Faithlife Sermons

Obadiah and Elijah - 8 Oct 2006_

Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 5 views
Notes & Transcripts
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →

Lesser men of faith: Obadiah

13 Haven’t you heard, my lord, what I did while Jezebel was killing the prophets of the Lord? I hid a hundred of the Lord’s prophets in two caves, fifty in each, and supplied them with food and water. 14 And now you tell me to go to my master and say, ‘Elijah is here.’ He will kill me!”

                                                                        1 Kings 18 13,14

Chapter 18 of 1 Kings is famous for the events on Mt Carmel – one of those wonderful occasions when God actually sends fire from heaven.   It is also the story of another character OBADIAH.

Why is he there? 

The narrator could have missed out the reference to Obadiah altogether and we wouldn’t even have noticed it.   WHY?

Of course the Big Man can get it wrong too – read on into the next chapter and see how Elijah makes his biggest mistake.

But this morning we consider a LESSER MAN OF FAITH – OBADIAH:-

 NO MOUSE CLICKS

These will serve as a framework for us to measure the kind of man Obadiah is.

The background to his devotion     vv 3 + 4 and 12b

A man of privilege                               IN CHARGE OF HIS PALACE

A devout man since his youth           A BELIEVER IN THE LORD

The testimony of Obadiah is reflected in a lifelong devotion, a recognised and trusted character and a faithful servant of a godless King.

Who can tell what godly influences had first had their effect in his life?  What we do know is that he was consistent and steady under difficulty.

Unlike Elijah – his was a life exposed in close proximity to the royal court – whereas Elijah had this habit of coming and going!

The tests of his devotion    v4 & v13  v5  and v8

MOUSE CLICKS NEEDED

There are THREE WAYS in which he was tested

And they show the character and spiritual stature

Of this man.

The most striking test was witnessed by the historian and by Obadiah’s own testimony:

 (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.)

13 Haven’t you heard, my lord, what I did while Jezebel was killing the prophets of the Lord? I hid a hundred of the Lord’s prophets in two caves, fifty in each, and supplied them with food and water.

This is a remarkable achievement – Obadiah had already demonstrated – and undoubtedly continued to do so throughout the drought – his care for the prophets of the Lord.

He was not just a private believer in those apostate days – but one who would take risks to demonstrate his faith. Not a Carmel type demonstration indeed – but a secret and sustained devotion.

He took risks for his faith

He CARED for the Lord’s people

This faith was FURTHER TESTED by the everyday demands of Ahab:

OBADIAH WAS REQUIRED TO DO AS AHAB COMMANDED – even though he must have found it difficult.

Many believers work against such a background.

His was a faith of lifelong standing

It had endured the difficulties of service at the court of Ahab and the consequences of the drought.

His was a position of prominence and service:

Obadiah, who was in charge of his palace.

But the SIGNIFICAN CHALLENGE COMES WHEN HE MEETS ELIJAH:

It was that test that almost resulted in failure.

Obadiah had a dangerous but SETTLED MINISTRY – and Elijah’s challenge tests his devotion in  an altogether new way.

It was this challenge that, more than anything else, revealed the:

The Limits of his devotion  v3a  v9  v12a and v 13

MOUSE CLICKS NEEDED

Like us – OBADIAH had to do as he was told

And the demands of his job often required that

He make decisions about what was true and

Good and upright.

That is a REAL SITUATION FOR TODAY’S BELIEVER

Not very many can have the unique position of an Elijah – where the lines of demarcation are clearly drawn – and Ahab concludes “he is his enemy” – most of us have to work against a background of misunderstanding and doubt and sometimes downright opposition.

We need to weigh up the limiting factors in our employment, or situation. We have to respond accordingly.

Secondly, he didn’t have a great deal of confidence in Elijah’s words. 

12 I don’t know where the Spirit of the Lord may carry you when I leave you. If I go and tell Ahab and he doesn’t find you, he will kill me.

 

He knows that Elijah is subject to the guidance, indeed direct intervention of God’s Spirit – and so he doubts that Elijah will be there when Ahab is brought back.

That is a by-product of a life lived in constant touch with the enemies of the Lord, or a life lived in service of a godless king.    Obadiah knows the Sprit is at work – but he doesn’t understand that that Spirit may be counted on to be faithful in these very difficult circumstances.

Obadiah – quite naturally – fears for his own life – for what Elijah is asking touches his basic security in a unique way.

Thirdly, Obadiah tends to dwell on what he HAS achieved – rather than what he may still achieve.

It is this challenge that I believe touches us today most strongly.

OBADIAH was a man with a certificate

I have a good deal of sympathy for the man!

13 Haven’t you heard, my lord, what I did while Jezebel was killing the prophets of the Lord? I hid a hundred of the Lord’s prophets in two caves, fifty in each, and supplied them with food and water. 14 And now you tell me to go to my master and say, ‘Elijah is here.’ He will kill me!”

The key words in this passage are:

“what I DID”

 

And  “NOW”   

That is a salutary lesson in attitudes

So often we live in the past. We celebrate the victories that were – but we jib at the challenges of now.

There are TWO WAYS to apply the lesson of OBADIAH

In relation to CHRISTIAN SERVICE it isn’t what I HAVE DONE – but what I WILL DO

That counts.

And

In relation to the ENQUIRER:-

In the words of the old hymn:

Our closing hymn reflects on the continuing challenge to DO what God has challenged us to do:

Hymn:   (744)  We’ve a story to tell

Related Media
Related Sermons