Our reading today begins with the book of the prophet Obadiah. We saw how God pronounced judgment on Edom along with Judah in the book of Jeremiah (Jer 25:21, 49:7-22). Here, Obadiah pronounces further judgment on Edom because they captured Judean escapees and turned them over to Babylon during the siege of Jerusalem. God is now calling the nations to come against Edom (1:1). Their sin is one of pride (vv. 3-4). In verse 5, we see the same thief and grape metaphors Jeremiah used against Edom (see Jer 49:9). Edom will be utterly destroyed (vv. 8-9).
In verse 10, we see that this judgment is for their sin against their brother Jacob (Esau/Edom and Jacob were brothers – see Gen 25:21-26). They were like the Babylonians to Judah (v. 11). And in their pride (see vv. 3-4), they were gloating over the fall of Judah (v. 12), and their part in capturing escapees (v. 14).
In verse 15, we see yet again that the judgment against particular nations point forward to the final judgment of the wicked of all nations. They will be punished for their own sin. And the spiritual people of God will not (v. 17). This is because our sin is paid for by Christ. And we will come with Him in judgment (v. 18 – see Rev 19:14-15), and God’s spiritual people will possess the earth (the New Heaven and New Earth – v. 19). Note in verse 20 that this is when God’s true people will possess Samaria and Gilead (see Jer 50:19). This is when the Lord will receive His kingdom (see Rev 11:15).
Psalm 74 was likely written after the destruction of Jerusalem (74:3). In the opening verses the Psalmist prays for God to remember His spiritual people (v. 2), even though he knows this was God’s doing (v. 1). He then describes the devastation of Jerusalem and the Temple (vv. 4-8). The Psalmist then prays for God to act on their behalf (v. 11).
Yet there is hope. God is the same God that saved Israel from Egypt (vv. 12-13), a picture of His crushing the head of Satan (here pictured as the multi-headed Leviathan – v. 14 – see Job 41 and Rev 12:3). Verses 15-17 speak of God’s sovereign salvation (through waters at the Exodus) because He is the sovereign Creator and Sustainer of the world. So the Psalmist calls for God to save His people for His own glory and name’s sake (v. 18) and because He has promised salvation (v. 20, 22).
Psalm 79 was also likely written after the destruction of Jerusalem. We see that the nations have entered where they were not supposed to be (79:1 – see Lam 1:10). Verses 2-4 lament the fulfillment of Jeremiah 7:33, 14:16, 16:4, 19:7, 34:20, 42:18, and 44:8. Verse 5-7 call for God to remember His promise of punishment for Babylon (see Jeremiah 51). The Psalmist then prays for mercy and salvation for God’s people (vv. 8-9) for the sake of His own name (v. 10). The Psalm ends with praise to God (v. 13).
Psalm 83 was also likely written after the destruction of Jerusalem. Here, the Psalmist talks of all nations coming against Judah (83:1-4). But in reality, it is against God that they conspire (vv. 6-8 – see Jer 48:42). So the Psalmist prays for God to do to them what He did to Israel’s enemies at the conquest of the Promised Land (vv. 9-12). Note that the Psalmist prays for judgment (vv. 13-17) so that the hearts of the nations might be turned to YHWH (v. 16, 18).
Psalm 94 is a prayer to God to judge the wicked. This is directed towards Babylon and the nations that came against Judah (94:1), but it also points forward to the final judgment of the wicked of all the earth (v. 2). We see that the Psalmist wants to know how long the wicked will prosper (see 74:10, Rev 6:10). They have crushed Judah, like the world arrogantly oppresses God’s people today (vv. 5-7). Verses 8-11 are a warning to the nations. God is the omniscient Creator and Judge.
But He doesn’t judge His people, He disciplines His people (v. 12). The true people of God are not forsaken, and we will receive the promises (vv. 14-15). YHWH will yet defend and preserve His people (vv. 16-18) and provide them with blessings (v. 19). Unlike the wicked (vv. 20-21), who will be judged finally and forever (v. 23), YHWH is our refuge (v. 22).