How to Study Obadiah
Read this book once without stopping in order to get an overview of Obadiah's message.
Read through Obadiah again, and in a distinctive way mark the key words (along with their synonyms and pronouns): the day, day of the Lord, Edom (Esau), Jacob (Judah), the nations, Mount Zion (My holy mountain), declares the Lord (or any phrase having to do with the Lord speaking or reporting).
Remember that Jacob and Esau were brothers, born to Rebekah and Isaac. If you want to refresh your memory, read Genesis 27:1-28:9; 32:20; Romans 9:10-13; and Numbers 20:14-21. Genesis 36 gives the genealogy of Esau and says, "Esau is Edom." It also name Esau as the father of the Edomites. Although the people of Edom (descendants of Esau) and Israel (descendants of Jacob) are related (Amos 1:11-12), biblical history records many conflicts between them. Look at a map and notice the proximity of Edom to Israel. Edom was a constant threat to Israel, repeatedly thwarting the nation and blocking Judah's access to the Gulf of Elat (Aqaba).
Now read through Obadiah again, asking the "5 W's and an H." Ask questions such as: Who is speaking? To whom? Why? What is the message? What is going to happen? To whom? How? Summarize your observations in the margin of the text.
Look at a map and find the Negev and the other places mentioned at the end of Obadiah. These are real lands and real people, and what God says will happen to them will happen.
Since Obadiah is just one chapter, record the theme (subject) of each paragraph on Structure of Obadiah and then fill the rest of the chart, including the theme of Obadiah.
The day of the Lord is an important day prophetically. record your insights.
Key doctrines in Obadiah
The judgment of God on Edom and the nations (vv. 1–16; Pss. 83:5–18; 137:7; Is. 11:14; 21:11, 12; 34:5; 63:1–6; Jer. 49:7–22; Lam. 4:21, 22; Ezek. 25:12–14; 35:1–15; Joel 3:19; Amos 1:11, 12; 9:11, 12; Mal. 1:2–5)
God’s covenant mercy on Israel (vv. 17–21; Ps. 22:28; Is. 14:1, 2; Dan. 2:44; Joel 2:32; Amos 9:8; James 5:20; Rev. 11:15)