For the day of the Lord draws near on all the nations.
As you have done, it will be done to you.
Your dealings will return on your own head.
– Obadiah 1:15 NASB
Obadiah is the shortest of the twelve minor prophets and the shortest book of the Old Testament. In this verse, Obadiah is prophesying of “the day of the Lord” just as we’ve seen other prophets prophesy of it. Let us pay attention to how similar Obadiah’s exhortation is to what Jesus taught.
“Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.”
– Luke 6:31 NASB
“Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.”
– Matthew 7:1-2 NASB
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned. Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure–pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”
– Luke 6:37-38 NASB
In the four Gospels of the New Testament, Jesus is announcing and teaching the principles by which He will govern the kingdom He is inheriting – the kingdom of God. Prophets like Obadiah had prophesied of this coming kingdom, and thus we see continuity between what Obadiah said in the verse above and the way Jesus said He would govern in the verses below it.
In the Old Testament, Moses had given the Israelites a comprehensive civil and moral code. There were many statutes and regulations. By contrast, Jesus gave few statutes and regulations. For this reason, Jesus could say, “My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:30).
Jesus is telling us that we’re going to reap what we sow. The standards we apply to others are going to be applied to us. This is why hypocrites have such a hard time being happy and peaceful. The harshness they show others afflicts their own souls.
Be as forgiving to others as you want God to be to you.
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
Lord Jesus, thank You for the simplicity of Your kingdom. Thank You for the clarity of Your instructions to us. Help me to see any double standards in my own heart. Help me apply judgment to myself before I apply it to anyone else…(this is where you remain quiet in order to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.