The book of Obadiah is the shortest book of the Old Testament, consisting of twenty-one verses. The book supplies no information of the author other than his name. We know that Obadiah was a prophet of God about the time of Judah’s destruction by the Babylonians and he prophesied against the Edomites. Obadiah’s prophecy, therefore, occurred after Judah’s captivity in 586 BC and before Edom’s demise in 500 BC. The Edomites were the descendants of Esau (Genesis 36:9), the brother of Jacob. Although the Edomites were Israel’s enemies, they were also their distant relatives. Obadiah’s prophecy foretells of Edom’s destruction because of their wicked treatment of Israel during the Babylonian overthrow of Judah.
In Habakkuk’s first prayer, he asks God why He doesn’t do something about the wickedness of Judah (1:2-4). God responds by telling the prophet that He will use the Babylonians to destroy Judah (vs. 5-7). God often utilizes ungodly people and nations as instruments of His will (Romans 9:14-24). Habakkuk prays a second time and questions God’s choice of the Babylonians since they were more wicked than Judah (1:12-17). It seemed that God was passing over Babylon’s sins in order to punish Judah. After his prayer, Habakkuk resigns himself to wait on an answer from God (2:1) which God then supplies. God says that in time He will also punish Babylon for their sins as well (2:8). God’s promise of judgment assures us that although God may delay judgment for a time, He will not allow sin to go unpunished forever.