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SERM. it. Ahab went one way by himself, and Obadiab went another way by himself.
Obadiah was the only perfon in the fervice of Ahab, whom he could confide in upon this occafion. It is a proof of the great regard, which even this wicked Prince had for him. And it affords good reason for us to fuppofe, that Obadiah had been wont to behave with fingular fidelity, and uncom→ mon difcretion, in all affairs, in which he was employed.
Ver. 7.... 12. And as Obadiah was in the way, behold, Elijah met him. And he knew him, and fell on his face, and said: Art thou my Lord Elijah?. He was not a little furprised to meet Elijah, who for fome time had lived very privatly out of the reach of Ahab. And he answered him: I am. Go tell thy Lord: Behold, Elijah is here. And be faid: What have I fined, that thou wouldst deliver thy fervant into the hand of Abab, to flay me? As the Lord thy God liveth, there is no nation or kingdom, whither my Lord has not sent to seek thee. And when they said, he is not here; he took an oath of the kingdom and nation, that they found thee not. And thou fayeft: Go, tell thy Lord, behold, Elijah
is here. And it fhall come to pass, as foon as SERM. I am gone from thee, that the Spirit of the Lord fhall carry thee whither I know not. And fo when I come, and tell Ahab, and he cannot find thee, he shall flay me.
The meffage, with which Elijah fent Obadiah, would be very grateful to King Ahab, who had earneftly fought for him. But Obadiah, fuppofing, that the Prophet could not appear before Ahab with fafety, feared, leaft by divine direction he should, when he was gone away, remove to fome other place. He excufeth himself therefore from delivering this meffage. And he pleads with the Prophet, that he should not expose him to fo imminent danger of death, by provoking the displeasure of Ahab. Thus he speaks in the text, and the words following: Ver. 12. 16. But, I thy fervant, fear the Lord from my youth. Was it not told my Lord, what I did, when Jefebel flew 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 fayeft: Go, tell thy Lord: Behold, Elijah is bere. And be fhall flay me. And Elijah faid: As the Lord liveth, before whom I ftand,
myself to him. meet Abab, and told him. And Ahab went to meet Elijab.
SERM. or whom I ferve, I will fhew
But I thy fervant fear the Lord from my youth. Or, But thy fervant feareth the Lord from his youth. Which is a more literal tranflation for the word I is not in the original.
I. I now propofe first to explain the words, and fhew what is implied in fearing the Lord from the youth.
II. Secondly to fhew the virtue of fo
III. And thirdly the benefit of it.
I. I would fhew, what is implied in fearing the Lord from the youth.
It may include these four things, believing in God: worshiping him, and making an open profeffion of religion obferving the precepts of true religion, or making the will of God, so far as we are acquainted with it, the rule of our conduct: and doing this conftantly, from early age.
1. Fearing the Lord implies believing in SERM. IX. God: or, that Jehovah, the Lord, is the one living and true God. He that cometh to God, Heb. xi. fays the Apoftle to the Hebrews, muft be- 6. lieve, that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently feek him. So much Obadiah intends here to say of himself: that he always had a perfuafion in his mind, that there is a God, and one God: which one God he believed to be the God of the Patriarchs, the God, who protected them, and whom they owned and ferved; the God that brought Ifrael out of Egypt, and delivered his laws and ftatutes to them by the hand of Mofes.
He believed God to be the creator of the heavens and the earth, the fea and all things that are therein. His own reafon led him to conceive of God in this manner. The books of Mofes, that great Prophet of the people of Ifrael, and moft eminent fervant of the true God, confirmed the belief of this truth. The creation of the world is related at the begining of the writings of that Lawgiver. And this notion of God is inferted diftinctly in one of the ten commandments, the fourth in order, delivered with fo great
SERM. folemnity. He therefore, who in the preface IX. to those commandments fays: I am the Lord thy God, that brought thee out of the land of Egypt, is the creator of the whole world, and confequently rightful Lord and disposer of all things therein.
This one confideration of God, as creator, would lead the thoughtful and pious perfon, here spoken of, to diftinct apprehenfions of every attribute and perfection, every notion and character of the Deity, that renders him. the proper object of worship, obedience, truft and confidence. He was perfuaded, that to God belongs power, and that he is able to do whatever he pleaseth in heaven and on earth. He knew what David inculcated
his fon Solomon, that God fearcheth all hearts, that if men feek him, he will be found of them, and that if they for fake him, he will caft them off for ever: or, as the Apostle in the words before cited, that God is a rewarder of them that diligently feek him.
2. In fearing God, the Lord, is implied worshiping him, or making an open profession of true religion. Obadiah fo feared the Lord, as to worship him, and no other. It was known to Ahab, and to all his people in general,