Obadiah/Jonah: We have heard: sticks and stones may hurt my bones but words will never hurt me. But, of course, we know that that is an untruth for we have been the recipient of hurtful words and they linger in our hearts. Both Obadiah and Jonah heard the words of hate but what they did with those words is a lesson for all of us. The prophets Obadiah and Jonah are sequestered between other books that we might stop and reflect: is my heart that of man or is my heart that of God.
Obadiah heard God speak and he recorded the gloating prideful words of Edom but he saw that if he left it at the feet of God, he could see hope when all seemed lost. Listen to his words: those who have been delivered will go up to Mt. Zion!
In sharp contrast is the prophet Jonah who wore his hatred on his sleeve. He hated the Ninevites and was angry that God would call him to go there and preach. In his mind, Jonah was asking; how could I, after all, they have done? And so Jonah found a berth in a ship to hide but soon God would hide him in the belly of a fish.
God’s question to Jonah is one that HE is asking us: Do you have a right to be angry? God is asking us that same question. God is asking us to see men through His eyes of compassion even-when-it-is-hard.