2020-02-26 to 28 Pictures: Charleston, South Carolina

One of the few upsides of having to cancel our Spring Break trip last March at the onset of the pandemic is that we are "stuck" with a rather large voucher from one of those discount airlines. Last autumn, Tricia and I spent a weekend in Savannah, Georgia and had a...

A John 3:16 Craft for Kids

John 3:16 is one of the most well known and reassuring verses in the Bible. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.John 3:16 (NIV) The following is a little craft I threw...

2020-03-01 Pictures: Lyndsey’s College Signing Day

This afternoon Lyndsey made it official, signing her letter of intent to play college basketball for the Hiram College Terriers starting next year. While she made the decision and committed to Hiram before Christmas, she has been looking forward to this day since her...

2020-02-13 Pictures: Lyndsey’s 18th Birthday

I am little behind on posting photos. These are some of my favorites from a couple of weekends ago when we got a chance to celebrate Lyndsey's 18th birthday. It's hard to believe that my little girl is officially an adult. It was nice to have the family all back...


Introduction I love working with kids, and I love teaching them hard concepts in ways they can understand. To that end, for years I have been working on a dictionary of theological terms for kids and teens. In sharing those definitions, there seemed no better place to...

If You Want It Done Right

In all likelihood, you know how the phrase ends: If you want it done right, DO IT YOURSELF! This is a bit of a mantra for me, and frankly, something that I struggle with daily both in leadership and in my Christian walk.  In theory, this is easy to accept. ...

What Does God Hate?

This is the little and humble post that started it all. I happened to be reading through my Bible, and this passage impacted me so much that I posted a little blurb about it on Facebook. That was July 28, 2008, and I've been writing and sharing ever since. (Maybe...

Obadiah’s Early Piety (Synopsis of Come Ye’ Children – Chapter 18)


In the last chapter, we were introduced to Obadiah who later in his life worked in the hostile court of the evil King Ahab.  In this chapter, Spurgeon discusses the early piety of Obadiah.  In 1 Kings 18:12, during his exchange with Elijah, Obadiah states:

“…but I thy servant fear the LORD from my youth.  [1 Kings 18:12 KJV]”

The Bible does not tell us how Obadiah came to faith or who instructed him.  Spurgeon does postulate that based on Obadiah’s name (which means “the servant of Jehova”) that Obadiah’s parents were likely believers.  In a time when believers in God were frequently persecuted or even killed, the fact that Obadiah’s parents would name their son “the servant of Jehova” speaks to the faith of his parents and supports Spurgeon’s contention that they were likely believer.  On the importance of parents, Spurgeon notes:

“Whether this be so or not [that Obadiah’s parents were believers], it is quite certain that thousands of the most intelligent believers owe their first bent towards godliness to the sweet associations of home…we were consecrated to the service of God before we knew that there was a God. Many a tear of earnest prayer fell on our infant brow and sealed us for Heaven; we were nursed in the atmosphere of devotion; there was scarce a day in which we were not urged to be faithful servants of God, and entreated while we were yet young to seek Jesus and give our hearts to Him.”

Spurgeon also notes from the scripture passage the unique manner in which Obadiah refers to his faith from youth.  Specifically, Obadiah indicates that he has feared the Lord from his youth.  This is quite different than many people describe a child’s relationship with God.  Spurgeon explains:

“The way in which he described it is very instructive, ‘I thy servant fear the Lord from my youth.’ I hardly remember in all my life to have heard the piety of children described in ordinary conversation by this term, though it is the common word of the Scriptures. We say, ‘The dear child loved God.’ We talk of their ‘being made so happy,’ and so forth, and I do not question the rightness of the language; still, the Holy Spirit speaks of ‘the fear of the Lord’ as ‘the beginning of wisdom;’ and David says, ‘Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord.’ Children will get great joy through faith in the Lord Jesus; but that joy, if true, is full of lowly reverence and awe of the Lord.”

Indeed, even in childhood faith in the Lord and love of the Lord will ultimately manifest itself in fear of the Lord.  And, as those who disciple children, we should not neglect the fear of the Lord in teaching them.

Our goal in Children’s Ministry is to bring young children to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.  Spurgeon notes the numerous advantages of coming to early faith:

  1. Those saved early can be saved from “a thousand regrets” that those saved later in life will have experienced before their salvation.
  2. Early piety allows a person to form associations and friendships early in life that will benefit the individual for their entire lives.  Indeed, the company we keep has a significant impact on our entire lives.  As a result, early piety saves us from harmful associations.
  3. Early piety helps us to form godly habits and avoid the opposite.
  4. Early piety allows us to grow more rapidly in grace without having to “unlearn” much of what others have learned.

Spurgeon expands on this last benefit:

“The scars and bleeding sores which come of having spent years in the service of the devil are missed by those whom the Lord brings into His church before they have wandered far into the world.”

The benefits of salvation are clear to those who have been saved.  As someone who came Jesus later in life (at aged 30), I understand that God had a reason for waiting until that point in my life to draw me to him.  On the other hand, I sometimes find myself wondering how things in my life would be different had I come to Christ earlier in life.

As one final benefit of an early belief in Christ, Spurgeon notes that oftentimes it is the light of faith in a child that will help to bring older individuals to faith:

“By a certain secret power it opens closed doors, and turns the key in the lock of unbelief. Where nothing else could win a way for truth, a child’s love has done it.”

The benefits of a child coming to Christ early in life are clear. As workers in Children’s Ministry, we should never adopt the attitude that says “what we are teaching them now will help in their coming to Christ later in life.”  Instead our goal with these children should be immediate salvation.

Links to Complete Text

If you’re interested in reading the complete text of “Come Ye Children,” it can be found on at:

The complete text of Chapter Eighteen can be found at:

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Chapter 19 – Obadiah and Elijah: NEXT TIME>>

Return to the Come Ye’ Children (A Synopsis) index page.