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   Obadiah
   Continuing To Serve

"He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love." --- (SofS 2:4)
Travis Case, Pastor/Teacher          Northgate Baptist Church          F.E.A.S.T Ministries


1 Kings 18:1-16, "And it came to pass <after> many days, that the word of the LORD came to Elijah in the third year, saying, Go, show thyself unto Ahab; and I will send rain upon the earth. {2} And Elijah went to show himself unto Ahab. And <there was> a sore famine in Samaria. {3} And Ahab called Obadiah, which <was> the governor of <his> house. (Now Obadiah feared the LORD greatly: {4} 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.) {5} And Ahab said unto Obadiah, Go into the land, unto all fountains of water, and unto all brooks: peradventure we may find grass to save the horses and mules alive, that we lose not all the beasts. {6} So they divided the land between them to pass throughout it: Ahab went one way by himself, and Obadiah went another way by himself. {7} And as Obadiah was in the way, behold, Elijah met him: and he knew him, and fell on his face, and said, <Art> thou that my lord Elijah? {8} And he answered him, I <am>: go, tell thy lord, Behold, Elijah <is here>. {9} And he said, What have I sinned, that thou wouldest deliver thy servant into the hand of Ahab, to slay me? {10} <As> the LORD thy God liveth, there is no nation or kingdom, whither my lord hath not sent to seek thee: and when they said, <He is> not <there>; he took an oath of the kingdom and nation, that they found thee not. {11} And now thou sayest, Go, tell thy lord, Behold, Elijah <is here>. {12} And it shall come to pass, <as soon as> I am gone from thee, that the spirit of the LORD shall carry thee whither I know not; and <so> when I come and tell Ahab, and he cannot find thee, he shall slay me: but I thy servant fear the LORD from my youth. {13} Was it not told my lord what I did when Jezebel slew the prophets of the LORD, how I hid an hundred men of the Lord's prophets by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water? {14} And now thou sayest, Go, tell thy lord, Behold, Elijah <is here>: and he shall slay me. {15} And Elijah said, <As> the LORD of hosts liveth, before whom I stand, I will surely show myself unto him to day. {16} So Obadiah went to meet Ahab, and told him: and Ahab went to meet Elijah."

Introduction:

A. There are no less than Thirteen (13) Obadiahs mentioned in the Old Testament.

1. However, the man we have chosen to study today was governor, or lord chamberlain, in the palace of King Ahab.

2. From his "Youth" he had "Feared The Lord Greatly."

B. This man had his Failures, and he certainly was not an Elijah, but we see in him Many Noble Qualities.

1. He Feared The Lord in a day of Apostasy, Idolatry and Immorality.

2. Even Though He Was Frightened --- he delivered the message to wicked King Ahab.

Lessons We Can Learn From Obadiah:

I. Obadiah Came To Know The Lord When He Was Very Young.

A. We learn this from V. 3 & 12 --- but what lies behind these words?

1. Did Obadiah have Godly Parents? --- it is significant that His Name means "a servant of the Lord."

2. What a blessing it is when Children come to know the Lord.

2 Tim. 3:15, "and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus."

B. The Percentage of those who are saved in Later Life is very small.

(An Evangelist Tested His Audience of 4,500, And Asked
For Various Age Groups To Signify When They Were Saved)

400 were saved under 10 years of age.
600 were saved between 10 - 14
1,000 were saved between 16 - 20
24 were saved after the age of 36
The remainder in the audience were unsaved.

C. It is Very Important to try to Reach Young People while they are still young.

II. Obadiah Not Only Knew The Lord, But He Feared Him Greatly.

A. Obadiah Reverenced God with an intense Zeal and Enthusiasm.

B. This is God's Desire for all His people.

1. Prov. 1:7, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction."

2. Prov. 8:13, "The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverse mouth I hate."

3. Prov. 10:27, "The fear of the Lord prolongs days, But the years of the wicked will be shortened."

4. Prov. 14:26, "In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, And His children will have a place of refuge."

5. Prov. 15:16, "Better is a little with the fear of the Lord, Than great treasure with trouble."

6. Prov. 19:23, "The fear of the Lord leads to life, And he who has it will abide in satisfaction; He will not be visited with evil."

III. Obadiah had continued as a faithful follower of the Lord over many years.

A. Obadiah trusted God and Began to serve Him when he was a mere boy, but he Continued to do so over many years.

B. It is a great thing to start, but it is even greater to keep going.

1. Luke 9:62, "Jesus said to him, No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back is fit for the kingdom of God."

2. Psa. 36:3, "The words of his mouth are wickedness and deceit; He has ceased to be wise and to do good."

C. It's not the fellow who starts who succeeds, but the fellow who Starts and Sticks.

1. Acts 13:43, "...Paul and Barnabas...persuaded them to continue in the grace of God." 14:22, "...strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God."

2. Col. 1:23, "if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel....."

D. The Exhortations and the Examples to continue --- are strong in the Bible.

1. 1 Cor. 15:58, "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord."

2. Gal. 6:9, "And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart."

3. Heb. 12:2-3, "Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls."

IV. Obadiah Lived For The Lord And Served Him In A Very Difficult Sphere And Under The Most Trying Conditions.

A. This God-fearing man was chief steward in Ahab's household --- he was immediately responsible to King Ahab and to his wicked scheming wife Jezebel.

1. Would it not have been better for Obadiah to Seek Other Employment?

2. Not necessarily --- look what we are told about:

a. Joseph --- Gen. 41:41, "And Pharaoh said to Joseph, See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt."

b. Daniel --- Dan. 2:48, "Then the king promoted Daniel and gave him many great gifts; and he made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief administrator over all the wise men of Babylon."

c. Mordecai --- Esther 6:10, "Then the king said to Haman, Hasten, take the robe and the horse, as you have suggested, and do so for Mordecai the Jew who sits within the king's gate. Leave nothing undone of all that you have spoken."

d. All the Saints in Caesar's Household. --- Phil. 4:22

B. We are to honour the king, or the ruler whoever he is.

1 Peter 2:17, "Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God. Honor the king."

V. Obadiah Was Well Known Among The Lord's People For An Act Which Showed Deep Compassion And Great Courage.

A. Obadiah showed great concern for the Welfare of the sons of the prophets by Hiding them and by Feeding them.

B. This was a brave thing to do, and his daring act saved many lives from suffering, starvation and death.

C. We Need To Remember in our prayers the many who Today are showing great courage and compassion as they live for and serve the Lord in a completely alien situation.

VI. Obadiah, Although He Loved And Served The Lord, Was Very Human.

A. We learn this from V. 5-16.

1. "How Have I Sinned, that you are delivering your servant into the hand of Ahab, to kill me?"

2. "Was It Not Reported to my lord what I did......"

(Did you not receive my Associational report?)

B. Elijah was a man of iron --- strong, brave servant of God --- but he also was very human --- 1 Kings 19:1-3).

C. James 5:17, "Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months."

D. This should be Encouragement for all of us.

2 Cor. 3:5-6, "Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant,..."

VII. Obadiah, By His Faithfulness, Made An Unconscious Contribution To The Great And Mighty Victory of The Lord.

A. V. 15-16, remind us that Obadiah's service for the Lord was a valuable link in the chain of God's working.

B. At the end of the day, Obadiah was able to pray with the psalmist:

Psa. 71:17-18, "O God, You have taught me from my youth; And to this day I declare Your wondrous works. Now also when I am old and gray-headed, O God, do not forsake me, Until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to everyone who is to come."




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