A long time passed. Then God’s word came to Elijah. The drought was now in its third year. The message: “Go and present yourself to Ahab; I’m about to make it rain on the country.” Elijah set out to present himself to Ahab. The drought in Samaria at the time was most severe.
Ahab called for Obadiah, who was in charge of the palace. Obadiah feared God—he was very devout. Earlier, when Jezebel had tried to kill off all the prophets of God, Obadiah had hidden away a hundred of them in two caves, fifty in a cave, and then supplied them with food and water.
Ahab ordered Obadiah, “Go through the country; locate every spring and every stream. Let’s see if we can find enough grass to keep our horses and mules from dying.” So they divided the country between them for the search—Ahab went one way, Obadiah the other.
Obadiah went his way and suddenly there he was—Elijah! Obadiah fell on his knees, bowing in reverence, and exclaimed, “Is it really you—my master Elijah?”
“Yes,” said Elijah, “the real me. Now go and tell your boss, ‘I’ve seen Elijah.’”
Obadiah said, “But what have I done to deserve this? Ahab will kill me. As surely as your God lives, there isn’t a country or kingdom where my master hasn’t sent out search parties looking for you. And if they said, ‘We can’t find him; we’ve looked high and low,’ he would make that country or kingdom swear that you were not to be found. And now you’re telling me, ‘Go and tell your master Elijah’s found!’ The minute I leave you the Spirit of God will whisk you away to who knows where. Then when I report to Ahab, you’ll have disappeared and Ahab will kill me. And I’ve served God devoutly since I was a boy! Hasn’t anyone told you what I did when Jezebel was out to kill the prophets of God, how I risked my life by hiding a hundred of them, fifty to a cave, and made sure they got food and water? And now you’re telling me to draw attention to myself by announcing to my master, ‘Elijah’s been found.’ Why, he’ll kill me for sure.”
Elijah said, “As surely as God-of-the-Angel-Armies lives, and before whom I take my stand, I’ll meet with your master face-to-face this very day.”
So Obadiah went straight to Ahab and told him. And Ahab went out to meet Elijah. 1 Kings 18:1-16 (MSG)
Obadiah was a guy in a hard place. King Ahab, his boss, had been looking for Elijah for some time. Obadiah didn’t want to be put in the position of announcing Elijah’s presence to Ahab, because it could very well mean his hide if Elijah didn’t show up.
Elijah does call upon God (before whom I take my stand) to give Obadiah the confidence to go ahead and tell Ahab. It might not have made Obadiah’s job a whole lot more comfortable, but at least he could trust that God would be with him and that when Ahab came looking for Elijah he would be there.
How many times do we have to tell people truths or reveal things to people that we know are not going to be well received?
When we are in the position where know we have to tell the truth and bring something out into the open that won’t be received well- or that may end up to be proven wrong- it can be frightening. Nobody wants to be the messenger when the news is bad news. Nobody wants to be proved a liar when we claim to have seen someone or something and then someone or something disappears.
Even when we are the bringers of bad news or we have to reveal a truth that won’t be well received, God is with us. The Holy Spirit is there for us to call upon to give us discretion and the right words for even the most difficult of situations.
God is always there for us, interceding on our behalf. We can stand because He gives us what we need to stand. He might not let us get out of being the bad news messenger, or get us out of delivering difficult messages, but He will get us through doing what we need to do.