Blogging the Bible 229 – Obadiah – Don’t gloat over others’ suffering

The shortest book in the Old Testament has one message – Edom will be judged because she rejoiced in the suffering of Israel rather than coming to her aid.

As always, there’s a sharpening of God’s anger because it is his chosen nation over whose suffering Edom gloats. But the principle stands more widely. We cut ourselves off from God  when we enjoy the suffering of others. Even when they deserve it.

It’s all too easy for the media to write off or demonise a nation of group of people – migrants are the current preferred target, whether they are a ‘swarm’ or a ‘bunch’. But even when the target is a ‘hostile’ nation, those who suffer when its forms turn are generally ordinary people much like ourselves.

There is no sensible room or reason to rejoice in others’ suffering – and The LORD is pretty clear that it’s not a good option.

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