As we have looked at the sins of the surrounding nations Edom has kept surfacing. The Philistines sold Jews to the Edomites as slaves. The people of Tyre sold runaway slaves back to Edom. Edom was the central figure in this horrid slave trade that God repeatedly condemned. You would expect God to address the slave trade when He rebukes Edom, but He does not.
Pursuit with the sword
When the Israelites were coming out of Egypt the most direct route to the Promised Land was through Edom. When the children of Israel asked for passage the Edomites responded by sending their army to the border. From that time on the Edomites were opposed to the Israelites and even went so far as to own them and sell them as slaves.
In Hebrew is says that they “destroyed pity” or “destroyed compassion.” They refused to allow the slightest amount of sympathy, pity, or compassion to rise within their hearts towards the Israelites. They would also ensure that their children and others never allowed any compassion or mercy to grow. They destroyed and cast out all form of mercy or compassion towards the Jewish people.
The Edomites had a continual anger towards the Jewish people. It literally lasted for several hundred years. The animosity and hatred never diminished with time but was passed down from generation to generation.
Hatred for family
What made all of this sin the more heinous is that Israelites and Edomites were all direct descendants from Isaac. They were literally family. How cruel and hard must your heart be to have such animosity towards the ones you should love the most.
Application for today
We tend to justify our hatred and anger towards others by the fact that we have not done something (abortion, murder, slavery, etc.) However, just because I have not murdered someone does not mean I love them. Just because I do not own slaves does not mean I have pity, compassion, and love towards African-Americans. Just because I have never had an abortion does not mean that I love babies. Just because I would not murder a public official does not mean that I actually have compassion on those who are different than me politically. Jesus was very clear that the attitude of the heart mattered as much as the outward actions (Matthew 5:21-26.) We must also realize that how we treat our closest family members is who we truly are. Many people are cruel towards their own family members yet believe themselves to be loving people; this is simply just a distortion of reality.
We need Jesus
It is impossible to look at the sin of Edom without seeing your own lack of love towards people. This is why we need Jesus. Jesus did not just come to take people to heaven. He came to shed His love abroad in our hearts. He came to take away our hatred and cruelty so that we might become like Him. We need to turn to Jesus for forgiveness and transformation.
Do you have hatred and anger in your heart? Will you repent of your sin and ask for Jesus to change you?