You Stood Aloof

You Stood Aloof

09 September 2009


For you deserted your relatives in Israel during their time of greatest need. You stood aloof, refusing to lift a finger to help when foreign invaders carried off their wealth and cast lots to divide up Jerusalem. You acted as though you were one of Israel’s enemies. (Obadiah 11 NLT)

The nation of Edom was descended from Esau and Israel was descended from Jacob, two brothers who lived many centuries earlier. There was conflict between Jacob and Esau, and there had always been some conflict between Edom and Israel. The Jews felt superior and Edom resented them, partly because of God’s preferential treatment of the Jews, his “chosen people.”

Now that Israel and Judah were experiencing judgment and tragedy, Edom was rejoicing with the attitude, “You finally get what’s coming to you!” and even joining in with Judah’s enemies in plundering the helpless.

We must be very careful not to allow jealousy or resentment or a judgmental attitude to develop toward someone we feel has hurt us, treated us unfairly, or received preferential treatment. God alone is in a position to determine make such judgments and to administer correction with compassion and mercy.

My response to the misfortune of others must be to pray for them and to offer assistance where I can, but never to gloat or secretly approve of their suffering. It’s a heart issue.


Father, I know that it is because of your great mercy we are not consumed. Help me not to assume that the misfortune of others is “What they deserve!” May I never have an attitude of superiority or contempt towards someone who is suffering misfortune. I pray that my heart will grow more and more like yours and that when I see suffering and sorrow, I will be moved with compassion. Never complacent. Never aloof. Amen.

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