Obadiah 1:3-4 Pride Goes Before Destruction

This is the eighth lesson in a series of lessons on the book of Obadiah. In this lesson I’m going to look at verses 3 and 4 and talk about an example of pride going before destruction.

Watch the video or scroll down to read a transcript.


Thanks for visiting Bible Mountain. This is the eighth lesson in a series of lessons on the book of Obadiah. In this lesson I’m going to look at verse three and talk about pride coming before destruction. 

1Cor. 10:11 Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.

That verse tells us the things recorded in the Old Testament are examples for us to learn from. We’re going to look at one of those examples today and it has to do with pride. 

What I’m going to do in this lesson is start by looking at three verses in Proverbs that tell us pride comes before destruction. Then I’ll read a few verses from Obadiah and see an illustration of pride coming before destruction. Then I’ll talk about what this means for you and me living in the 21st century. 

Let’s start in Proverbs.

Prov. 11:2 When pride comes, then comes dishonor, 

But with the humble is wisdom.

Prov. 16:18 Pride goes before destruction, 

And a haughty spirit before stumbling.

Prov. 29:23 A man’s pride will bring him low, 

But a humble spirit will obtain honor.

Those verses tell us pride comes before destruction. Now let’s take a look at Obadiah and see an example of that happening in Edom. 

Obadiah 1:1  A vision of Obadiah: Thus said Yahweh my Lord to Edom. We heard a report from Yahweh, and an envoy was sent among the nations, “Arise and let us stand against her for war. 2 Behold, I made you small among the nations. You were very despised. 3 The pride of your heart deceived you, the one dwelling in the clefts of the rock, saying in his heart in the height of his seat, ‘Who can send me down to the earth?’ 4 Even if you are soaring as high as an eagle and even if your nest is placed among the stars, from there I will send you down”, declares Yahweh. 

This was written about Edom. We see that Edom was proud. We also see that their pride deceived them. They were proud because they lived in an area that was easily defended. It says they dwelt in the clefts of the rock. I take that to mean the area where they lived was easy to defend. It was also referred to as the height of his seat. Again, that indicates an area that was easy to defend. They thought they were invincible because of where they lived. What we see at the end is that Yahweh told them even from there He would send them down. 

We see that Edom lived in an area that was easy to defend and they became proud. Their pride deceived them into thinking they were invincible. Yahweh told them he was going to bring them down anyway. It didn’t matter where they lived or how well defended they were, He was going to destroy them and there was nothing they could do to stop it. Now let’s think about some areas where we tend to be proud of what we as humans have accomplished. 

Let’s start with the military. The United States has a very good military. Over the last several decades, they have demonstrated multiple times the ability to go into warfare and win convincing battles while sustaining very few casualties. It’s very tempting to become proud of our military and think we are invincible. However, the lesson to learn from Edom and from Obadiah is that we are not invincible, even though we have a great military. If God wants to take us down He will do so and there’s nothing we as a country can do to stop Him from doing so. 

Now let’s talk about insurance. In our culture we insure ourselves against a lot of different things. We have health insurance, life insurance, car insurance, and house insurance. We have liability insurance. The point of all these insurance products is to protect ourselves against a financial disaster. It’s tempting to become proud of all the insurance products we have and what we’ve done as a society to make sure people are safe and secure so that they won’t be devastated financially. However, if God wants to devastate somebody financially, He’s going to do so and no amount of insurance is going to prevent it. 

Let’s think about education. The conventional wisdom in our society is that people should get a good education, and if you do that, then you’ll get a good job, you’ll have a good standard of living, and you’ll be set for life. It’s easy to become proud of the education system we have, not only in our society, but also in general around the world. However, if God decides He wants someone to not have a high standard of living, it doesn’t matter how much education they have, God will make sure they don’t have a high standard of living.

Let’s talk about savings accounts. By this I mean not just savings accounts, but also retirement products, mutual fund accounts, and anything like that. In our culture we have a wide array of these types of products. It is tempting for us to become proud of the savings we accumulate and think we are set for life, set for retirement, and that we are guaranteed to have a good standard of living once we retire. However, if God wants someone to not have that once they get to retirement, He will find a way to devastate them financially. We should be very careful about becoming proud of the savings accounts we have in our society, and that we possess personally. 

In summary, there are verses in Proverbs that tell us pride goes before destruction. We see an example of that in Obadiah. Eden was proud of where they lived. They thought they were invincible, but they were not. God destroyed them anyway. 

Likewise, there are areas of life today in the 21st century where it’s tempting for us to be proud of what we have. Our military, insurance products, education system, and savings accounts make us feel safe and secure. However, if God wants to destroy us, He’s going to do so no matter what we have. The greatest military, the greatest insurance products, the greatest education system, and the greatest savings accounts are not going to protect us if God decides to destroy us. We need to be careful we do not become proud of what we have accomplished, but instead recognize that ultimately, God is in control.

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Scripture quotations from Obadiah taken from a translation by Bible Mountain.

“All other Scripture quotations taken from the New American Standard Bible®,
Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973,
1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
Used by permission.” (www.Lockman.org