“Now the famine was severe in Samaria,
and Ahab had summoned Obadiah, his palace administrator.” 1 Kings 18:2
mean “the servant of God.” Was the man truly the servant of the Lord? How could
he be if he was the servant of Ahab, the evil king of Israel?
the one who risked his life hiding one hundred prophets of the Lord in two
caves and provided them with food during the time when Jezebel, Ahab’s wife,
was slaughtering God’s prophets in Israel. Undoubtedly the man was both brave
and generous, godly attributes which enabled him to perform such admirable
We may be
tempted to hold it against him, for he was serving as an administrator for Ahab
and, by all accounts, he seemed to have a pretty good relationship with the
tyrant. How could that be possible? An upright and just man serving an evil
king as his right hand man, who apparently was required to participate in all
the king’s evil deeds.
have served the Lord better by remaining a civilian? This is the question we
The man might
have been able to wash his hands and remain pure by not getting involved in
Ahab’s government, yet by doing so, one hundred prophets of the Lord would have
been murdered by Jezebel, for Obadiah would not have been in a position to
knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” Mordecai
said to Esther, who was in a position to do something to save her fellow
Israelites from utter destruction.
There was a
specific reason that Obadiah was being promoted to be an important official in
Ahab’s administration. He must have felt extremely uncomfortable working for a
man who was serving Baal and persecuting the servants of the Lord. The thought
of quitting might have surfaced in his heart repeatedly, but somehow there was
a voice in his heart telling him to stay where he was, for he would become
instrumental in preserving the lives of one hundred prophets of the Lord.
I suppose we
need more just people serving in an unjust government, for more salt is needed
to preserve the governing body of our country from becoming more rotten and
corrupted. The world will become a much darker place if we all put our light
under a bowl.
I guess my
faith will never be challenged or tested if I continue to preach to a choir and
hide myself within the church walls; but my belief will be attacked if I
attempt to take it to the market place. We need more people like Obadiah who
answered the challenge and lived out his faith in a hostile environment.