Neutrality in War

 

I.         The book of Obadiah is directed to the nation of Edom.

            A.        Edomites were related to Israelites through Abraham.

            B.        While never found of each other, they usually managed to live peacefully next to each other.

            C.        When Israel fell, Edom did not make any overt move.

                        1.         They did not support the Israelites.

                        2.         They did not directly attack either, though they did covertly aid the Babylonians.

                                    a.         They kept Israelites from escaping.

                                    b.         They plundered the empty city.

                                    c.         They rejoiced in Israel’s defeat.

            D.        At a time when kin should have stood for kin, when treaties should have been honored, when neighbors should have banded together, the Edomites remained neutral.

                        1.         Consider their ancestor Abraham. When Lot was carried off to war, Abraham did not stand by, but gathered an army and rescued Lot - Gen 14:16

                        2.         Yet his descendants will not do the same.

                        3.         They wanted to see Israel ruined Micah 4:11

II.        Violent crimes occur with increasing frequency

            A.        Too many people don’t want to get involved.

            B.        Like the parable of the good Samaritan - Luke 10:30-37

                        1.         People don’t feel an obligation to help those in need

            C.        Friends should be there at times of trouble - Job 6:14-20

                        1.         But they become unreliable for fear of their own safety.

                        2.         No friends aided David while Saul sought his life - Ps. 142

                        3.         David’s friends stood aloof during his troubles (sins) - Ps. 38:10-11

            D.        How can we have God’s love without compassion for our fellow men? - I John 3:16-18

            E.        If we ignore the plight of the downtrodden, our sins will come back to haunt us - Pr. 21:13

            F.        Ignorance will not be excused - Pr. 24:11-12

            G.        It is more than sympathy - James 2:13-16

III.       The application is greater — we are in a spiritual war

            A.        Eph 6:10-12 - We are battling Satan and his followers.

            B.        Yet, when some are overtaken in a fault, we stand aside in neutrality.

                        1.         We are afraid to dirty ourselves

                                    a.         Gal. 6:1 says to restore, not avoid.

                                    b.         James 5:19-20 - we need to bring them back

                        2.         Perhaps with some, we are glad to see someone taken down a notch or two.

                        3.         “I didn’t cause their downfall!”, congratulating ourselves, but neither did we attempt to prevent it.

            C.        Some are neutral on the truth. They fold when opposed. They compromise to settle disputes.

                        1.         Like Pilate - John 18:37-38

                        2.         Yet the church is suppose to be supporting the truth - I Tim 3:15

                        3.         It is not our choice to modify God’s Holy Word

                                    a.         We can’t take a middle of the road position on things like abortion, homosexuality, sexual promiscuity, or ethical issues

                                    b.         We can’t alter the nature and purpose of baptism, the character of the first-century church, or the being of God.

                                    c.         There is no neutral position.

            D.        The idea of confessing Christ is to make a lifelong stand with him.

                        1.         Matt 12:30 - Neutrality is to oppose Jesus. To not work for Christ is to destroy his efforts.

                        2.         Rom 10:8-10 - That confession is not a one time deal.

                        3.         It is not a matter of if, but when we confess - Phil 2:9-11

                                    a.         You see, the outcome of this battle is already known

                                    b.         The question that remains is on which side are you fighting?