As Elijah, in obedience to God's command, set out to meet Ahab, he saw that the famine was very severe in Samaria, one of the areas ruled by Ahab and inhabited by the Israelite people.
Apparently it extended beyond Ahab's kingdom, but Samaria seemed to be getting the brunt of it. This, of course, was in line with God's judgment--He was disciplining His people.
The Prophet Isaiah wrote: "If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: but if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it" (Isa. 1:19,20).
This principle was literally fulfilled before Elijah's eyes. The people had rebelled, and they were not eating of the good of the land.
Obedience to God is the key to His blessings upon us. The Israelites had suffered for three and a half years because of their disobedience, but because of the obedience of a man of God, the Lord's judgment would be lifted.
The first man Elijah met, however, was not Ahab but Obadiah, the governor of Ahab's household. Obadiah held a position of prestige and influence in overseeing Ahab's household and possessions.
But instead of Obadiah's lifting up Ahab, apparently Ahab tended to drag Obadiah down so that he was more concerned about herds and possessions than about the will of God.
Does this speak to our hearts? Perhaps God allowed this man's life to be included in the Scriptures to teach us this lesson.
"In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him [Christ]" (Eph. 3:12).