1 Kings 18 Commentary
by Hank Workman
“The troubler of Israel” or as he was called by Ahab came out of hiding after 3 years. The land had seen no rain for 3 years. Things were about to change on many fronts. The fact God told Elijah to meet face to face with Ahab is amazing. A bounty had been on his head. Yet, the strength of God enabled him to do just that who boldly threw down the gauntlet of a showdown like no other.
The date set, Ahab and Jezebel brought 850 pagan prophets of Baal and Asherah to Mount Carmel. They met one man, Elijah. The story is amazing as you read the frenzy the prophets went to in order to see their god show up. Nothing happened.
Before this took place, however, Elijah challenged the crowd who had gathered. “How long will you waver between 2 opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him. If Baal is God follow him.” His challenge met with silence. Not only did this entire event show the darkness of the land coming through Ahab it also showed the darkness of heart of the people who refused to take a stand.
The rest of the story is a stunner – but where we must all wrestle with is the same question Elijah posed: With whom do we stand? Where is our trust at these days? The people of Israel had been led into darkness by the wickedness of their hearts and the darkness of their souls. They stood in silence in either fear of the question of who was God or in ignorance.
In Matthew 24, Jesus said that before his return the “Love of many would grow cold.” May God awaken the commitment in our lives to Him. May He build a fire for His Glory above all else within our souls. May the hardship and struggles we have bring about a firm stand in our commitment to Him.
1 Kings 18 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
Obadiah was a manager of Ahab’s royal palace and a devout worshiper of God. He demonstrated his faithfulness to the Lord by hiding 100 prophets from Jezebel. She had a history of killing God’s prophets, and evidently, was really intimidating. No one wanted to stand up to her including Ahab who basically just took orders.
What’s so interesting about this relationship is that Ahab was horribly wicked but apparently had a good relationship with Obadiah. He chose Obadiah as a manager of the palace and to this point he hadn’t been killed by Jezebel. It’s a strange paradox of how these two coexisted when so many other faithful prophets were being killed. Maybe it was because he didn’t trust anyone else and knew that Obadiah was an honest, faithful man?
But… But… What If…
When Obadiah meets Elijah, he is very disturbed that he will upset Ahab and Jezebel. He was confident in risking his life to save 100 prophets but is paranoid about risking his life for Elijah. This is so interesting to me.
When reading the interaction between Elijah and Obadiah, it sounds just like a conversation we would have with God when He asks us to follow through with obedience. God shows us something in our life that needs work and we wail and complain. “Are you serious God… I have to do what?” God says “Go and do such and such…” and we typically reply “But what if THIS happens!” God says, “Go.” We reply, “But… what if …” God interrupts. “Go.”
“But… but… what if…”
All of Obadiah’s fears were unwarranted. The “what-if” scenario he played in his mind would not come true.
The sin of worshiping the idol of Baal was the biggest stumbling block at the moment. God was about to bring the ultimate humiliation to the followers of this false god. Elijah calls for a competition to see whose God is real. The prophets of Baal cry out for their god. They scream. They frenzy. They grow louder as they cut their flesh and repeated themselves over and over again.
All afternoon they kept on raving until the offering of the evening sacrifice, but there was no sound; no one answered, no one paid attention.1 Kings 18:29 HCSB
Our God is not a God that needs to be summoned or awakened. He is not a God who is deaf or blind. He is not a God disinterested with His people. He is a loving Father who hears His children even before we cry out to Him! Yes, this story proves that He is the One True God, full of divine power. However, it’s not just about His power but His relationship. He is our Father who loves us and He is actively working in our lives!