-1 Kings 18:4
(This is a re-post from 2013, edited and added to.)
Obadiah means "worshiper of Yahweh" or "servant of Yahweh". In the Hebrew, the word is abad-Yah. which means both to worship and to serve God. The Biblical idea of worship is linked with serving: serve God, worship God; or serve other gods, worship other gods.
When we hear the name Obadiah, we might think of his book, in the Minor Prophets. He was a Prophet. But, the first Obadiah mentioned in scripture, in 1 Kings, was living during the time of Elijah, Ahab, and Jezebel. It was a time of apostasy among God's people. Ahab and Jezebel were terrible, evil rulers.
Obadiah was a courageous hero, who hid and fed one hundred authentic prophets. It is fitting that his name meant "Servant of Yahweh" or "Worshiper of Yahweh", in a time of apostasy when authentic prophets were in hiding and Yahweh worship was not in vogue.
Obadiah was a special servant of God who was known to the evil king, and to the famous prophet Elijah. Obadiah took care of 100 hidden prophets. The 100 hidden ones must have been intimidated and Elijah had his own moment of intimidation. But, Obadiah freely moved about, in and out of danger.
The lesson here is that God has special servants that can go in and out of places that other servants can not. The second lesson is that God has hidden servants and if you are one of them, God has special people who are in your path to serve you!
The popular lesson or sermon, is the story of Elijah, and how he defeated the false prophets, but then felt exhausted and had that encounter with God on the mountain. We have been taught lessons from Elijah's life.
But you might not be an Elijah. You might either be a hiding, hidden prophet; one of the 100, or, you might be an Obadiah. We have the servant in the spotlight, Elijah; the hidden servants, and the stealth servant. All three categories are significant and valuable.
Remember the great command: "Love one another". Serving is loving and there is a Hebrew linkage between service and worship. Those who serve God, do loving service to his people.
Worshiping God means serving God. I imagine this is why we call more formal church meetings worship services. This is the whole idea of the incarnation and his incarnational life in our lives: worship to God in service to others.
Worship can be at a time and in a place, but is mainly part of a life. Who are we serving in our lives? Obadiah, in 1 Kings was serving God in his life. Remember Bob Dylan's song, "Gotta Serve Somebody"? That's it. Who are you serving in your life?
The songs we sing declare and remind us of the life we live: the who, what, and why of a life, now in Christ. The singing, prayers, and bowing down are expressions of a life that is now serving God, through how we treat others and relate to God 24/7. Worshipers live a live of service.