15 Obadiah - A true believer during the time of Elijah

UNIT #: 
III
Lesson Theme: 
Serving God with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind
Aim: 

To understand the importance of serving the Lord wholeheartedly. 

Bible Passage: 

1 Kings 18:1-15

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Elijah’s Message to Ahab

18 After many days the word of the Lord came to Elijah, in the third year of the drought, saying, “Go, present yourself to Ahab; I will send rain on the earth.” So Elijah went to present himself to Ahab. The famine was severe in Samaria. Ahab summoned Obadiah, who was in charge of the palace. (Now Obadiah revered the Lord greatly; when Jezebel was killing off the prophets of the Lord, Obadiah took a hundred prophets, hid them fifty to a cave, and provided them with bread and water.) Then Ahab said to Obadiah, “Go through the land to all the springs of water and to all the wadis; perhaps we may find grass to keep 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.

As Obadiah was on the way, Elijah met him; Obadiah recognized him, fell on his face, and said, “Is it you, my lord Elijah?” He answered him, “It is I. Go, tell your lord that Elijah is here.” And he said, “How have I sinned, that you would hand your servant over to Ahab, to kill me? 10 As the Lord your God lives, there is no nation or kingdom to which my lord has not sent to seek you; and when they would say, ‘He is not here,’ he would require an oath of the kingdom or nation, that they had not found you. 11 But now you say, ‘Go, tell your lord that Elijah is here.’ 12 As soon as I have gone from you, the spirit of the Lord will carry you I know not where; so, when I come and tell Ahab and he cannot find you, he will kill me, although I your servant have revered the Lord from my youth. 13 Has it not been told my lord what I did when Jezebel killed the prophets of the Lord, how I hid a hundred of the Lord’s prophets fifty to a cave, and provided them with bread and water? 14 Yet now you say, ‘Go, tell your lord that Elijah is here’; he will surely kill me.” 15 Elijah said, “As the Lord of hosts lives, before whom I stand, I will surely show myself to him today.”

Teacher’s Preparation: 

After King David, Solomon became the king, he was a firm believer in the God of Israel, however during his older years he began to move away from the true God and began to worship the idols and gods of his wives, he fell from the wisest man ever lived to the foolish man who lamented about his wrong doings later on.  God of Israel punished him many ways including dividing his kingdom after he died, but God kept his faithfulness to David  and his house, where Christ the savior will be born later on.

Israel was divided into Northern Kingdom (Israel) and Judah.  Solomon’s son Rehoboam became the King of Judah and Jeroboam became the King of Israel or Northern Kingdom.  Today’s lesson is taken from the history of the Northern Kingdom or Israel.  

The Kings of Israel also became idol worshipers and a chain of Kings starting with NadabBaasha, Elah, Zimri, and Omri became the Kings one after the other and all of them did what was wrong in the eye of the true and  living God, and they all perished in their wickedness.  Omri also followed the same path and he also died and his son Ahab became the King.   Ahab married Jezebel daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians who worshipped Baal.  After the marriage Jezebel brought Baal worship into full force in the Kingdom of Israel.  At this time God send his servant Elijah to Israel to warn Ahab and his people about their evil ways.   Elijah confronted Ahab and told that there will be neither dew nor rain in the next three years except at Elijah’s word.  There was famine in the land and Ahab and his queen began to kill God’s prophets and they were looking for to capture Elijah.  At this time a palace official named Obadiah comes into picture.  

According to Talmud (Hebrew Bible) Obadiah is said to have been an Edomite.   He was a servant of Ahab and he converted to Judaism when he was young.  It is believed that he was very rich and he used his position to protect hundred of the Prophets of the God in Israel.  This was a very dangerous situation, as both Ahab and his queen Jezebel wanted to kill all the prophets of the true God, including Elijah, and Obadiah’s decision to protect the Prophets, put his life in peril, however the good Lord protected him.  According to tradition as he took the risk of protecting hundred of God's prophets, later on Obadiah was chosen by God to prophecy against Edom as he himself was an Edomite.  

Main Ideas: 

Israel was divided into Northern Kingdom (Israel) and Southern Kingdom (Judah) after the death of Solomon.  

Todays lesson is taken from the history of the Northern Kingdom (Israel). The Kings of Israel became idol worshipers and a chain of Kings starting with Jeroboam, NadabBaashaElahZimri, and Omri became the Kings one after the other and all of them did what was wrong in the eye of the true and  living God, and they all perished in their wickedness.  After Omri's death his son Ahab became the King.  Ahab married Jezebel daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians who worshipped Baal.  After the marriage Jezebel brought Baal worship into the Kingdom of Israel.  Ahab became a worshiper of Baal and he built temples and altars for Baal.  During his reign he permitted human sacrifices.  Ahab provoked the God of Israel into anger than any of the kings of Israel before him.  God of Israel send his servant, the Prophet Elijah to confront Ahab and Jezebel about their wicked ways.  

Elijah told Ahab that the Lord God had decreed that there will be neither dew nor rain for the next few years except at the word of Elijah.  

God then told Elijah to leave the palace and go and hide in Kerith Ravine.  There God ordered the ravens to feed Elijah (the ravens got the food from Ahab's palace) and he drank from the brook of Kerith.  The drought became severe in the land and Ahab send his men to find Elijah and they couldn't and in retaliation Jezebel ordered to kill all the prophets of the God of Israel.  

At this time one of Ahab's palace official was an Edomite named Obadiah.  Edomites are people who originated from Esau, brother of Jacob.  They did not worship the God of Israel.  However, Obadiah converted to Judaism (those worshiped the God of Israel) at a young age and was a firm believer in the God of Israel.  Even though he served king Ahab and Jezebel, he took the bold decision to protect as many prophets of the God of Israel. He protected hundred prophets hiding fifty each in two caves.  At this very trying times he provided the prophets with food and water.  He put his life in danger to protect God's prophets.  

The brook at Kerith also dried out and God send Elijah to hide in  Zarephath (this was a place in Sidonia, the kingdom of Jezebel'f father) at the house of a widow.  Elijah stayed with the widow and God did miracles to provide food for Elijah and the widow and her son.  The drought continued and on the third year God told Elijah to go and meet with Ahab and that God will send rain on the land.  

Elijah went to meet Ahab and on the way met Obadiah who was going out to find fodder for palace animals at Ahab's command.  Elijah asked Obadiah to go and tell Ahab that Elijah has come to meet him.  Obadiah was afraid first to go and tell Ahab about Elijah's message because all the kings men were looking for Elijah and nobody could find him and if he went and told Ahab that Elijah is here and if Ahab came to meet Elijah and didn't find him as the Lord's spirit took him somewhere then his life will be in danger.  Elijah assured obadiah that he will surely meet with Ahab. Obadiah then went and told Ahab that Elijah has come to see him and Ahab came and met with Elijah. 

From todays lesson we learned how Obadiah a Jewish convert, believed in the God of Israel and obeyed the commandment God gave through Moses. In Deuteronomy 10:12, it says" So now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you?  Only to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul".  Obadiah believed in the God's commandment and loved God's people and saved them risking his own life and the good Lord protected him and later on God gave him the gift of prophecy.  

 

Activities2: 
Lesson Review: 

1. Israel was divided into two kingdoms after the death of whom?

a. Omri b. David c. Solomon d. Rehoboam Answer: c. Solomon

2. The Southern kingdom was called Judah, What was the Northern kingdom called?

a. Israel b. Jerusalem c. Canaan  d. Samariah Answer: a. Israel

3. Who was the first king of the Northern kingdom?

a. Rehoboam b. Nadab c. Elah d. Jeroboam Answer: d. Jeroboam

​4. King Ahab was the son of ...............

a. Jeroboam b. Omri c. Nadab d. Zimri Answer: b. Omri

​5. Who was Jezebel before she got married to King Ahab?

a. She was a princess of Sidonia b. She was a princess of Babylon c. She was princess of Samriah d. She was an ordinary girl. Answer: a. She was a princess of Sidonia.

6. Of all the King's of the Northern Kingdom, who angered the God of Israel the most? and why?

a. Omri, he brought Baal worship into Israel b. Ahab, he brought Baal worship into Israel and allowed human sacrifice c. Jeroboam, he built an altar for the golden calves d. Baasha, he killed Nadab.  Answer: b. Ahab, he brought Baal worship into Israel and allowed human sacrifice.

7. Whom did God of Israel send to confront Ahab and Jezebel for their wickedness? 

a. Obadiah b. Elisha c. Elijah d. a priest Answer: c. Elijah

8. What was the punishment God gave to Ahab and Jezebel for their wickedness?

a. The Kingship of Ahab was taken away b. The kingdom will not have any dew or rain till Elijah says so. c. Ahab will have to confess all his sins d. Ahab and Jezebel will be exiled Answer: b. The kingdom will not have any dew or rain till Elijah says so.

9. How did God feed Elijah when he was hiding in the ravine of Kerith?

​a. God send him bread baskets b. Obadiah took bread and meat to him c. A servant fetched him food d. God appointed ravens to feed Elijah from the palace of Ahab Answer: d. God appointed ravens to feed Elijah from the palace of Ahab.

10. Who was Obadiah?

a. An Edomite who converted to Judaism at an early age and who feared  and loved the God of Israel and served him. b. An Israelite c. A Sidonite d. A resident of Zarephath Answer: a. An Edomite who converted to Judaism at an early age and who feared and loved the God of Israel and served him. 

Values for Life: 

Acts: 10:35 “but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him".

Life Response/My Decision: 

I believe in the one true God and will learn to obey and serve him.

Memory Verse: 

Luke 10:27

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

27 “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.”​

Closing Prayer: 

Our heavenly father you taught us through the story of Obadiah that you accepts anybody who fears you and obey your commandments and will be their savior and protector and how your mercy surrounds them.  You also taught us how you prepares a table for the faithful in front of their enemies from the story of Elijah and the hundred prophets Obadiah saved.  Help us to put our trust in you and do what is right.

In Jesus precious name we pray. Amen

 

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