1 Kings 18:1-16
Friday, 9 October 2020
Then Elijah said, “As the LORD of hosts lives, before whom I stand, I will surely present myself to him today.” -1 Kings 18:15
Our text today talks about the time when Elijah returned (after a short span of staying away from the public scene) and was about to meet King Ahab. King Ahab was known as the evilest king of Israel. Ahab struggled with an indecisive nature and was led into wickedness because of the influence of his wife Jezebel, the Phoenician princess. Jezebel’s influence over her husband was much stronger than the godly influence of the Prophet Elijah in consequence of Ahab’s marriage to a pagan which produced tragic results.
Prophet Elijah knew about the idolatry of Israel and the wickedness of King Ahab. When he first appeared before King Ahab and announced the drought, he was a man of faith. After a three year period of being hidden away from public view, first by the brook of Cherith and then at Zarephath, Elijah is brought back into the spotlight. As he passed through the trials of the dried brook, the diminishing meal and the dead son of the Widow of Zarephath, Elijah was transformed into a man of God, wholly dedicated to the Lord.
We see another person in our reading called Obadiah, who was the steward in the house of King Ahab, and a man who feared God. Obadiah is the chief steward of the house of Ahab, a high ranking officer in the kingdom- a job that demanded great responsibility and power. At that time, Queen Jezebel was hunting down the prophets of God in the land of Israel. This is when Obadiah’s bravery was seen in 1 Kings 18:4. He is seen keeping 100 of the Lord’s prophets hidden, he hid them in groups of 50 in two caves. If the news were to be given to King Ahab or his wife Jezebel, Obadiah could have easily been executed for disloyalty. Therefore, Obadiah needs to be brave in order do his work and his courage is something admirable.
As we see, Elijah was a man fully dedicated to the Lord God! As he reenters the public scene, Elijah's first encounter is with Obadiah. As Obadiah saw him, he fell on his face and said ‘“Is that you, my Lord Elijah?” And he answered, “It is I, Go, tell your master, ‘Elijah is here.”’ (1 Kings 18:7-8). Though King Ahab had searched high and low for Elijah he had not been found. Hence it was a tough situation for Obadiah to go to the king and report Elijah’s appearance. Obadiah now fears death if he goes and tells this news to Ahab. But Elijah assures him with the words: “As the LORD of hosts lives, before whom I stand, I will surely present myself to him today.” (1 Kings 18:15)
As we look into Elijah’s life, we are amazed at the courage it took for one solitary man to pray for judgment on his own people, face up to a wicked king, then stand before scores of false prophets and challenge their belief! Elijah may have been a prophet of old but the life of this courageous prophet declares even today that true commitment and especially in leadership may sometimes mean standing alone and speaking the hard truth. But with God on one’s side, it’s a mighty minority!
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage: do not be afraid, nor dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9). Even when Elijah predicted a drought, he was not out to make a popular speech or gain friends in high places, Elijah spoke to the people when God spoke to him. God plus one equals a majority!!
Prayer: Lord God Almighty, grant us the grace, wisdom and the boldness to stand and declare Your truth and witness even in difficult times. Amen