In most people’s list of spiritual heroes, Obadiah probably wouldn’t rank very high… if at all. But he served God… and his efforts no doubt saved the lives of many people.
I. Obadiah, the Faithful Manager (1Ki. 18:1-6)
Obadiah was in charge of King Ahab’s palace.
– His Ministry… 1Ki. 18:1-4
Obadiah was in charge of evil King Ahab’s palace, but he was a faithful believer in God. When evil Queen Jezebel began to destroy the prophets of God, Obadiah hid 100 of them in a cave, and provided them with food and water.
– His Mission… 1Ki. 18:5,6
During this time, there was a severe famine… Ahab instructed Obadiah to search the parched land for grass to feed the king’s horses and mules.
II. Obadiah, the Fearful Messenger (1Ki. 18:7-16)
– The Order… 1Ki. 18:7,8
While Obadiah was searching in one area, the prophet Elijah approached him and told him to tell King Ahab Elijah was back.
– The Objection… 1Ki. 18:9-14
Obadiah was concerned… for himself and for Elijah. King Ahab had been looking everywhere for Elijah so he could arrest him. Obadiah was also concerned that Elijah might disappear again… and make Obadiah out to be a liar to Ahab. If this were to happen, Ahab would be angry enough at Obadiah to kill him!
– The Obedience… 1Ki. 18:15,16
After being reassured by Elijah, Obadiah set up the meeting. This meeting would become the great contest on Mt. Carmel…
According to the Talmud, Obadiah the servant became Obadiah the prophet! It is said he was chosen to prophesy against Edom because he was, himself, an Edomite. Also, having lived with 2 such godless people as Ahab & Jezebel – without learning to act as they did – might have made him the best possible person to prophesy against Edom.
Obadiah is supposed to have received the gift of prophecy for having hidden the “100 prophets” from the persecution of Jezebel. he his the prophets in 2 caves, so that if 1 cave was discovered and the prophets killed… the other cave of prophets might survive (1Ki. 18:3,4).
Obadiah was rich, but his wealth was expended in feeding the poor prophets until, in order to be able to continue to support them, he finally had to borrow money from Ahab’s son, Jehoram 2. If the house of Ahab had been capable of being blessed, it would have been blessed for Obadiah’s sake.
Obadiah was courageous.
Obadiah was a righteous man working in a godless environment. he his 100 prophets from Jezebel at one point. He was the governor/steward in the house of Ahab, Jezebel’s palace.
You may have worked – or be working now – in a godless environment; surrounded by foul language, immoral people, ridicule of Christians, etc. But, you must stand firm for your faith in God… and not waiver.
We can all gain strength from the example of Obadiah.
Obadiah was convinced.
He was convinced it was more important to be faithful to God than to fear anyone else. He was commended for remaining a devout worshiper of God (1Ki. 18:3,12). Even though he was a servant to King Ahab, he remained true to God. This was no small achievement.
Many Christians today remain true to God even in their daily association and work with godless people. Some stand on their strong religious principles to the point of jeopardizing their jobs. This is a result of a life of faithfulness to God. He will reward such dedication and trust.
Notice, also, that Obadiah had been convinced “from his youth” (1Ki. 18:12).
This should help convince us of the importance of teaching our children to serve God.
Obadiah was concerned.
He set aside caution and fear to carry Elijah’s message to Ahab. He knew if he carried a false message to him, he might lose his life. But, he went anyway. He was concerned for himself. He was concerned for Elijah. he was concerned for the people. And he was, evidently, concerned for others more than himself.
Many people, who would never attend a church service, are reached because someone they work with takes the time to witness to them. Sometimes it is not in the words they say, but by the example they live. Our examples of approaching something from Christian perspective shows the lost person a better way of life.
God has placed YOU where you are with an opportunity to witness for Him to many different people.
Obadiah was not an outstanding guy. He was just an ordinary guy who God used for His purpose. He will do the same through each of us if we will let HIm.
You can read Obadiah’s story in 1Kings 18:1-16 (and possibly the book of Obadiah).