So who in the world was Obadiah? If you’re familiar with the Old Testament and the minor prophets, you might have heard of him. If not, I’m excited to introduce you to him later this month!
Obadiah (like many of the Old Testament prophets) is a tough, heavy read. Great for the summer months when we’re looking for something light that includes pride, envy and disobedience in 5th century B.C. Who’s intrigued?
Although it is a challenging read with unfamiliar tones and topics, this book includes a thread of hope (I challenge you to read and find it – it’s only 21 verses long)! And hope is always relevant. I need it – you need it – today, tomorrow, the next day. We all need the promise of future beauty and goodness because we all periodically live in some very hard, dark spaces. Some of you are in those spaces right now. Some of you might have just come out of one. Some of us find those spaces inescapable. So yes, we don’t enjoy messages of hope because they are nice and fluffy, but we latch on because we so desperately need them in the disheartening places in our own hearts, cities and nations.
Jesus never shied away from the broken, hard, sometimes evil realities of life (we try to press into these spaces too). And we do it, at least in part, because Jesus comes alive and shines brightly for us in those times and places. Wouldn’t it be great if the darkness, the tough stuff, the hard places took a summer break? The key to life is hope in the midst of hardness – to experience the possibilities of beauty and goodness even when they seem impossible to apprehend.
The hope of a future – the hope of a Kingdom that is both now and not yet. God’s vision for a kingdom, a kingdom of unity and safety and hope. A kingdom where people’s gifts are fully utilized for His glory. A kingdom that is holy and victorious. A place where He dwells with us.
Because of this, I think it’s not only possible – but better – to enjoy the good in the midst of the hard.
Come with us as we venture into Obadiah together starting on June 16th. Let’s open the lesser-known prophecy and search for the hope that exists within it. Bring a friend! Who doesn’t need to find or deepen hope?
While we’re doing it – let’s look for the hope in our own lives, the hope of a Kingdom – a hope that lives in us and through us, just where we are.