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Oh brother!

"Because of the violence against your brother Jacob, you will be covered with shame; you will be destroyed forever." Obadiah 10

Violence and treachery are wicked however and whenever they occur. Yet they are particularly galling when perpetrated against someone close. The prophet Obadiah gives expression to that outrage in his railing against Israel's neighbour Edom, descendants of Jacob's older brother Esau.

Following his rejection by God, Esau took refuge in the hill-country to the southeast of the Dead Sea. Instead of coming to Israel's aid, throughout their history, Edom lost no opportunity in taking advantage whenever Israel was under attack. It's easy to see why but does that make it right?

So many of today's conflicts - whether personal, local, or between nations - are expressions of resentment, with the aim of settling old scores. What can retribution ever achieve - except more of the same? The way of Christ breaks the cycle of violence and ushers those who follow it towards reconciliation and onto the paths of peace...



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