If someone threatened your life, what would you do? Some people would flee while others might give up. We all like to think that we would take a brave stand against the enemy.
While the prophet Elijah may have thought he was the only follower of the Lord being pursued by wicked King Ahab, the truth was that there was someone else serving behind enemy lines, a man named Obadiah (vv. 3–4). Obadiah was a faithful Israelite who did not worship Baal but worked for Ahab and Jezebel! The text describes him as “palace administrator” so his job would have put him near the rulers (v. 3). He had a front row seat to their wicked policies.
One of those policies involved killing God’s prophets (v. 4). Soon we will learn that Ahab and Jezebel replaced the prophets of Yahweh with their own state-sponsored prophets of Baal and Asherah. The purge involved the death of many faithful servants of God. At great risk to himself, Obadiah worked to save 100 of them by hiding them in caves (v. 4). The faithful prophet preserved their lives.
What motivated Obadiah to stand against the tide when everyone else around him had fallen under the sway of Baal worship? What caused him to take such a risk and openly defy an order of the king? Obadiah said, “If I go and tell Ahab and he doesn’t find you, he will kill me” (v. 12). Yet, he obeyed because he worshipped the Lord. As powerful as Ahab and Jezebel might have been, Yahweh was more powerful. Obadiah’s fear of God enabled him to be fearless in the face of wickedness.
>> Living in what many are calling a post-biblical culture may inspire fear or nervousness in us. We may be tempted to be quiet and keep our beliefs private. But God’s people are not called to cower in fear. How can your knowledge of God motivate you to stand up for righteousness?
“If God is for us, who can be against us? . . . Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? . . . Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” (Rom. 8:31–35). No one. Give us courage, then, to proclaim Your name!