Jesus Christ cautions His Church in Matthew 24 that there would come a time when loyalty would become a real problem for many who have been called to God’s Way of life. He noted that “…many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another” (Matthew 24:10). This potential problem for many in the Church is a matter all of God’s people need to be aware of. We all must be careful that we do not get caught up in this problem.
When we examine the life of David, we observe a wonderful example of loyalty on David’s part in his relationship with Saul and with God, as described in the books of 1st and 2nd Samuel. We see the details of this example of loyalty described in 1 Samuel 24:6-10 and 26:6-16, and in 2 Samuel 1:14. Yet Saul, by his example, did not demonstrate that he was one deserving of this loyalty and devotion on the part of David.
The Scriptures noted also reveal David’s loyalty to the position of authority God had given to Saul as king of Israel. David reveals his subjection with the words whereby he states: “The LORD forbid that I should stretch out my hand against the LORD’s anointed.”
This loyalty on the part of David may well have inspired some of his own men, at a later time, to demonstrate similar loyalty and devotion to David. We read of this example in 2nd Samuel 23:15-17, where we see three of David’s men willing to sacrifice their lives for David.
We each need to be cognizant of those who deserve loyalty and we need to take every opportunity to be faithful in such loyalties. First and foremost, we must be loyal to our God, Who has revealed Himself and His Way of life to us. Christ explains the principles in Matthew 10:22-41.
Second, we must all be loyal to our brethren in the Way to which we have been called. The principles for such loyalties are described in Galatians 6:10, which admonishes us as follows: “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially those who are of the household of faith.”
Third, while we may not think about this often, we must have certain loyalties to those that rule over us in the various governmental jurisdictions within which we live. The basic principles are outlined in Jude, verses 8 and 9, and in 2nd Peter 2:9-11, clearly revealing our responsibility in this area. While we do understand that Satan is in charge of this world’s systems at the present time; Romans 13:1-2 clearly reveals that: “…there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.” In 1 Peter 2:13-15 we are instructed to: “…submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. For this is the will of God…”
We must, therefore, follow the rules of these governing authorities, as long as those rules do not come in conflict with the laws of God. As much as is possible, within God’s established rules, we are to follow the laws of the land. As Paul notes in Romans 12:18: “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.”
Noted last here, but certainly not least, next to our loyalty to God and to His Work, He holds us particularly responsible for our loyalties to our mates and to our children, whom God has given to us for our personal care. In the process, we need to teach loyalty as an integral part of the training of our children. Husbands must demonstrate love and concern for their wives, and wives are to be submissive to their husbands.
Of course, the most positive method of instruction relative to our families, as well as to all others we come in contact with, is our own personal example of loyalty, as we live our lives according to the ways of God. If we husbands expect our children and our mates to follow in God’s Way, we must be walking in God’s Way as living examples to them of our approach to His Way of life!
Thus, loyalty is an important part of the Christian character which must be developed if we are to be pleasing to our God as we walk in His Way!