1 Kings 18:1-2 (NIV) 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…
On verses 1-2: God used Elijah to perform some of the most incredible miracles you will read about in the Bible. Why Elijah? I believe Elijah’s secret is that he was obedient. Whenever God told him to do something, in faith he would obey (verse 2 to “So Elijah went…”). If you want God to move powerfully in your life, it hinges on how quickly and fully you will obey the word He speaks to you.
1 Kings 18:2-6 (NIV) 2 …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.
On verses 2b-6: In the midst of a severe famine, King Ahab tells Obadiah his palace administrator to go to the springs and valleys to look for grass to feed the horses and mules.
What can we learn from this? Pastor Jon Courson says it well when he writes:
Ahab sought relief from the famine, but he failed to seek the reason for the famine. That’s so often true of us. We seek relief from a problem, but we don’t get to the root of the problem.
Do you keep facing the same problem over and over again? Instead of just looking for relief from the problem, ask God to show you the reason for the problem. Deal with the root of the problem and you’ll find more lasting relief.
Also, verse 3 tells us that Obadiah was King Ahab’s palace administrator, while simultaneously hiding a hundred prophets in two caves to protect them from Ahab’s prophet-murdering wife Queen Jezebel. Much like Oskar Schindler and Corrie Ten Boom protected Jews from extermination by the Nazis, so Obadiah protected the Elijahs of his generation, caring for their needs and providing for them. It’s no wonder Obadiah’s name means “servant of God”.
What can we learn from this? There will be times when we are called to serve like Elijah and lead others publicly on the front lines. There are also times when we are called to serve like Obadiah and use what we have to protect and support the Elijahs in our lives. The kingdom of God needs both Elijahs and Obadiahs. Do you gravitate more toward being like Elijah or being like Obadiah? Both roles are absolutely vital in God’s kingdom.
As Pastor Jon Courson writes, “You might not be powerful like Elijah. But you can be profitable like Obadiah…You might not be able to preach, but you can pray for those who do. You might not be able to cross the seas as a missionary, but you can pray for them. You might not be able to go door to door, witnessing, but you can pray.”
Serving like Obadiah could be the most important and impactful thing you ever get involved in.
On verses 7-15: Elijah tells Obadiah to tell King Ahab that Elijah has arrived. Obadiah worries that God might suddenly take Elijah away and that King Ahab will kill Obadiah for seemingly tricking him. Elijah reassures Obadiah that he will definitely present himself to Ahab (v15).
What can we learn from this? Are you someone whose words cause people to worry or to worship? With the power of God’s Word in your heart, may you give hope and reassurance to those around you so that they may experience God’s peace and overcome their fears.
Heavenly Father, I pray that I would quick like Elijah to obey You when You tell me to do something, trusting that You have a greater purpose and that You will also take care of my needs as I do. I pray that like Elijah I would speak words of comfort, reassurance and hope to those around me who are worried and fearful. I pray that I would be humble like Obadiah and give what I have to serve those whom You have called to be on the front lines of the faith. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!