Study of Elijah
The first half of this chapter is not as well known as the second. What can we learn from the life of Obadiah?
He was a God fearing man. He was a devout believer. He greatly feared the Lord. We are told this twice in this passage.
Some see Obadiah as a comprising coward working for Ahab. This would be most wrong. God never criticises Obadiah. Instead it refers to him as this God fearing man. It tells of a man who hid and saved the lives of 100 believers. He was a God fearer working in a Godless environment.
So 5 lessons.
1/. God fearers can work in godless contexts.
Obadiah. Was working in Ahab's palace. Ahab was the most godless king Israel had up to this point. His wife Jezebel. Was even worse. She was going about in a murdering spree killing believers.
Obadiah worked in this environment yet he was faithful. Godly people sometimes have to work for some very ungodly people. This is not easy but is quite common in the Bible. Obadiah is an encouragement that Godly people can survive these conditions.
2/. God fearers. Obey human authorities in what is lawful.
Fear God and honour the king. There is a principle in scripture that we should submit to human authority. In doing so we are submitting to God himself. Even though Ahab was godless he was Obadiah's boss.
Obadiah was to go through the land and look for somewhere that his animals could survive. Regardless of how silly this seemed to Obadiah he obeyed. We must follow the procedures those in authority over us have commanded provided it does not break God's laws. Are we good witnesses for God in our submission to authority?
3/. God fearers obey their heavenly master supremely.
Jezebel wanted to get rid of all God's preachers. She ordered their execution. What should Obadiah do in this instance?He does something very courageous. He hides them and gets them food and water supplies. He showed great faith and showed how he feared God more than man. We obey our earthly masters but not to the point of sinning.
In the NT the apostles were arrested for evangelism. They obeyed God rather than men. We should not go against what the Bible says.
4/. God fearers come in different shapes and sizes.
Verse 1 tells us God told Elijah rain would come but first he must go and see Ahab. On his Way he meets Obadiah who needs a bit of persuading to go and tell Ahab Elijah is here.
Elijah and Obadiah are quite different. They have different calls. They are different in temperament. God's servants don't all share the same calling. There are many different kinds of faithful servant. The church of Christ is a body of many different parts. We are used in different ways. God uses us all different.
You don't have to be a daring missionary to be an obedient Christian. We shouldn't be judgemental with others just because they don't do the same as us.
5/. God fearers can be seen as the problem and not the solution.
For 3 years Ahab has been blaming the drought on Elijah rather than looking at his own faults.
He meets Elijah and calls him a troublemaker. Elijah hits Back by telling Ahab it is his own fault. Elijah points out his godlessness.
Elijah was the messenger of God. He wasn't a trouble make. Just as they seen Jesus as a troublemaker. They even went to the lengths of crucifying Him.
He died that we might live. He died to take the punishment for our sins.
Give us a fear of God like Obadiah.
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