This Baal that she worshipped, the god of power and nature, the same god of the liberals actually.
They just want to get elected and have power and have people who hug trees and leaves come follow them. They're still around in various forms. Anyhow, it says that Obadiah had taken a hundred prophets and hidden them fifty to a cave. It's been said in that part of Israel there are over twenty thousand caves.
Many of them can easily handle fifty people. Please join us after today's message to hear more information about Cross-Reference Radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching. But for now, let's join Pastor Rick in the book of 1 Kings chapter 18 as he begins his message, Return of Elijah. 1 Kings chapter 18, the Return of Elijah. Six chapters are given to this king that Elijah is dealing with, the wretched King Ahab and his satanic wife Jezebel. Most of the kings get a part of a chapter.
The kings in the north I'm talking about. And the reason is largely because of Elijah. You remove him from the story, then you don't really have much to say about Ahab, except that he rested with his father so you'd get to that conclusion. But God sent this prophet, raised him up at this time in their history in response to the evil of Ahab and Jezebel, who in the northern part of Israel were trying to substitute entirely Baal for God. Take God away and let's put Baal in his place. Wanted to exterminate the worship of Yahweh.
Yahweh, who we were just singing to. Many of these Jews in this part of the world at this time, they were totally sold out and compromised. But there was this remnant and we're going to come across a very exciting character in addition to the electrifying Elijah. So God sent this great prophet to eradicate Baalism, to deal with it, to get rid of it. It was a vile and cruel religion. There are still vile and cruel religions to this day. And archaeologists, you know, these things are covered up.
Archaeologists find not far from the temple of Baal and Ashtore, these cemeteries with the children, the remains of the children who were sacrificed. So when we get to the slaughter of these priests, it is due. It is not, oh, how cruel.
These people were monsters. And we see it today. I mean, someone blows up a school bus of children in the name of their God. Are you kidding me?
What's the difference? So although that's not happening at the moment, it has happened in our lifetime and will happen, unfortunately, likely again. Anyway, Elijah, he strode up to deliver God's message to King Ahab. Famine's coming and because of you.
That's not how it was worded, but that is what happened. And his rare and his sudden appearances, because he is always sent by God, it excites us. This man's courage and his zeal attracts us in our faith, his brilliance, the brilliance of his victories. And of course, pathos and the perplexity that accompanied his defeat. We read twice about him really being up against the ropes. One was how we ended the last chapter with the miracle at Zarephath. He cried out to the Lord to restore life to the child.
And he was a full alert there. And then we'll get that when, of course, he flees for his life. None of this takes away who the man was. It was more to him than those moments as it is with us.
Maybe there's something in your life that just messed up about you and you know about it. Well, there's hopefully a lot more to you that is battling against that. Then there is that glorious departure that he makes in that chariot of fire. We get that later in 2 Kings. And he's still not done in the Bible. After he makes this grand exit, kind of a show-off, there's that calm beauty of his reappearance on the Mount of Transfiguration with Jesus Christ centuries later. I mean, the Bible says some big things about this man.
These make him one of the greatest characters Israel ever produced. Well, looking at verse 1, It came to pass after many days that the word of Yahweh came to Elijah in the third year, saying, Go, present yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the earth. Verse 2, So Elijah went to present himself to Ahab. And there was a severe famine in Samaria. Well, it's been three and a half years since God had put Elijah in the Witness Protection Program, first at the brook Keirith and then in Zarephath, all because of, again, wicked Ahab and Jezebel, who sought to kill him for daring to confront their evil.
How dare you confront us? We have a right to worship our God and we have a right to murder the children so that we can show our great respect for our God. And that is what was happening. You know, this message comes out so strong in the prophets. I once moved very quickly through my devotions compared to now.
Now I read a paragraph or two and I'm just, boy, I didn't think about that. So rich to me and Ezekiel is one. I'm just taking my time through the prophet Ezekiel and just reading about God's wrath and just total fed up with what they were doing. Well, what were they doing?
Just what we're reading about. But Ezekiel is dealing with it in the south over 100 years later. And, well, here God orders his prophet to go and to come, which is remarkable and a big lesson for us to be led by the Spirit of God.
