The Elijah Effect
The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me? (Psalm 118:6)
It is interesting how when I study the bible the passages that jump out at me at different times in my life. I'm still in 1 Kings and am seeing a little more of Elijah, but I'm intrigued by Obadiah instead - or rather Obadiah's reaction to Elijah.
Elijah's presence had an interesting effect on people. I wonder what it was about his presence or his reputation at this early mention of him that made people afraid. I think it must have been his known closeness to God combined with the self-consciousness of the individuals he came into contact with that caused all of the fear. Remember the widow in my last post from 1 Kings 17? She was afraid that Elijah came to bring God's judgment on her sin. In 1 Kings 18, Obadiah, the governor of the house of Ahab and a man who feared God, we are seeing the same thing - fear.
Remember, Elijah had been hiding and King Ahab just wasn't a very nice guy. Ahab's wife, Jezebel, was a nasty individual in her own right, and Obadiah feared the Lord. Apparently, Obadiah had saved a hundred of God's prophets from being slain by Jezebel by hiding them in a cave. Give Obadiah credit at least for not being afraid to do the right thing. However, this time, I think Obadiah was afraid that his deeds might catch up to him. The bottom line: Elijah wanted Obadiah to tell Ahab that he was back in town and Obadiah was afraid to deliver the news for fear that Elijah wouldn't show up. Here are Obadiah's words to Elijah:
1 Kings 18:11 And now you say, ‘Go, tell your master, “Elijah is here”’! 12 And it shall come to pass, as soon as I am gone from you, that the Spirit of the LORD will carry you to a place I do not know; so when I go and tell Ahab, and he cannot find you, he will kill me. But I your servant have feared the LORD from my youth. 13 Was it not reported to my lord what I did when Jezebel killed the prophets of the LORD, how I hid one hundred men of the LORD’s prophets, fifty to a cave, and fed them with bread and water?
Sounds like Obadiah is pretty scared. He had not yet memorized Psalm 118:6 (see above). Okay, even the best of us forget our memorized bible verses from time to time. The point I"m trying to make is that no matter what situation we are going through, if we as Christians fear God and are obedient to His word to the best of our ability, we will be protected by Him. We don't have to fear what "man" can do to us. But should we forget our bible verse as Obadiah temporarily did, we can always pick ourselves up and start anew at any time.
To think about:
1) Who am I living my life for? Another person or God?
2) Is there anything in my life that I'm not doing or doing because I'm afraid of what someone else will think?