When God Speaks


Do you ever wonder if God always means what he says? Remember: “When the Sovereign Lord speaks... (wise) ones listen.”

Obadiah 1:1

Was there a student in your high school class who lived on the edge of conflict with the school authorities? He tested every rule, talked his way out of every scrape, and seemed to have more lives than the proverbial cat—until the day that the principal’s voice came over the intercom, calling him to the office. Everybody knew that the game was over; the ultimate authority had spoken.

In the Old Testament era, the kingdom of Edom was that student. Edom had been on God’s bad side for hundreds of years for its arrogance and mistreatment of the nation of Israel. Edom developed from the descendants of Esau, Jacob’s twin brother. Perhaps Edom was still angry over God choosing Jacob instead of Esau as the line of blessing (see Gen 25:23; 27:41). Whatever the reason for their misbehavior, God used Obadiah as his intercom and called Edom to his office.

What was significant for Edom, and is significant for us today, is to recognize how God spoke: “This is what the Sovereign Lord says about Edom . . . .” This phraseology brings to mind the famous television commercial that sponsored a leading investment and brokerage firm. The punch line was, “When E.F. Hutton speaks . . . people listen.” Substitute Obadiah’s text, and you get the sense of what it means when God speaks as Sovereign Lord: “When the Sovereign Lord speaks . . . people (and nations) listen.” When the Sovereign Lord speaks, the discussion is over.

This perspective on God’s speaking comes from his being a Sovereign, which means “ruler” or “master.” The “Lord” part of his name means that he has been patient; a loving and personal authority. God spoke to Edom as Sovereign Lord, and he will one day speak as Sovereign Lord to the nations of the world. Those who know him rest in the fact that his words have authority, but are balanced with love in the heart of a tender father.

Do you ever wonder if God always means what he says? Remember: “When the Sovereign Lord speaks . . . (wise) ones listen.”

God’s Promise to You: “All of my authority is present in all of my words.”


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