Of Edom, Yahweh of Armies says:
“Is wisdom no more in Teman?
Has counsel perished from the prudent?
Has their wisdom vanished?
Flee! Turn back!
Dwell in the depths, inhabitants of Dedan;
for I will bring the calamity of Esau on him when I visit him.
If grape gatherers came to you,
would they not leave some gleaning grapes?
If thieves came by night,
wouldn’t they steal until they had enough?
But I have made Esau bare,
I have uncovered his secret places,
and he will not be able to hide himself.
His offspring is destroyed,
with his brothers and his neighbors;
and he is no more.
Leave your fatherless children.
I will preserve them alive.
Let your widows trust in me.”
For Yahweh says: “Behold, they to whom it didn’t pertain to drink of the cup will certainly drink; and are you he who will altogether go unpunished? You won’t go unpunished, but you will surely drink. For I have sworn by myself,” says Yahweh, “that Bozrah will become an astonishment, a reproach, a waste, and a curse. All its cities will be perpetual wastes.”
I have heard news from Yahweh,
and an ambassador is sent among the nations,
saying, “Gather yourselves together!
Come against her!
Rise up to the battle!”
Have you noticed that when Israel was being judged, it became a time of upheaval for all the nations surrounding it? Once Israel was judged, the hammer came down on the rest as well. It’s interesting that the nations were trying to destroy Israel, but what they were really doing was cutting off the branch of the tree that they were resting on. That’s how foolish it is to oppose God. Whenever we do that we destroy ourselves.
This passage is about God’s judgment of Edom which was the nation that came from Esau. A part of Edom called Teman was known for its wise sages. God mocks them here because they had rejected Him and by doing so, elected to destroy themselves. There’s nothing more foolish than that.
Here we read that God decided to destroy this people entirely. God mentions that under normal circumstances, attackers would leave some people behind when they’ve had enough, but God was going to cause them to be completely wiped out. There was one exception, however. God was going to save the widows and the orphans! The people who had no husband or father to protect them were going to continue to be protected by God Himself.
Once again, this passage reminds us of a Grand Theme of the Bible: God’s grace saves us by faith in His word. When we decide that we are strong enough on our own to oppose God, we become weak and are brought down by God Himself, but when we are weak and we trust in God for our salvation, God is gracious to us and saves us in the worst of circumstances. There is nothing more foolish than trusting in our own strength and failing to trust in God.