Thursday, May 7, 2009

To Fear or Flee: Christians' Decisions Working With Unbelievers in the Marketplace

It's my impression that at times Christians may live in fear when it comes to the marketplace rather than living in the fear of the Lord. At times, it's even our temptation when working for those who either do not practice or look favorably upon Christianity (or perhaps even outright antagonize or persecute individuals for their Christianity) to flee rather than remain and stand steadfast even in the face of troublesome times or strenuous situations.

Obadiah was one who in 1 Kings 18 served as one in charge of King Ahab's palace even during a time when Jezabel (Ahab's wife) was "killing off the Lord's prophets". As one put it, while Obadiah did not convert Ahab, at the same time he neither compromised his faith nor was led astray by Ahab and his beliefs. It appears that in this situation, Obadiah was able to serve in his position of leadership even though he did was not a participant of Ahab's religious persuasion. The significant factor seen in Obadiah's life and service was that the Lord used his position and opportunities as a means of advancing the work of God's kingdom and providing for the saints. Obadiah himself, who "feared God" and served and worshiped him since his youth was one who not only served God honorably at the risk of his own position and welfare but did so sacrificially, providing both food and water for the prophets he hid even during the days in which there was a three and a half year drought. Note the pleasant memories he had of his previous accomplishments when he says to Elijah "Haven't you heard, my lord, what I did while Jezebel was killling the prophets of the Lord? I hid a hundered of the Lord's prophets in two caves, fifty in each, and supplied them with food and water." And Obadiah is not the first to serve the Lord faithfully (and even from his youth) in places where you might not expect to find Christians. Think of those like Joseph, Daniel, Mordecai, Samuel, David, Josiah, etc.

Sure... wisdom and consideration of the details of each circumstance may determine the best course of action for believers in particular situations; but Obadiah is a good example which shows Christians should not always be quick to flee when difficult or ungodly situations present themselves.




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