First Kings chapter eighteen introduces us to an unsung hero in the Word of God. His name is Obadiah. His encounter with Elijah reveals the attitude of some of God’s servants towards one another. It ought not to be so but often is.
I Corinthians 15:41 says, There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.
Elijah upon meeting Obadiah gives no sign of adulation for his commitment…no sign of commendation…no sign of camaraderie…almost disdain. When we think of Elijah we certainly see a rough-and-tumble, outspoken, public figure…as John the Baptist. Truly within the body of Christ we see that Elijah was a mouth-piece. There is no doubt about it; but what errors Elijah saw in Obadiah’s lack of public profession of Christ led him to totally discount Obadiah.
As a matter of fact, upon Carmel Elijah says, I, even I only, remain a prophet of the LORD; but Baal’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men. We know that is not true because Obadiah kept 100 of God’s seven thousand alive during the famine (I Kings 18:3-6, I Kings 19:18).
Charles Spurgeon said, “I know it is the tendency of brave and zealous minds somewhat to undervalue quiet, retired piety. True and accepted servants of God may be doing their best under great disadvantages, against fierce opposition, but they may scarcely be known, and may even shun the least recognition; therefore men who live in the fierce light of public life are apt to underestimate them. These minor stars are lost in the brilliance of the man whom God lights up like a new sun to flame through the darkness. Elijah flashed over the sky of Israel like a thunderbolt from the hand of the Eternal, and naturally he would be somewhat impatient of those whose movements were slower and less conspicuous. It is Martha and Mary over again, in some respects.”
But nature itself proves the variety by which God gifts His servants. God made cheetahs and Chihuahuas, snails and gazelles. Serpents for stealth. Boars are boorish; ants are active; sloths are slow…it takes all kinds. That is the point.
We in a church are all quite different from one another. That was God’s point. Why, if you had a church full of Elijah’s you’d have a bunch of pity-party crashers who institutionalize pity and earn doctorates in a lack of reality….but, you can’t have a church full of Obadiah’s either. The church would then be voiceless, without identity, without clarity and distinction. That is why all of us must be single-minded in doing the will of God for our lives and praying that our brothers and sisters in Christ do the same.
When God has a purpose to perform He chooses a star fitted for that purpose. In this vein Christ said, Let YOUR light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your father which is in Heaven (Matthew 5:16).