Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 18

Obadiah greets Elijah

1 Kings 18:7

It is interesting to compare Obadiah’s greeting when he met Elijah, with Ahab’s reaction in verses 16-17. For the three years after Elijah last met with Ahab, there had been no rain in Israel. By the power of God’s Holy Spirit, Elijah had declared these terrible troubles against Israel (17:1). He declared this because of the evil deeds of Ahab’s family (18:18).

Obadiah was in charge of Ahab’s palace, so he was one of the most important officials in Ahab’s government. The troubles in the country affected Obadiah and his work greatly. He probably had the responsibility to provide food for the palace, which became an extremely difficult task at that time. However, unlike Ahab, Obadiah did not blame Elijah for those troubles.

Obadiah was a man who, in an extremely difficult situation, still remained loyal to the real God. He knew Elijah to be a prophet, a very holy man who was doing God’s work. For that reason, Obadiah gave great honour to Elijah. He bent his body down to the ground in front of Elijah, to show how great he considered Elijah to be. He spoke to him in a manner that showed the greatest respect.

This was the way that Obadiah would greet a king. Elijah was not of course a king or a great man by the standards of this world. He was a poor man; he wore the same rough clothes that the poorest people wore (2 Kings 1:8). He deserved this honour only because of his relationship with God. He was God’s servant, in other words, a man who spoke on behalf of God. Therefore, when Obadiah gave him honour, Obadiah was in fact giving honour to God.

Next part: Obadiah's fear (1 Kings 18:8-12)


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