1 Kings 18:1-16
1 After a long time, in the third year, the word of the LORD came to Elijah: "Go and present yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the land."
2 So Elijah went to present himself to Ahab. Now the famine was severe in Samaria,
3 and Ahab had summoned Obadiah, who was in charge of his palace. (Obadiah was a devout believer in the LORD.
4 While Jezebel was killing off the Lord's prophets, Obadiah had taken a hundred prophets and hidden them in two caves, fifty in each, and had supplied them with food and water.)
5 Ahab had said to Obadiah, "Go through the land to all the springs and valleys. Maybe we can find some grass to keep the horses and mules alive so we will not have to kill any of our animals."
6 So they divided the land they were to cover, Ahab going in one direction and Obadiah in another.
7 As Obadiah was walking along, Elijah met him. Obadiah recognized him, bowed down to the ground, and said, "Is it really you, my lord Elijah?"
8 "Yes," he replied. "Go tell your master, 'Elijah is here.'"
9 "What have I done wrong," asked Obadiah, "that you are handing your servant over to Ahab to be put to death?
10 As surely as the LORD your God lives, there is not a nation or kingdom where my master has not sent someone to look for you. And whenever a nation or kingdom claimed you were not there, he made them swear they could not find you.
11 But now you tell me to go to my master and say, 'Elijah is here.'
12 I don't know where the Spirit of the LORD may carry you when I leave you. If I go and tell Ahab and he doesn't find you, he will kill me. Yet I your servant have worshiped the LORD since my youth.
13 Haven't you heard, my lord, what I did while Jezebel was killing the prophets of the LORD? I hid a hundred of the Lord's prophets in two caves, fifty in each, and supplied them with food and water.
14 And now you tell me to go to my master and say, 'Elijah is here.' He will kill me!"
15 Elijah said, "As the LORD Almighty lives, whom I serve, I will surely present myself to Ahab today."
16 So Obadiah went to meet Ahab and told him, and Ahab went to meet Elijah.
Obadiah - an ordinary man who showed
The country of Samaria was going through intense famine. There was continuous drought for three and a half years. Finally God had mercy on them and sent rain.
Ahab was a wicked king in Samaria, yet it looks like he trusted a god fearing man Obadiah, the palace administrator, whose name meant "Servant of the Lord." We understand he was a Godly servant, from the introduction given to him (v3-4). He showed the courage of a God-fearing man.
Going against the will of the queen, while serving in a palace, was not an easy thing to do. Doing such a thing would invite trouble, even death. Yet Obadiah showed extraordinary courage to save 100 prophets who were being persecuted by a wicked queen, Jezebel. Not only did he hide them, but also provided them with bread and water. That was an act of kindness too.
When you fear God, you would be trusted by people and God.
V5-6 - Ahab sent him to find grass for his cattle in the midst of intense drought, because he trusted him enough to get the job done.
V 8-11 - Even Elijah used Obadiah as a mediator between himself and King Ahab, because he trusted him.
Obadiah clearly took a risk when he saved the prophet. Was he a courageous man by nature? Seeing his conversation with Elijah (1 King 18:9), you wouldn't think so. The fact that he feared God more than people enabled him to take such a big risk.
Do you fear God more than people? Was there any situation in your life where you stood up for what is right because you feared God?
Are you a person who does right things only when you are given a particular position by a leader? How do you feel when you have done something great but not given enough recognition?
Do you believe Obadiah will have a great place in heaven because he feared God?
There is something common about all the great people in the bible. It is the "fear of God". It is fear of God that made a big difference in the life of ordinary people.
- Today you may decide to do something different because you fear God more than people.
Share your faith with someone whom you are fearful about or not comfortable with at your work place.
- Do a study on 'fear of God' or 'people who feared God'
Compare Obadiah with other god-fearing people like Daniel (Daniel 6), David, and Shiphra and Puah (Exodus 1:15-17)