So they divided the land between them to pass throughout it: Ahab went one way by himself, and Obadiah went another way by himself. ~1 Kings 18:6
The name Obadiah means “servant of the Lord.” The parents of Obadiah had great aspiration that their son would serve the Lord. One of the big challenges that Christians experience is being a spiritual Christian while being successful in their career or job. Many Christians experience awkward moments when they have to make decisions that could affect their upward mobility, their potential for raises, and pleasing God. Obadiah is an example of a man who had this challenge.
We see his calling.
“And Ahab called Obadiah, which was the governor of his house. (Now Obadiah feared the Lord greatly…” Obadiah had a position of prominence. He was the governor or the one who had complete control and oversight of Ahab’s household. He had a position that was well paying. From a career standpoint, he had an enviable job. However, his calling was from an earthly king and not the everlasting King. His calling was to a position and not to his profession. Always remember that your calling affects your conviction.
We see his commendation.
“For it was so, when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the LORD, that Obadiah took an hundred prophets, and hid them by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water.)” Obadiah feared the Lord greatly. As he saw the plight of the prophets under Jezebel, he carefully and secretly used his position to access needed resources and intel to help hide and aid one hundred prophets. There are many working professional Christians who, like Obadiah, demonstrate a concern and care for the work of the Lord.
We see his conflict.
“Obadiah went another way by himself.” This phrase underscores the ongoing conflict that raged in his heart and conscience. He feared the Lord, but he also feared the wrath of Ahab. He loved Jesus, but he also loved his job. He had a position, but he minimized his priority. He played both sides of the fence. He sought to serve God and mammon, and he did not want to offend either. He justified in his conscience that because he hid one hundred prophets in a cave and fed them with bread and water, it was imperative that he keep a low cover about his faith. He was led by his self-interest and self-protection.
We see his confrontation.
Eventually, he was confronted by Elijah and requested to tell Ahab that Elijah was there. Obadiah became deathly afraid and assumed this meant that Ahab would link an association between him and Elijah. The confrontation brought out the fears and shallowness in his spirituality. He went so far as to tell Elijah, “As the LORD thy God liveth....” He acknowledged that he did not know the living God. Elijah did not condemn, criticize, or correct him. He stayed on track with the message that he wanted Obadiah to convey: “Behold, Elijah is here.” Just his presence was enough to convict Obadiah of his double life.
We see his conclusion.
Obadiah went to Ahab and told him that Elijah was there to meet him. Ahab went to meet Elijah, and we do not read anything else about Obadiah. Did he continue working for Ahab? Did he quit his job? I believe that we are not told the answer because for every believer who is facing a similar conflict between career and Christ, you must decide who your master and lord is. Determine today if you are truly willing to go God’s way or will go another way by yourself.
Have a surrendered God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Leviticus 8-10