Daily Encouragement: Year 2, Day 7

From Handbook to God’s Promises


When God Speaks

Can you remember a student in your high school class who lived on the edge of conflict with the school authorities? He tested every rule, talked his way out of every scrape, and seemed to have more lives than the proverbial cat—until the day the principal’s voice came over the intercom, calling him to the office. That’s when everybody knew that the game was over; the ultimate authority had spoken.

In the Old Testament era, the kingdom of Edom was like that student. Edom had been on God’s bad side for hundreds of years for its arrogance and mistreatment of the nation of Judah. The nation of Edom developed from the descendants of Esau, Jacob’s twin brother. Perhaps the people of Edom were still angry over God’s choosing Jacob instead of Esau as the line of blessing (see Gen. 25:23; 27:41). Whatever the reason for their misbehavior, God used Obadiah as His “intercom” and called Edom to His “office.”

What was significant for Edom, and is significant for us today, is to recognize how God spoke: “Thus says the Lord God concerning Edom . . .” (Obad. 1). This phraseology brings to mind the famous television commercials sponsored by a leading investment and brokerage firm. The punch line was, “When E. F. Hutton talks, people listen.” Substitute Obadiah’s text, and we get the sense of what it means when God speaks: “When the Sovereign Lord talks, people (and nations) listen.” When God speaks, the discussion is over. Despite the commercials, E. F. Hutton’s “voice” is no longer heard—the company has since closed its doors. But God’s voice will never fall silent.

This perspective on God’s speaking comes from His being a sovereign, which means “ruler” or “master.” The “Lord” part of His name means that He has been patient—a loving and personal authority. God spoke to Edom as Sovereign Lord, and He will one day speak as Sovereign Lord to all the nations of the world. Those who know Him rest in the fact that His words have authority, but they are balanced with the love in the heart of a tender Father.

We sometimes wonder whether God always means what He says. Remember: “When the Sovereign Lord talks, (wise) people listen.”

God’s Promise:
All of His authority is present in all of His words.