John 10:10). It is yours for the taking - look up 1Timothy 6:12.
This gift is mentioned in Matthew 11:28 (notice the word ‘give’); and in John 14:27 (notice the word ‘give’). In this second reference Jesus speaks of the legacy He promised to every one of His followers. This peace, therefore, is ours now; it is given to us and it belongs to us, but do we have it and enjoy it? Look up Isaiah 26:3 and notice the force of the word ”trusts”. It means ’takes, receives, accepts’. Peace is yours for the taking - look up Psalm 37:11.
This gift is referred to in John 15:11. Notice: (1) the joy that the Lord has given us is His own joy; (2) this joy is full. What do you do when you are sad or depressed? Do you ever pray, ‘Lord, I take your joy’?
This gift is mentioned in 2 Peter 1:2-4. There are hundreds of promises contained in the Bible which God has given to us. They relate to every conceivable need that will face us, and they concern our wonderful prospects for the future. But if we are to enjoy the benefit of these promises we must believe and appropriate them. We must “possess our possessions”.
Victory over sin, self, Satan and the world and all the evil things mentioned in 1 Corinthians 15:57. But if we seek to know victory in our lives we must appropriate Christ’s victory. When you are next tempted, lift up your heart in prayer and say, ‘Lord, I take your victory’.
In order to experience and enjoy the power of the Holy Spirit, that power must be appropriated. In 1 Thessalonians 4:8 we read about “God, who gives you his Holy Spirit”, and the same truth is emphasized in Romans 5:5. But a gift has to be received. When one man said that he had been waiting fifteen years to receive the power of the Holy Spirit, his friend replied, ’You have been waiting fifteen years too long, brother! It is yours for the taking!’ - and so it is.
There are three Scriptures that speak to us about this - 2 Corinthians 9:8; 2 Corinthians 12:8-10; James 4:6. We need grace to sustain us in the stresses of life, in sorrows and in bereavements, and we read in God’s Word many references of much grace and sufficient grace which is available to us.
We have seen in this study that God has given us life, peace, joy, assurance, victory, power and grace. These must be appropriated not just today but every day, hour by hour, moment by moment. Reach out the hand of faith now and receive from your Lord all these gifts - experience the joy of possessing your possessions!