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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

June 29, 2018


Filed under Sabbath Thoughts

King Solomon and his father David knew what loyalty was – and wasn't.

Solomon tells us: "A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity" (Proverbs 17:17). And David described his reaction to being betrayed by a trusted friend: "For it is not an enemy who reproaches me; then I could bear it. Nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me; then I could hide from him. But it was you, a man my equal, my companion and my acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together,
and walked to the house of God in the throng" (Psalm 55:12-14).

In an age that has marriage – the covenant that was once "till death do us part" – becoming a series of "life segment partners" and gifted employees are better off by switching employers every few years to move up the salary scale, loyalty isn't what it used to be.

But not for God. In the Bible, the concept of loyalty is purely relational. This means our whole being is thoroughly committed to someone (Joshua 24:15). Such loyalty is expressed to us in both the divine and human realms as given to us in the two great commandments: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength," and "Love your neighbor as yourself" (Mark 12:29-31; cf. John 15:13; 1 John 3:16). "To thine own self be true", Shakespeare wrote, so if we are to be loyal to our self and also love our neighbor as our self, loyalty is important for interpersonal relationships.

Did you ever think about loyalty being a key aspect of God's character? "If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself" (2. Timothy 2:13).

God established the very essence of loyalty through His covenant relationship with His people: "Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who maintains covenant loyalty with those who love Him and keep His commandments, to a thousand generations" (Deuteronomy 7:9). Through His covenant, God’s people are assured of His never-ending love from which no believer can ever be separated (Romans 8:35-39).

Our walk with God is a test of loyalty to see if our relationship will last "till death do US (temporarily) part". On our own we do not have the loyalty we need to finish the race. But God does. Ask Him for it!

With these thoughts I wish everyone a rewarding Sabbath!

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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