We see Peter being freed from jail twice in the Book of Acts, but yet then Paul, he's in jail and there's an earthquake and he and Silas can just walk out and they don't. These are remarkable teachings from the Scripture on how to behave as a Christian being led by God. You can be as Moses. Moses was free to ruin his life in the name of God. Remember he killed the Egyptian because he thought he was doing God's work. He thought he was going to be this great emancipator. And he was, but not on his terms and not his way. So we are free to ruin our lives by running our lives without God.
There's this old saying, you know, you put I in run and you spell ruin. And that is a good thing to remember. I'm always impressed by how certain these prophets were when they came with their message, when they showed up. He says it's not going to rain. He knew it wasn't going to rain. He had no visual indicator to suggest to him a drought was on the way. And then when it was time to rain, you know, he sent his servant up seven times to look for that cloud and he's just in this poised position as a prophet.
He knows it's going to happen. And this famine, as we're told here in verse 2, was particularly great. This rough and magnificent prophet. Because he was a messenger of the law of God to an apostate people. And apostates are worse than common unbelievers.
They tend to be. An apostate is one who fell away from. They were there.
And then they left it. And they were a whole kingdom of apostates in the northern kingdom at this time. Christianity has had quite a share of apostates to this day. We hear about book writers and songwriters and even pastors who no longer believe in Jesus Christ. And I don't know.
I've only heard in all my years. I've only read of one apostate that was said to come back. But that is a very serious infraction against God. I don't know.
Most don't recover. Anyway, verse 3, And Ahab had called Obadiah, who was in charge of his house. Now Obadiah feared Yahweh greatly.
Now don't forget that statement. This is by the Holy Spirit. He is another magnificent character. He is one of the unsung heroes of the Bible. How many people know about this Obadiah? How many people know about the other Obadiah?
Likely not the same. The evidence points that these are two different men. This is Obadiah of the north, long before Obadiah of the south, separated by the centuries. One comes with the doom of Edom, the Edomites and their arrogance and their pride. Obadiah, verse 12, one of the indicators that he was the prophet in the south, and not this one we're going to talk about. He writes concerning Edom, Nor should you have rejoiced over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction, nor should you have spoken proudly in the day of their distress. And so that language has to do with the captivity of Judah, again which happens over a hundred years later.
So two different Obadiahs, that's how I'm going to approach it. This one is the chief of staff for Ahab, the wicked king and his wife. And that is his lessons all, they are bound at this point. This is who was in charge of his house. There's not a little position. He's a trusted servant by a wicked man.
You want to say, well what's he doing? The legalists would come along, they're sinning, you shouldn't be in that house, how dare you. Says, now Obadiah feared the Lord greatly. And again, given the widespread apostasy, you're dealing with people who are anti-Yahweh, even though they're the people of Yahweh as a people, not as individuals, they made their choice.
Their opposition was deadly, and we're going to be told that straight out in verse four when we get there. But coming here still in verse three, he feared the Lord. Now contrary to Elijah's exaggerated view of this man and the other remnant, he's devout. And he was devout when it counted. He wasn't this devout creature of worship only when there was no persecution. He retained his position and he became savvy, he was wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove, that is this Obadiah. He was a saint in the sea of sinners. One pastor from Longo preached, grace can live where you would never expect to see it survive for an hour. And that's what we're seeing. He's a believer in the palace of Ahab, a devout believer?
No way. They're going to kill him, or he's going to be an apostate himself. Jezebel alone was enough to make the palace reek with the stench of iniquity and idolatry and all of the evil that was. Again, don't lose sight of that.
Don't lose sight of the baby killings that were going on there. You come to your Old Testament and the unbeliever says, well if God is a God of love, how come he's, you can just say, okay, he's not, now I'm going to punch you out. I've changed, you've converted me, and there you go, you got what you wanted, Buster. Anyway, anyone here, maybe listening online, listening in the future, hate your job? It's one of the biggest complaints that people have. You can start out, I love this new job, the people are so friendly, oh man, my boss is this and that, and then you give him an hour, and I hate that place.
I'm going to take a course online to make shoelace tips. Anyway, because all the buttonhole makers were, anyway, have back to this. Maybe you hate it because the people there are vulgar and they're anti-Christ. Particularly now, this culture is just swallowing people up, just a pit of hell itself walking around with legs, the atmosphere that's created by anti-Christ people.
And maybe you hate your job. Well, Obadiah was in that position. I don't think he went home and his wife said to him, how's your day, Obadiah?
