In our study of this prophecy, we will look at the past, present, and future consequences of pride. Although little is known of the prophet and it is the shortest book of the Bible, he had a very important message for Edom and for us as well.
"The vision of Obadiah. This is what the Sovereign Lord says about Edom - We have heard a message from the Lord: An envoy was sent to the nations to say, 'Rise, and let us go against her for battle' - 'See, I will make you small among the nations; you will be utterly despised.'" NIV translation
The majority of this book concerns the land of Edom and so we must get to understand who they were. The Edomites were descendants of Esau who was Isaac's firstborn son and the brother of Jacob (Israel). As the oldest son, he was to be Isaac's heir but he sold that birthright to his brother Jacob for a bowl of soup (see Genesis 25). The Lord had told Rebekah that the oldest of her twin sons would serve the younger and that they were two separate nations. After eating the soup, Esau despised his brother for taking his birthright and so began a long history of strife between the two nations.
"'The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rocks and make your home on the heights, you who say to yourself, "Who can bring me down to the ground?" Though you soar like the eagle and make your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down,' declares the Lord." NIV translation
Now, we see the charge that is brought against Edom and it is pride. There are several places in the Bible where we see that God hated Esau but this is the only place that answers the question of why. Pride is an attitude that says that we have the ability to live without God. This is in fact elevating ourselves to the place of God and is the exact reason that Satan was cast out of heaven.
The Edomites lived in the mountainous area south of Judah. They were in the mountains and elevating themselves just like man tried to do with the Tower of Babel (see Genesis 11). Just as God brought down Satan, He says that Edom will also be cast down.