Prophet Elijah and King Ahab (1 Kings 18)
Elijah was living in privacy in Transjordanian wilderness (East of Israel) and in a Sidonian home (north west of Israel) in for three years (Chapter 17). And now, he is appearing again in public. God intended to end the draught only after Israel know who is God.
Vs. 3 & 4: …Obadiah… This Obadiah is not the canonical Prophet Obadiah, one of the Minor Prophets. But this Obadiah feared the LORD and protected and took care of 100 prophets. …Jezebel massacred the prophets…It is understood that Jezebel slew the prophets of the LORD during these 3 years.
Obadiah’s fear and Elijah’s oath (Vs. 7 – 16):
Obadiah was a secret believer in Ahab’s Palace but took risk in hiding 100 prophets of the LORD and feeding them with palace food.
Two believers (servants of the LORD) interactions:
Points to ponder:
1. Obadiah’s relationship and respect to the man of God (Vs. 7 & 8a).
2. Piety vs. misunderstanding. Why was he not able to align with the ministry of the LORD (V. 8b)?
3. Piety vs. proving the LORD as God of Israel.
4. Obadiah connects Prophet Elijah’s presence with imminent punishment for his own sin like the widow of Zarephath (v. 9-11).
5. Piety vs. being terrified by the determination of the enemy (v. 10).
6. Believing in the supernatural power of God (v. 12), but fearing the same would take his life.
7. His mentioning about his act of hiding and feeding the prophets (v. 13).
8. Have a look at the response of Elijah (vs. 15 & 16) after the long talk of Obadiah filled with facts and fears mixed with inability to move forward with the servant of God to prove God. Why didn’t Elijah rebuke the fear and misunderstanding of Obadiah?
9. After talking all these things, finally he went to inform the king after Elijah’s oath. Any thought?
10. Personal application.
Vs. 17 & 18: …Is that you, O troubler of Israel?…
Ahab sees Elijah, the prophet who has pronounced God’s judgment, as the cause of the nation’s trouble. But Elijah rightly answers that Ahab, who has turned to other gods, is the true troubler of Israel. The relatively rare Hebrew verb ‘akar, “to trouble,” is also found in 1 Sam. 14:24–46, where there is also a dispute about who is really the troubler of Israel. Is it Saul, who has bound the people under a foolish oath, as Jonathan claims (1 Sam.14:29; cf. Judg. 11:29–40), or is it Jonathan himself? On a previous occasion Israel had found and killed a man who was bringing “trouble” on them, and had thus escaped God’s curse (Joshua 6–7; esp. notice the use of ‘akar in Josh. 6:18 and 7:25). These other stories make it clear that much is at stake in this debate about who has truly troubled Israel. Elijah’s claim is that the trouble has religious roots: the abandonment of the commandments of the Lord and the embrace of the Baals (various local manifestations of the god Baal-hadad; see note on 1 Kings 16:31–33). Ahab, not Elijah, is the “Achan” of this particular narrative. – ESV Study Bible.