Edom’s Third Sin
Obadiah verse 14: “You should not have stood at the crossroads to cut off those among them who escaped: Nor should you have delivered up those among them who remain in the day of distress.
Perhaps of the four sins, this is the hardest to face, the hardest for us to admit: for the text literally reads, “stood at the crossroad to cut off those among them who escaped.” The question is, who is escaping? A better question is this, what crossroad?
I will try and keep this brief, however an example from my early teen years may give us a good example of what is being said. Sally was 20 years old and had never really attend church before she began attending a series of evangelistic meetings. She was at a crossroad in her life. Does she continue the path she had so far traveled in her life, or does she decide to change directions and begin walking down a new path.
It seemed to all those that met her that the decision was simple and she changed course, desiring a relationship with Christ and soon sought to become baptized.
In her excitement on becoming a true follower of God and because she was to be baptized the next day, she sowed a herself a new dress for the special occasion and came to church the following morning wearing new her dress. Because of the rush in making her dress some of the threads at the hems and the seams was not trims as they should, but she was proud of the dress and happy with her decision to follow Christ and become baptized.
The saints sitting in the pews saw this new dress and commented, “Oh, I see you have a new dress, it’s very nice, where did you get it?” She responded, “I made it last night, so that I would have something new and pretty to wear for my baptism.”
She stood at the crossroad and the Edomites of the congregation came out to stop her escape by criticizing her for sowing a dress on the Sabbath which to them was the equivalent of working on the Sabbath. “How dare you dishonor the Sabbath by working on the Sabbath, even if it is to sew a new dress for your baptism.”
That day when Sally left church she had tears in her eyes and was never seen again. She attempted to make her escape from the things of this world, only to be stopped at the crossroads. They delivered those seeking to escape back to the very enemy they sought to flee from.
How often do we, as the saints that sit in the pews, by our very words and actions cut off those whose are seeking to escape the clutches of sin?
What the Prophet Jehu asked King Jehoshaphat is applicable here: “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord and so bring wrath on yourself from the Lord (II Chronicles 19:2 NASB)? As God’s people, we must love our enemies and pray for them (Matthew 5:44-48), but we certainly shouldn’t assist sinners in opposing and persecuting believers. To do so is to turn traitor in the army of the Lord.