Summary: Sometimes by the hand of God's guidance we are put in places that seem less than the best for us at the time but God knows best how to get glory out of a difficult place.
ELIJAH—A MAN OF LIKE PASSIONS
05 Serving God In Less Than Ideal Places
TEXT: 1 Kings 18:1-16
1 Kings 18:1-16 KJV And it came to pass after many days, that the word of the LORD came to Elijah in the third year, saying, Go, shew thyself unto Ahab; and I will send rain upon the earth.  And Elijah went to shew himself unto Ahab. And there was a sore famine in Samaria.  And Ahab called Obadiah, which was the governor of his house. (Now Obadiah feared the LORD greatly:  For it was so, when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the LORD, that Obadiah took an hundred prophets, and hid them by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water.)  And Ahab said unto Obadiah, Go into the land, unto all fountains of water, and unto all brooks: peradventure we may find grass to save the horses and mules alive, that we lose not all the beasts.  So they divided the land between them to pass throughout it: Ahab went one way by himself, and Obadiah went another way by himself.  And as Obadiah was in the way, behold, Elijah met him: and he knew him, and fell on his face, and said, Art thou that my lord Elijah?  And he answered him, I am: go, tell thy lord, Behold, Elijah is here.  And he said, What have I sinned, that thou wouldest deliver thy servant into the hand of Ahab, to slay me?  As the LORD thy God liveth, there is no nation or kingdom, whither my lord hath not sent to seek thee: and when they said, He is not there; he took an oath of the kingdom and nation, that they found thee not.  And now thou sayest, Go, tell thy lord, Behold, Elijah is here.  And it shall come to pass, as soon as I am gone from thee, that the Spirit of the LORD shall carry thee whither I know not; and so when I come and tell Ahab, and he cannot find thee, he shall slay me: but I thy servant fear the LORD from my youth.  Was it not told my lord what I did when Jezebel slew the prophets of the LORD, how I hid an hundred men of the LORD'S prophets by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water?  And now thou sayest, Go, tell thy lord, Behold, Elijah is here: and he shall slay me.  And Elijah said, As the LORD of hosts liveth, before whom I stand, I will surely shew myself unto him to day.  So Obadiah went to meet Ahab, and told him: and Ahab went to meet Elijah.
I. INTRODUCTION—GREAT CHAPTERS IN THE BIBLE
-There are chapters that are scattered all throughout the Bible that have need to have labels on them describing them as the some of the greatest in the Bible.
• Genesis 1—The Creation of the World
• Genesis 3—The Fall of Man
• Genesis 37—Joseph and the Coat of Many Colors
• Exodus 20—The Ten Commandments
• Psalm 23—The Shepherd Psalm
• Psalm 51—The Repentance Psalm
• Psalm 119—The Word of God Psalm
• Proverbs 31—The Virtuous Woman
• Ecclesiastes 5—The Matter of Time
• Ezekiel 33—The Watchman
• Matthew 13—The Sower and the Seed
• 1 Corinthians 13—The Love Chapter
• Galatians 5—The Fruit of the Spirit
• Hebrews 11—The Heroes of Faith
• James 3—The Tongue Chapter
-There are many others that could be placed in this list as well but certainly 1 Kings 18 needs to have some consideration here also. It is the confrontation between Elijah and Baal. This would include Jezebel, Ahab, the prophets of Baal, and Baal himself. Most importantly it includes Jehovah.
-But before we get to the confrontation that Elijah has with the prophets of Baal there is a character that we run across that needs some of our attention.
II. SCHOFIELD’S ERROR
-As you study the Word of God, there are preconceived ideas that are put into your mind as you walk out the Christian life. Sometimes those ideas can be put in there and they live for years before they are confronted.
-The passage that we come to now is one of those situations. More than twenty years ago, I heard a message preached that caused me to cast this prophet Obadiah into a very bad light. He had been foisted as a weak, immature prophet who did not live for the Lord as he should have.
-He had been afraid to stand up for God and had utterly failed in his responsibilities. He was painted up to be a backslidden or at best lukewarm soul who had no real reason for existing. But as I have dug into the text surrounding the life of Elijah, I find that this idea is simply not the truth.