“Because of the violence done to our brother Jacob, shame shall cover you, and you shall be cut off forever” (Obadiah 1.10 ESV).
The Bible teaches us to forgive others. Once we forgive the people who have hurt us, we are released from the negative and ugly influences they have on our lives. God will turn our ashes into a crown of beauty once we let go of bitterness, shame and unforgiveness (Isaiah 613). We don’t have to worry about justice being served because God also says that people reap what they sow (Galatians 6.7). The full effects of someone’s hateful choices will eventually catch up. God’s forgiveness is always available to all of us, but we are still accountable to the repercussions of our actions. The Edomites persecuted Israel during a time of humbling in their nation. God finished His correction of Israel, but once the nation was brought into submission to the Lord, God turned His attention to the Edomites. The prophecy for Edom was not a good one. In fact, they were “cut off forever.” As Christians, we don’t want to rejoice over the misery of others, but we can rejoice in both the mercy and justice of God. We can love and forgive others even when they hurt us, releasing ourselves from their spiral of bad decisions against God’s commands. God will avenge us in His way and His timing with both His mercy and justice. We can let go of avenging ourselves, knowing that our Heavenly Father cares passionately for us.
“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you” (1 Peter 5.7 NLT).