“I will never leave you and never forsake you.”
In Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland, stands Greyfriars Graveyard. In 1858 a faithful dog called Bobby followed the remains of his beloved master to this cemetery. Here the dog stayed on or near the graveside until his death, 14 years later.
This is a story about loyalty. More poignantly, many people have devoted themselves to others through all kinds of circumstances. It’s amazing what some people have gone through in giving their lives to someone to ensure their comfort, safety, and well being.
There are numerous examples of loyalty in the Bible. The widow Ruth refused to return home to Moab to be with her people. Instead, she committed herself to staying with her mother-in-law, Naomi, whatever happened.
The young David, many years before he became king, and Jonathan the son of King Saul promised to look out for each other no matter what ill befell them.
Moses was faithfully loyal to God. They spoke with each other as if they were friends! He served God endlessly despite the frustrations of leading a vast crowd of people through the desert for forty years.
So, what about us? How loyal are we to God? A difficult question, when so much can sway our eyes, our minds, emotions and behaviour in a world that thinks it doesn’t need a faithful and loving God to care for them! It’s easy to be loyal when times are good, but a different thing when hardships surround us.
Do we ever feel uncomfortable singing hymns about courage, obedience, and service? Some provoke a challenge. Do we really mean all the words we sing? Consider the popular hymn O Jesus I have promised to serve Thee to the end. It is a stirring declaration of faith, with prayer requests that we be steadfast in all circumstances; while it is good to sing hymns about loyalty, we should also endeavour to work out what our commitment to God really entails.
Jesus made some testing statements about loyalty and warned His hearers about weighing up the pros and cons before following Him. Jesus said ‘Take up your cross’. This challenging phrase is the ultimate test of our devotion and dedication to Him.
Loyalty in all relationships is a joy to behold, but no loyalty is greater than our loyalty to the Lord. Fortunately, God knows our weaknesses and will aways pick us up when we stumble and will forgive us when we fail. After all, Jesus is one hundred percent loyal to us and promised, “I will never leave you and never forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5).
Amen to that!
Featured Image: Greyfriar’s Bobby, Andrew Bowden from London, United Kingdon, Wikimedia Commons, Creative License, PD