Oh, it was wonderful, we sang hymns. No, not at all. Could you think he could have a prayer study there at lunchtime?
I don't think so. His name means servant of Yahweh, or servant of Jehovah. That is revealing. Now, name is nature, that's the intention, the intention of the names in the Bible are to point to a nature, a behavior, an action. And his parents said we want to name him the servant of Yahweh.
That's his name in a culture that is anti-Yahweh. See, it counts now to be a believer. You can have fair-weathered friends. They're your friends so long as things are going their way. But a real friend, a real friend sticks with you, thick or thin, better or worse. I mean, you can ruin that too if you're careless, but I mean, a real good friend is not going, oh, you got fired today?
Well, I'm not going to be your friend anymore. And there are many people like that. Well, in the days where persecution was everywhere against the faithful at a time when the name of Yahweh was held in contempt, this apostate culture, idols up in Bethel, bowels, shrines, ashtereth shrines, all over, images everywhere, this man's parents stood up in that culture. They were alive. When he was born, apostasy was running wild, even if he was in his 70s at this time. It had been around that long up in the north.
We had the dates of the kings to document that. And his parents stood up against the culture and defied the culture by naming him the servant of Yahweh. So he is raised in an atmosphere of devotion. You might say he was born in a Christian home. Any of you like that here, raised in a Christian home?
Maybe one or both of your parents are devout believers. Here they wanted their child's name to mean something in the face of all that was going wrong surrounding them. They wanted his name to stand in the face of everyone who was bowing the knee to bow and to ashtereth and to kimosh and whatever, Melkom, whatever other fake made-up gods from hell they were following.
And that lifestyle that accompanied it, that Sidonian queen that she brought into the land, he was no such servant. He would say with his name alone, keep your popular lifestyle, keep your gods. I have my God and I will serve him. And so the pagans, what are they going to do with that? He became a walking sermon just in his name. Satan, he is trying to steal some of this by forcing us to name the name of people who defy our God and say I'm no longer known as Mike or Joe or Jim. I'm now one of the soggy bottom boys and I'm, I want to be known as Susie or something.
It's like this is madness, madness. Anyway, verse four. For so it was, and we'll get back to you teens, we've got something for you. Hopefully you will be awake for it. I'll text it to you. This way I know you'll get it and read it. I won't text it to you. But anyway, back to this.
For so it, because you get all excited, he's going to text, I'm going to wait for it. For so it was while Jezebel massacred the prophets of Yahweh that Obadiah had taken 100 prophets and hidden them 50 to a cave and had fed them with bread and water. So there's more on Jezebel. Not only was he satisfied with murdering children, she wanted to kill pastors too.
While Ahab looked the other way, although he brought her here, he brought this witch into the promised land and we have no indication that he ever regretted doing that. That is introduced to us in chapter 16, verse 31, 32. What made her so abhorrent to God is that she drew the things that she did, was so abhorrent to God that she's going to suffer this vile death that is just incredibly shameful. You would not want to be the recipient of such a prophecy.
The dogs are going to eat you. You're so despised even in heaven, your behavior. And her hatred for how God's people wanted to live.
She hated how they wanted to live. That's why she was trying to, again, exterminate them. And we're seeing this today, this ghoulish religion. It called for these horrendous things in the name of worship. Anyway, she went beyond polluting and mingling Baal with Yahweh. She took it to the level of just being totally intolerant, not even wanting nothing to do with Yahweh.
And we're seeing this today. We saw it earlier with evolution. There was a point they did not even want to think about, an alternative to evolution. That was it.
Creation science, as it is called by some, could not even be brought up as an alternative. They were totally intolerant. Well, this is what's going on here.
And just as Bloody Mary in London in the 1500s, she burned over 300 Christians at the stake, alive, I should add. And that's probably a conservative number, because people in that crowd would want to cover up the facts. It's so weird. You want to cover up the facts?
Why don't you change teams? And you won't have to do that. But that is not how it works. This Baal that she worshiped, the god of power and nature, the same god of the liberals, actually.
They just want to get elected, have power, and have people who hug trees and leaves come follow them. They're still around. This is in various forms. Anyhow, it says that Obadiah had taken 100 prophets and hidden them 50 to a cave. It's been said in that part of Israel, there are over 20,000 caves.
