Some time ago, my church had a bible reading campaign, and they were reading the chapter of 1 Kings 18 , it was talking about the time when Elijah returned and was about to meet King Ahab

Over there in 1 King18:3 introduced a man known as Obadiah, he is the steward in the house of King Ahab, and a man who feared God. According to Rabbinic traditions, they believed that Obadiah the servant of Ahab is the same Prophet Obadiah who wrote the book of Obadiah. They even claimed that he is descended from Eliphaz , the friend of Job

At the same time, there are some Christian traditions who believed that Obadiah is the 3rd centurion sent to Elijah in 2 Kings 1:13-14. Although I think it is unlikely because by then Elijah would have known him by then, as they have met in 1 Kings 18.

Personally I do not think that Obadiah the servant of Ahab is the same as Prophet Obadiah. The reason was that there was not enough information found in the book of Obadiah to determine the time frame of the book. But the book is probably dated after the destruction of Jerusalem and before the kingdom of Edom was destroyed.

However, there remains a possibility that they may be the same person.

The interesting things about Obadiah is written in 1 Kings 18. But in order to understand the relevance of his story to our world. Let us compare the world of Obadiah and ours

The Similarity Of The Kingdom Of Israel To Our World

The Kingdom of Israel is made up of 10 tribes of Israel, whom broke away from the house of David during the reign of Rehoboam. They were led by Jeroboam the son of Nebat. Although when God gave the kingdom to Jeroboam, he wanted him to lead them like the way David led the kingdom of Israel (1 King 11:31-39)

When the 10 tribes finally came under his rule, Jeroboam started to rebel against God, from then on the land of Israel is one that sins against God much , they first worshipped the golden calf, then later on during the time of King Ahab, Baal and Asherah worship became prevalent in the land of Israel .

As the result of this , the kingdom of Israel is plunged into a world where there are much of religious confusion, the people are often caught between worshiping the Lord and following the Canaanites.

It is comforting that in the midst of that culture, there are still remnants of people who fears the Lord, however, we can see that they are usually in their corners. 

The same situation can be said about the world today, we live in a world with many religions, they are like the modern Baal and Asherah, and there are also much confusion in the Christian world, where Christians are caught between the world and their faith.

A Person Who Fears God

The fact that Obadiah choose to fear God while living in a world that doesn’t regard God at all.

The Kingdom of Israel is one that is torn between the idea of worshipping Yahweh and Idols. Being unfaithful to Yahweh also means that the people no longer fear the Lord as much as they are suppose to be.

But in the midst of that is a man who refuse to let the surrounding affect his faith. He had to choose to keep his fear of God, despite the fact that the people whom he works for lack it.

Sometimes, when a person is poor and without power, he is able to fear God. But when someone acquires riches and power , one would find that maintaining the fear of God would be difficult.

Over here, Obadiah is the chief stewards of the house of Ahab, this is a high ranking post in the kingdom, and it is a job that commands great responsibility and political power. Sometimes, when a person is placed onto such positions, one could easily lose his fear of God.

But Obadiah maintained his fear for God despite all these. this is a quality that is worthy of our emulation.

 The Brave Heroic Acts Of Obadiah

Obadiah is introduced in 1 Kings 18:3-4 , he was a God fearing man as well as a brave man. At that time, queen Jezebel was hunting down the prophets of God in the land of Israel.

This is when Obadiah’s bravery was seen in Verse 4. He is seen keeping 100 of the Lords prophets hidden, he hid them in groups of 50 in 2 caves. He provided bread and waters for the prophet.

The act of Obadiah is not as simple as what the verse suggest, as we read this verse, let us recall

1. The nation of Israel was having 3 years of Famine at that time.

Obadiah’s action require long term courage, and lots of patience and determinations.

It is easy for anyone to find courage to be a temporary hero. But the brave act of Obadiah is something that needs to be done at  a regular basis.  Its difficulty is increased when he needs to find enough food for 100 people in the midst of the famine. 

Even if he were to choose to feed one cave at a time, he needs to prepare logistics to transport a huge amount of food without being discovered.  Therefore from here we can see the bravery of Obadiah.

2. Obadiah actions could have been easily discovered

It is possible that the prophets, may be have tried to contact their loves ones , resulting to the acts of Obadiah be discovered.   In fact, Obadiah felt that his actions might have been reported to Elijah (1 Kings 18:13) .

If the news were to be given to king Ahab or his wife Jezebel , Obadiah could have easily been executed for treason.

Therefore, Obadiah needs to be brave in order  do his work. and his courage is something admirable.

Conclusion So Far

So far, we have studied the good points of Obadiah, they are both points that are worthy of our emulation.

Just as no man is perfect, there are also part of Obadiah lives that is far from perfect. We would be looking at them at the next blog post.