I opened my bible this morning at 1 Kings Chapter
18. The scene is set with the Prophet Elijah. It is three years into a
very severe drought. Times are hard there is no water either physically
Finally, into the third year of the drought, the LORD decides to speak to Elijah to bring forth a message “Go and present yourself to King Ahab. Tell him that I will soon send rain!’
Why did God wait three years? Why was there a
drought in the first place?’ Firstly, the King of Israel, Ahab had
forsaken the LORD. He worshipped another god; Baal and leading others to
do likewise. King Ahab married Jezebel who herself worshipped her own
god Asherah, together with her own followers. Secondly, I believe God
brings disaster to bring us to a place of great need; repentance.
Elijah was the only prophet at that time and was up against eight hundred or more false prophets. God is having none of it.
Here we see the entrance of Obadiah who is not only a servant of King Ahab and his wife Jezebel, but a true and faithful servant of the LORD. Obadiah’s faithfulness to the LORD extends to saving a hundred prophets belonging to the LORD when he hears of Jezebels plans to kill them. He not only moves them out of the way but takes care to shelter and feed them.
At this time whilst Obadiah takes care of the LORD’s people, King Ahab’s only concern is for the welfare of his animals. Here is the love of God in action using Obadiah. Not only was he placed in enemy camp to save the LORD’s people but was able to shelter and care for them too.
Both Elijah and Obadiah are true and faithful servants of the Lord but respectfully have a different role. One is stationery and the other is taken away as the Lords Spirit dictates. As the Lord’s servants we are called to be where God has placed us, but worshipping the same LORD.
Obadiah faced King Ahab together with his evil wife Jezebel every day. The fear of death must have been quite prevalent. Elijah too experienced these same fears when proving to the false prophets of Baal and Asherah on Mount Carmel that the LORD is God. He ran away in terror. Whatever our calling from the LORD, from time to time it is natural to be afraid.
Simon Peter and the disciples faced the same terror when a storm rose up as they were in a boat. The same LORD that kept Obadiah and Elijah kept Simon Peter. Jesus calmed the waves. God spoke in the silence to Elijah when he had run away his life in danger.
There are many King Ahab’s and Jezebel’s today those who worship other gods and have huge followings. From time to time, especially when isolated, spiritual attacks can be quite ferocious and cause us to hide away in terror. It is not unusual to be exhausted after working so hard for the LORD. Rest and bodily nourishment was very much needed for Elijah. Even Jesus was attended to by the angels after the Spirit moved Him into the wilderness and was without for 40 days and 40 nights.
Jesus knows our humanity and our weaknesses and when it is time for quiet and rest and physical nourishment too, for we have human bodies to take care of.
As Elijah openly and vehemently stood among the people of Israel and called out ‘How much longer will you waver, hobbling between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him! But if Baal is God then follow him! This same message is being reverberated today now!
‘Elijah the prophet walked up to the altar and prayed, “O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, prove today that you are God in Israel. I have done all this at your command. O LORD answer me! Answer me so these people will know that you, O LORD are God and that you have brought them back to yourself”
‘Immediately the fire of the LORD flashed down from heaven and burned up the young bull, the wood, the stones and the dust. It even licked up all the water in the trench!’
And when all the people saw it, they fell face down on the ground and cried out “The LORD – he is God! Yes, the LORD is God’.
Elijah speaks to Ahab ‘For I hear a mighty rainstorm coming’.
The drought was to end; signifying the demise of the false prophets that day and the honour of the true God, the LORD.