Edom was bad, so God sent Obadiah. He brought some bad prophecies against the nation founded by Esau. Some argued that it meant the total annihilation of the nation. Some even took it further to include an afterlife. What was so bad about what the Edomites did? Obadiah tells us, “Because of the violence done to your brother Jacob, shame shall cover you, and you shall be cut off forever. On the day that you stood aloof, on the day that strangers carried off his wealth and foreigners entered his gates and cast lots for Jerusalem, you were like one of them.” The charge that Obadiah is leveling against the nation of Edom is that they “stood aloof” when the people of Israel were being killed, the city of Jerusalem was being sacked, and survivors were taken away as slaves. Obadiah calls Edom “brothers” to the Israelites. Edom was the descendant of Log, who was Abraham’s nephew. They were related, and Abraham delivered Lot from the alien peoples of the land in the earlier chapters of Genesis. All of Lot and his family were taken captive, but Abraham mustered his forces and delivered his nephew from the violence of foreigners. Lot’s descendants just stood by and watched as Israel’s enemies sacked the city. According to Obadiah, “Standing aloof” while others suffer unjustly makes you as guilty as the perpetrators. You’ve heard the sayings. He who stands by and lets evil prevail is the same as those who carry out Evil. The only thing necessary for evil to prevail in the world is for good people to stand aloof and let it happen.

We see that horribly played out in the holocaust, where Germany attempted the genocide of the Jewish people. Not many people stood against the Nazi SS when they put whole Jewish families on trains to extermination camps. There were a few, but they paid for their lives at times. One of the better-known resistance groups was a group known as the White Rose. “Run by a small group of university students in Munich, the White Rose produced anonymous leaflets, calling on intellectuals and professionals to unite and stand against the Nazi regime.” The leaflets “Used passages and ideas from a range of classic texts, including the Bible, philosophical works, and German poets. They also criticized and condemned the Nazi reliance on terror, euthanasia, and slave labor. One of their volunteers, 23-year-old Hans Scholl, accused the Nazis of bringing shame on the German people. The Gestapo spent weeks searching for the creators of the White Rose pamphlets. In February 1943, a tip-off led to the arrest of three students, including Hans Scholl and his 21-year-old sister, Sophie Scholl. They were interrogated, tortured, tried, and executed, all within six hours. More arrests and executions followed over the coming weeks.”[1] History makes heroes out of the White Rose members and villains of the Nazis.

It would have been safer for Hans and Sophie to have minded their own business and let the evil happen. An ex-marine was charged with 2nd-degree manslaughter after stepping in to protect travelers on the New York subway system. In the eyes of all those who were protected from the violent outrage of a mentally unstable passenger, they say he is a hero. The left-wing prosecutor is calling it murder and indicted Daniel Penny. The others on the subway defended Penny’s action, but the person who was restrained was black, and Penny was white. It’s been turned into a racial issue. I’m hoping Penny does not suffer the same fate that Hans and Sophie suffered.

[1] Opposition to the Nazis (alphahistory.com)