After many days the word of the Lord came to Elijah, in the third year, saying, “Go, show yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain upon the earth.” So Elijah went to show himself to Ahab. Now the famine was severe in Samaria. And Ahab called Obadiah, who was over the household. (Now Obadiah feared the Lord greatly, and when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the Lord, Obadiah took a hundred prophets and hid them by fifties in a cave and fed them with bread and water.) And Ahab said to Obadiah, “Go through the land to all the springs of water and to all the valleys. Perhaps we may find grass and save the horses and mules alive, and not lose some of the animals.” So they divided the land between them to pass through it. Ahab went in one direction by himself, and Obadiah went in another direction by himself.
And as Obadiah was on the way, behold, Elijah met him. And Obadiah recognized him and fell on his face and said, “Is it you, my lord Elijah?” And he answered him, “It is I. Go, tell your lord, ‘Behold, Elijah is here.’” And he said, “How have I sinned, that you would give your servant into the hand of Ahab, to kill me? As the Lord your God lives, there is no nation or kingdom where my lord has not sent to seek you. And when they would say, ‘He is not here,’ he would take an oath of the kingdom or nation, that they had not found you. And now you say, ‘Go, tell your lord, “Behold, Elijah is here.”’ And as soon as I have gone from you, the Spirit of the Lord will carry you I know not where. And so, when I come and tell Ahab and he cannot find you, he will kill me, although I your servant have feared the Lord from my youth. Has it not been told my lord what I did when Jezebel killed the prophets of the Lord, how I hid a hundred men of the Lord‘s prophets by fifties in a cave and fed them with bread and water? 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.” I Kings 18:1-15 ESV
I will bless the Lord at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
let the humble hear and be glad.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
and let us exalt his name together!
I sought the Lord, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant,
and their faces shall never be ashamed.
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him
and saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them. Psalm 34:1-7 ESV
Have you ever played chess? There are different kinds of pieces in a chess game. The most important piece is the king, and the most powerful piece is the queen. There are also rooks and knights and bishops that are powerful pieces. But in the front line of a chess game when the players start is a row of pawns. The pawns aren’t very valuable or very powerful. Often a good chess player will sacrifice a pawn, which means to let the pawn get captured by the other player as part of a strategy. It’s not a big deal to lose a pawn, because pawn just aren’t very important.
Obadiah loved and served the true God, even though he worked for the wicked King Ahab. He hid and took care of a hundred of God’s prophets when they were in danger for their lives. But Obadiah didn’t think he was very important to God, and he was afraid that God’s prophet Elijah was using him as a pawn. When Elijah told Obadiah to tell King Ahab that he was there and wanted to see him, Obadiah thought it was a trick. He knew King Ahab was very angry with Elijah and that it was dangerous for Elijah to see the king. He thought God would hide Elijah away again, and that King Ahab would be so angry that he would kill Obadiah instead.
God doesn’t use people as pawns. He cares about all people, and people who love and serve him are important to him even if they aren’t very powerful or important to the world. We don’t have to bring power or riches or cleverness or intelligence to God to make him love us. He loves us already, and he knows that we need his help. He cares for us and helps us every day, and wants us to trust him and to depend on him. We especially depend on God to save us from sin and death. No one, no matter how rich or powerful, could save themselves, but God came to us in Jesus to defeat sin and death by dying for us and by rising again from the dead. We can be sure that we matter to God, not because of anything we have to offer him, but because he has everything to offer us.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for loving and helping us in every way. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.