Ahab had summoned Obadiah, his palace administrator. (Obadiah was a devout believer in the LORD. While Jezebel was killing off the LORD's prophets, Obadiah had taken a hundred prophets and hidden them in two caves, fifty in each, and had supplied them with food and water.)
1 Kings 18:3-4 NIV
Have you heard of Obadiah?
Obadiah? Who was he?
He was King Ahab’s office administrator. Like the President’s Chief of Staff, or Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office.
You mean he was directly involved in politics and government?
Indeed he was. And the Bible says he was “a devout believer in the LORD”.
But I thought devout believers are never involved in politics.
You thought wrongly. The Bible highlights several devout and courageous believers who were very influential in politics.
That's right, the Joseph in Genesis who became Prime Minister in Egypt, and steered the country through a seven-year economic crisis. Don't forget Daniel, Babylon’s prime minister in the days of King Nebuchadnezzar.
The same Daniel who was thrown in the lion’s den?
Yes, life in politics can be pretty dangerous!
So, who was Obadiah then?
You can read Obadiah’s story in 1 Kings 18. He served under the terrible administration of Israel’s king Ahab and his ruthless wife Jezebel.
How could a devout believer in God serve under such a terrible political administration?
It must have been tough for him. But the Bible says that because of his position, Obadiah was able to save the lives of many by warning the prophets about the plans which Ahab and Jezebel had devised to arrest and silence them.
Sort of like, God’s secret agent for good?
You could say that! Or we could say what Jesus said: he worked like the salt of the earth. Salt is invisible when rubbed into the meat, but it preserves what is good and protects against decay.
Praise God for salt!
Yes, and let us praise God for politicians who seek to do good for many, whilst ever under the threat of being thrown to the lions!
Illustration by Caitlin Low
Bishop Dr Gordon Wong –
was elected Bishop of The Methodist Church in Singapore in 2020.
He served as President of the Trinity Annual Conference from 2012-2020.