James Bond has Q, his Quartermaster, and King Ahab has O, his Obadiah.
Q – Bond’s Quartermaster
When James Bond hangs by his ankles over a pond of snapping piranhas, we’re not worried. Not really. Because we remember Q and his gadgets.
Sure enough, 007 gets his thumb on a cufflink that’s really a mini rotating blade which cuts through Bond’s bonds. We start to grin, because next he pulls out a fountain pen that shoots a tiny grappling hook and line over to a beam, so the unbound Bond swings out of danger.
And we thank Q.
O – Ahab’s Chief of Staff
King Ahab doesn’t escape the piranha teeth, but we hope he will because we remember Obadiah and his influence.
I mean, if Elijah wears a Lone Ranger white hat, and his brother, Nathan, sports a headband with an arrow, we might say Ahab wears a black hat. Yet sometimes it feels like he might trade it in for a hat of a lighter color. Reform and join the good guys.
For instance –
- He overlooks Obadiah’s protecting 100 prophets.
- He chooses a good man like Obadiah to search with him for grass.
- After the fire falls on Mt. Carmel, (in my interpretation) He repents until Jezebel puts her foot down.
- When the prophet rebukes him for letting Ben Hadad get away, rather than acting rebellious and stubborn, Ahab appears sullen and resentful.
- After murdering Naboth, Ahab dons sackcloth.
Okay, so he hasn’t really changed all that much, and his life is appalling. But what makes this miserably tragic king even lean in a good direction? When we see him faced with a decision, why does he pause at the hat rack? Why do we feel him look at the white hat and even hope he will reach for the right choice?
Someone softened King Ahab’s heart, and it wasn’t Elijah. While Elijah certainly spoke for the Lord, his words came too late to effect change.
Instead of Elijah, we thank the good man Ahab knew and respected all his life — Obadiah, his Chief of Staff. This mere accountant, by the power of his daily living, came closer than anyone to moving the king toward good choices.
Not Q and not E, but O.