Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 18

Ahab and Obadiah search for grass

1 Kings 18:5-6

Even in a country where no rain has fallen for three years, there may still be water under the ground. There are underground lakes, in the rocks, which may never become dry. These supply water to springs at the surface.

King Ahab cared little about people’s lives. However, he was willing to make an extraordinary effort to save the lives of the fine animals at his palace. He was proud of his horses – and he needed strong, fast horses for his duties as king.

Ahab hoped that, somewhere in Israel, there was grass for his horses. There might be a spring that still supplied enough water for the grass to grow well. Nobody in Israel had told him about such a place. If it existed, people would want to keep it secret at such a desperate time. The people needed water for themselves and to grow their crops.

So, Ahab asked Obadiah to help him to search for some good land for the animals. Probably, he chose Obadiah because he was honest. Ahab’s own religion, the religion of Baal, encouraged selfish and greedy attitudes. Obadiah served the true God, and he obeyed God’s law. He was probably the only one of Ahab’s officials who was still loyal to the real God.

It seems that Obadiah knew Israel’s geography particularly well. In verse 4, he knew the caves where people could safely hide. Obadiah chose to walk (verse 7). Probably, Ahab rode on one of his horses. In that way, Ahab could quickly reach the major places, where most people lived. However, Obadiah could leave the roads and go into the hills. There, he could see the places where nobody lived.

Next part: Obadiah greets Elijah (1 Kings 18:7)


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