Many of them can easily handle 50 people. And it says here, and fed them with bread and water. Well, this man was a thinker. He had to make plans, the right plans, take measures to supply 100 people with bread and water without being detected, no less, in a famine. And how many, I mean, I know the people here in many churches, they support missionaries. Anybody here support 100 pastors? This man is incredible.
These men were considered fugitives. But God was with him. And this was what makes Elijah where he overstepped, where he became that self-righteous. We even say that in ministry to other pastors. Watch out for the Elijah complex, where I'm the only one. I'm the only pastor doing it. My church is the only church that's got it together. That's an Elijah complex that's wrong, and we have to guard against it.
It's easy to do. We do it with others. Well, some places it's right. For instance, I am the only good driver on the road, and I know you think the same thing. Not about you, about me.
We just have to watch these things, because they're traps. They're not true of you. My flesh won't even let me pretend that you could be right on such an issue. Anyway, he could not have acted alone.
It's just not logistically possible. That means the remnant that God said, oh, by the way, Elijah, I've got a 7,000, haven't bowed the knee. Well, some of them were here helping Obadiah.
And his position in his, he's likely the leader of this. He is the leader, and he's a little shocked that the word hasn't reached Elijah. It may have reached him, but Elijah, either he disregarded it or he didn't hear it.
He hadn't been away for three and a half years. Verse five, and Ahab had said to Obadiah, now, Elijah's not showed up yet. We're getting the characters, Ahab and Obadiah in the famine. So Ahab the king said to Obadiah, go into the land, verse five, to all the springs of water and to all the brooks.
Perhaps we may find grass to keep the horses and mules alive so that we will not have to kill any livestock. Well, it seems this Ahab to have been very comfortable with Obadiah, and that's not a surprise to have a wicked boss or leader that actually favors believers. I've experienced this. I've worked for people that were anti-Christ, anti-Christian, and were embraced by them, that they would trust me.
You know, I remember one time stands out, the boss went out, and I continued working, and everybody else stopped and started chit-chatting because they were like, ding-dong, the boss is gone, the mean old boss, and he pops his head back up, and he's there, and he says, the only guy working up here is Rick. And I go, that's me. That is me, because I am an awesome Christian, and you guys need to know it. Anyway, of course, I didn't do that. I was like, yeah, it is me, because I'm afraid of God, not you. Well, anyhow, that's my moment that relates to this.
There are others that, so this is doable. If you are a believer and you work in this kind of environment, God can use you. As this man evidently gained the resources, he probably knew where all the patrols were and everything, okay, this is when we're going to move the food, and to here is where we're going to move these prophets to protect them.
A vital, the enemy would call him a mole. God called him a servant, servant of Yahweh as his name is, and again, the righteous often appeal to the unrighteous because of their trustworthiness. This is a good thing.
You know, all your coworkers are thinking like you, not honest and thieves and corrupt. It's nice to have somebody that's governed by God. Well, Ahab, he seems to be king enough at this point to want to protect the horses and mules because this is likely the military's horses and mules, and of course, if he loses military preparedness, then another kingdom will swoop down and that'll be the end of him.
So it's not like he is totally doing everything right, but he was no fool in this sense. In verse six, so they divided the lamb between them to explore it. Ahab went one way by himself and Obadiah went another way by himself. Now it's twice said here, by himself, and that strikes me as important.
This is a critical moment. These two men would be for a while isolated and then they will all join up together, Obadiah, Elijah, and the king, but great trust the king has for him. I don't think there's anybody else but these two out on this mission. After all, there was nothing to snack on back in the palace.
Got to do something to keep from thinking about your hunger. Verse seven, and now as Obadiah was on his way, suddenly Elijah met him and recognized him and fell on his face and said, is that you, my Lord Elijah? He wasn't expecting this. He's on a mission looking for food and suddenly there's Elijah.
It's like, stop doing that. Thanks for joining us for today's teaching on Cross-Reference Radio. This is the daily radio ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville in Virginia.
We trust that what you've heard today in the book of 1 Kings has had a lasting imprint on your life. If you'd like to listen to more teachings from this series or share it with someone you know, please visit crossreferenceradio.com. We encourage you to subscribe to our podcast too so you'll never miss another edition. Just visit crossreferenceradio.com and follow the links under radio. Again, that's crossreferenceradio.com. Our time with you today is about up, but we hope you'll tune in next time to continue studying the word of God. Join us again as Pastor Rick covers more in the book of 1 Kings on Cross-Reference Radio.
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