Come near, you nations, to hear;
And heed, you people!
Let the earth hear, and all that is in it,
The world and all things that come forth from it.
2 For the indignation of the Lord is against all nations,
And His fury against all their armies;
He has utterly destroyed them,
He has given them over to the slaughter.
3 Also their slain shall be thrown out;
Their stench shall rise from their corpses,
And the mountains shall be melted with their blood.
4 All the host of heaven shall be dissolved,
And the heavens shall be rolled up like a scroll;
All their host shall fall down
As the leaf falls from the vine,
And as fruit falling from a fig tree.
5 “For My sword shall be bathed in heaven;
Indeed it shall come down on Edom,
And on the people of My curse, for judgment.
6 The sword of the Lord is filled with blood,
It is made overflowing with fatness,
With the blood of lambs and goats,
With the fat of the kidneys of rams.
For the Lord has a sacrifice in Bozrah,
And a great slaughter in the land of Edom.
7 The wild oxen shall come down with them,
And the young bulls with the mighty bulls;
Their land shall be soaked with blood,
And their dust saturated with fatness.”
8 For it is the day of the Lord’s vengeance,
The year of recompense for the cause of Zion.
9 Its streams shall be turned into pitch,
And its dust into brimstone;
Its land shall become burning pitch.
10 It shall not be quenched night or day;
Its smoke shall ascend forever.
From generation to generation it shall lie waste;
No one shall pass through it forever and ever.
11 But the pelican and the porcupine shall possess it,
Also the owl and the raven shall dwell in it.
And He shall stretch out over it
The line of confusion and the stones of emptiness.
12 They shall call its nobles to the kingdom,
But none shall be there, and all its princes shall be nothing.
13 And thorns shall come up in its palaces,
Nettles and brambles in its fortresses;
It shall be a habitation of jackals,
A courtyard for ostriches.
14 The wild beasts of the desert shall also meet with the jackals,
And the wild goat shall bleat to its companion;
Also the night creature shall rest there,
And find for herself a place of rest.
15 There the arrow snake shall make her nest and lay eggs
And hatch, and gather them under her shadow;
There also shall the hawks be gathered,
Every one with her mate.
16 “Search from the book of the Lord, and read:
Not one of these shall fail;
Not one shall lack her mate.
For My mouth has commanded it, and His Spirit has gathered them.
17 He has cast the lot for them,
And His hand has divided it among them with a measuring line.
They shall possess it forever;
From generation to generation they shall dwell in it.”
We have a saying "Don't miss the forest for the trees." It means don't get so fixated on the details that you miss the big picture. This chapter is like that. It starts broad, then narrows in on Edom and it becomes super easy to forget how the chapter started.
God has an issue with all the nations. Every. Single. One. That's the forest. That's the big picture. Now why then does the chapter quickly and narrowly focus in on Edom? Who is Edom?
Edom is the name given to all the descendants of Esau. Esau was the twin brother of Jacob, the twins that were fighting in the womb before they were ever born. Esau is a tree who symbolizes an entire forest.
Think about it. The universe was at war before our earth was ever born. On this earth there are two sets of children, the children of Abel and the children of Cain. We are "twins". Same parents, same starting point. Same choices and opportunities.
Esau was the oldest in that he came out first with Jacob clutching his heel. Esau was the one to receive the inheritance, the birthright, and all the blessings that came with it. All the promises of God made to Seth, Noah, Shem, Abraham, and Isaac were to be his. Had he desired them and valued them the Story would have referenced God as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Esau. That never happened. Esau didn't value any of it. He lived for the moment. He lived for himself. He was reckless and careless.
Jacob had serious issues too. He was equally affected by and broken by the consequences of the war he was born into. There was one major difference though. Jacob valued the promises. He wanted them. He pursued them. In so doing God granted them to him. He changed his name from Jacob "underhanded" to Israel (overcomer). Jacob joined the line of faith. Esau fell into the line of Cain.
Esau's descendants did become a nation and for a time a kingdom that was located between the Dead Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba. When things began to go sideways in the entire middle East and the prophecies of Isaiah began to come to reality Edom was destroyed. It was never a kingdom again. The mountains of Seir are a desolate place now and always will be.
However that is just a tree. It is symbolic of an entire forest. There is an entire segment of humanity that has followed in the footsteps of Esau. They live for the now. They don't value the promises of God. He laid eternity before them and they "sold out". God has an issue with all the nations because they who choose the path of Esau have chosen the path of death. Note that it says near the very beginning of the chapter "He has given them over to the slaughter". If a road crew puts up a sign that says "Bridge is Out" and a driver ignores the sign and plunges into a raging river and dies, did the road crew kill him?
Esau had the same opportunities as Jacob. Satan had the same choices as Gabriel. We all have the same choices. Edom stands as a historical symbol of the fate of everyone who tosses away His promises and goes their own way.
Choose Jesus. Choose life. Choose love. Choose hope. Choose your true destiny. Join the overcomers. Live for the end of this seemingly endless war. The King is Coming! :)