Ahab called for Obadiah, who was in charge of the palace. Obadiah feared God - he was very devout.
Earlier, when Jezebel had tried to kill off all the prophets of God, Obadiah had hidden away a hundred of them in two caves, fifty in a cave, and then supplied them with food and water.
Ahab ordered Obadiah, "Go through the country; locate every spring and every stream. Let's see if we can find enough grass to keep our horses and mules from dying."
So they divided the country between them for the search - Ahab went one way, Obadiah the other.
Obadiah went his way and suddenly there he was - Elijah! Obadiah fell on his knees, bowing in reverence, and exclaimed, "Is it really you - my master Elijah?"
"Yes," said Elijah, "the real me. Now go and tell your boss, 'I've seen Elijah.'"
Obadiah said, "But what have I done to deserve this? Ahab will kill me.
As surely as your God lives, there isn't a country or kingdom where my master hasn't sent out search parties looking for you. And if they said, 'We can't find him; we've looked high and low,' he would make that country or kingdom swear that you were not to be found.
And now you're telling me, 'Go and tell your master Elijah's found!'
The minute I leave you the Spirit of God will whisk you away to who knows where. Then when I report to Ahab, you'll have disappeared and Ahab will kill me. And I've served God devoutly since I was a boy!
Hasn't anyone told you what I did when Jezebel was out to kill the prophets of God, how I risked my life by hiding a hundred of them, fifty to a cave, and made sure they got food and water?
And now you're telling me to draw attention to myself by announcing to my master, 'Elijah's been found.' Why, he'll kill me for sure."
Elijah said, "As surely as God-of-the-Angel-Armies lives, and before whom I take my stand, I'll meet with your master face to face this very day."
So Obadiah went straight to Ahab and told him. And Ahab went out to meet Elijah.