Devotion

OPENING PRAYER

Lord, let Your steadfast love hold me and Your grace sustain my life.

 

Read: 1 KINGS 18:1-15

[1] After a long time, in the third year, the word of the LORD came to Elijah: “Go and present yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the land.” [2] So Elijah went to present himself to Ahab. Now the famine was severe in Samaria, [3]and Ahab had summoned Obadiah, his palace administrator. (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.) [5] Ahab had said to Obadiah, “Go through the land to all the springs and valleys. Maybe we can find some grass to keep the horses and mules alive so we will not have to kill any of our animals.” [6] So they divided the land they were to cover, Ahab going in one direction and Obadiah in another. [7] As Obadiah was walking along, Elijah met him. Obadiah recognized him, bowed down to the ground, and said, “Is it really you, my lord Elijah?” [8] “Yes,” he replied. “Go tell your master, ‘Elijah is here.'” [9] “What have I done wrong,” asked Obadiah, “that you are handing your servant over to Ahab to be put to death? [10] As surely as the LORD your God lives, there is not a nation or kingdom where my master has not sent someone to look for you. And whenever a nation or kingdom claimed you were not there, he made them swear they could not find you. [11]But now you tell me to go to my master and say, ‘Elijah is here.’ [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. Yet I your servant have worshiped the LORD since my youth. [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!” [15] Elijah said, “As the LORD Almighty lives, whom I serve, I will surely present myself to Ahab today.” 

 

Reflect: HOW DID OBADIAH DEMONSTRATE HIS ALLEGIANCES?

The reference to “the third year” (1) signals that the period of Elijah’s initial prophecy is drawing to an end. But first comes an encounter with Obadiah, who is described as “a devout believer in the Lord” (3), and yet finds himself right at the heart of Ahab’s palace administration. It’s a telling reminder that it’s possible to serve God in less-than-congenial circumstances, but there will be struggles in doing so. Few of us would envy Obadiah, working in a position of responsibility for a godless and ruthless master.Obadiah handled the challenge by maintaining his faith in God. He also took advantage of the opportunities offered by his position, hiding and feeding a hundred prophets during Jezebel’s persecutions–at considerable personal risk and no doubt personal expense. Our daily lives may seem to offer little scope for heroism, but all of us have opportunities to live a distinctively Christian life in our everyday contexts in a way that seeks to make a difference to those around us. Obadiah is worried that Elijah’s presence will cause trouble (9-14). In spite of his fear, he conveys Elijah’s message to Ahab (16), which sets in motion the next part of the story.

 

APPLY

Use your position in life to advance the Gospel. Ask God to show you the opportunities available to you.

 

CLOSING PRAYER

God of Mercy, You are a God who saves. Save Your people who trust in You.