Scripture: And now you say, ‘Go, tell your lord, “Behold, Elijah is here”‘; and he will kill me.” And Elijah said, “As the LORD of hosts lives, before whom I stand, I will surely show myself to him today.” So Obadiah went to meet Ahab, and told him. And Ahab went to meet Elijah. 1 Kings 18:14-16 ESV
Observation: Having followed the Lord’s directives that led him to the wilderness and then to a neighboring pagan city, Elijah witnessed Yahweh’s faithfulness in providing miraculous provisions of food and water amid a drought (1 Kings 17). In this chapter, God further tests Elijah’s faith by commanding him to return to his homeland and present himself to King Ahab, who blamed Elijah for the drought and who had repeatedly searched for him to take his life (18:1).
Along the way, Elijah meets Obadiah, a servant of Ahab who greatly feared the Lord and thus hid a hundred of his faithful prophets from Jezebel (who sought to eradicate all those who worshipped the God of Israel), who was searching for green pastures under the direction of Ahab. Elijah asks Obadiah to find Ahab and inform him of Elijah’s location. In the above verses, we read that Obadiah’s visceral response is fear. If he reports that Elijah has returned to Israel and then Abab cannot find him, Ahab will likely execute Obadiah for misleading him. But Elijah assures Obadiah that there is no trickery intended here. He will meet with Ahab. And so he does.
Takeaway: Elijah’s faith journey increasingly entailed challenges of life and limb. In incremental steps, the Lord revealed his faithfulness to Elijah, proving that he could provide for and protect his prophet in all circumstances—even answering prayer and raising the dead back to life (see yesterday’s Daily Focus). Having strengthened Elijah’s faith each step of the way, the Lord prepared his prophet for this moment in time.
For us who know and love the Lord, it is no different. He leads us through the challenges of our fallen world, instilling greater faith in us for each step of the journey. Of course, we will encounter setbacks (19:1-3), but in the end, it is the Lord who initiates and matures our faith because he is Faithful.
Prayer: Father God, we thank you for inspirational men and women of Scripture that exhibited great faith in the face of trials. Would you please help us submit to your Holy Spirit’s refining work in us and enlarge our faith for the challenges awaiting us? Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling