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More From Merry Gultom

April 23, 2021 by Merry Gultom (West Java, Indonesia)

One of the most valuable human traits is loyalty. We all desire loyalty in our relationships with our friends, relatives, and spouse, and we especially seek to be loyal to the Creator. But being loyal is difficult, and it takes commitment and sacrifice as well as getting rid of personal selfishness. Loyalty must withstand tests, remaining unaffected by circumstances — and it must be fought for.

Some of the biblical figures who serve as good examples of loyalty include Ruth, Job, and Elizabeth. They teach us the importance of living faithfully, persevering, and remaining loyal to God. God appreciates those who are faithful in adversity.

Ruth was a Moabite woman who did not know the God of Israel. After she married a man from Bethlehem, Ruth believed in the God of Israel. Unfortunately, Ruth’s husband died. But after his death, Ruth made an extraordinary decision to take care of her aging mother-in-law who had no property or family. Ruth wanted to remain loyal to and care for her mother-in-law, even though it meant Ruth had to work hard.

Job was known to live honestly and truthfully before God, but he experienced great bitterness of life. He lost his property and children in an instant and suffered terrible illness. But still Job’s loyal love for God did not fade. His wife and friends criticized him, but Job remained faithful to God and said to his wife, “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” (Job 2:10, NIV). Eventually Job recovered from his illness and had many more children, and even his belongings were multiplied.

Elizabeth and her husband, Zechariah faithfully served God until their old age. Yet they faced many obstacles, especially Elizabeth, who was humiliated for being childless and was considered a disgrace by those around her. These insults did not affect Elizabeth’s loyalty and service to God, though. Finally in her old age, God opened Elizabeth’s womb and she gave birth to her child. 

We can also learn from many other biblical figures, including Esther, Deborah, Jochebed, Mordecai, Daniel, Joseph, John the Baptist, Mary, and many more. I have learned that being loyal is costly, and I sometimes fail to be loyal to God because I can’t afford the price. But when I fail, God shows me great loyalty by helping me, and I feel how close and loyal God is to take care of and protect me. As I read the stories of the many loyal Bible characters, I imagine that if I were in their positions, maybe I would think I could not afford to be loyal. The difficulties I have faced are not as difficult as those they faced, yet they were still able to live faithfully before God. This is when I realized how expensive loyalty truly is, and how costly the blood of Christ is, which continues to help me live faithfully before God.

Let us all be loyal and fight the good fight.

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I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.” 

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