Who in the world is Obed-Edom? An obscure Old Testament character? Someone referenced in a pub quiz or crossword puzzle?
No. Actually, he deserves top billing. Check out those chapters in 1 Chronicles to discover where and why he’s mentioned. Agree with me? Maybe not!
First of all, the Hebrew word ‘obed’ means ‘servant’. Since ancient names mean something, here we have someone who loves to serve others. A rare bird in any day-and-age.
Obed-Edom first shows up when King David gets ticked-off at God for allowing the deaths of those who improperly move the Ark of the Covenant (1 Chron. 13). David’s concerned about what might happen if this dangerous Ark transfers to his Jerusalem home turf. So, he orders it carried off to Obed-Edom’s home. He’ll take care of what David fears. And if death lurks in Obed’s backyard, so be it. Too bad, so sad!
What happens? Lo-and-behold, God blesses Obed-Edom beyond anyone’s fondest dreams. David’s next move? Right! After noticing all that good stuff coming Obed-Edom’s way, David wants the Ark in his own backyard. He yearns for you-know-what to overflow from God…to himself.
I wonder about Obed-Edom’s reaction? Does he feel used? I would have. After all, the Ark remains in his care when dangerous uncertainty lurks. But when ‘everything comes up roses’, off goes God’s blessed cornucopia to the high-and-mighty. Phooey! But that’s me!
God’s take on Obed-Edom? 1 Chronicles 26:5–‘For God had blessed Obed-Edom.’ God remembers the one who serves. For Obed-Edom exemplifies a life for others. One who doesn’t mind taking a back seat when called for. He’s humble enough to let others gain the acclaim. Unlike many, so eager to get all success’ credit, while shunning blame when the bottom falls out, Obed-Edom stays true to his name, who he’s called to be…a servant.
Sure could use a few more like Obed-Edom. In politics. In business. In church. In our homes. And in our own hearts and minds. As in me…and you!
Servants…for the Lord Jesus. And for others. Obed-Edom. Not so obscure after all!
Lord Jesus, may we be faithful servants… for others and for you. Amen.