The Command Before the Promise: Faith to Obey God - Day 3
10 “As surely as the Lord your God lives, there is not a nation or kingdom where my master has not sent someone to look for you. And whenever a nation or kingdom claimed you were not there, he made them swear they could not find you. 11 But now you tell me to go to my master and say, ‘Elijah is here.’ 12 I don’t know where the Spirit of the Lord may carry you when I leave you. If I go and tell Ahab and he doesn’t find you, he will kill me. Yet I your servant have worshiped the Lord since my youth. 13 Haven’t you heard, my lord, what I did while Jezebel was killing the prophets of the Lord? I hid a hundred of the Lord’s prophets in two caves, fifty in each, and supplied them with food and water. 14 And now you tell me to go to my master and say, ‘Elijah is here.’ He will kill me!” 15 Elijah said, “As the Lord Almighty lives, whom I serve, I will surely present myself to Ahab today.”.
1 Kings 18:10 -15
1 Kings describes Obidiah as “a devout believer in the Lord.” He reminds me of myself and many other believers. He worshipped the Lord and performed many good works, like protecting and feeding the prophets who were being hunted and persecuted by Jezebel. Yet, when faced with a word that threatened his life, he questioned what was done wrong rather than seeing it as an opportunity to trust God.
“What have I done wrong … that you are handing your servant over to Ahab?” This question sounds a lot like me any time I face a risky challenge. Rather than seeing God’s direction as an opportunity based on my faithfulness, I question my faithfulness as if it has failed me.
Obidiah went on to obey the command of Elijah, and the Lord turned his people back to him and brought rain to the land. Obidiah was obedient because he trusted the source. The Lord (and Elijah) were well aware of the threat this command posed to Obidiah. However, the command came with a promise that would protect Obidiah from the very thing he feared.
Elijah was a trusted man of God—a prophet known for miracles. As a deliverer of God’s commands, Elijah’s word to Obidiah came with a promise. “As the Lord Almighty lives, whom I serve, I will surely present myself to Ahab today.” We know the command is from God when it comes with a promise.
Many people can speak a word over you and to you. That does not mean it is a word from God for you. Elijah’s reputation proceeded him. He had a history of working as God’s servant, as God’s prophet. Obidiah could trust Elijah, not because of his relationship with the man, but because of the man's relationship with God.
In the preceding chapters of 1 Kings, we saw just how detrimental the results could be when we receive and disobey a command from the Lord. We cannot call ourselves by His name and expect His promises if we cannot surrender to His commands.
1. What has God promised you if you are obedient to his commands?
2. How do you discern when God’s direction is being delivered by a true prophet?