We are never more like God than when we hang in there with somebody
3 min read
But I have trusted in your loyal love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.-David, Psalm 13:5
Is it not a little odd that if you do an online image search under the word loyalty, what pops up most will be pictures of dogs? Apparently, we humans are not known for our dedication to one another as much as our furry friends.
True, there’s nothing like a wagging tail to greet you at the door at the end of a long day. It feels good to know at least Fido still thinks you’re the best.
If only that were enough.
I mean, a loyal dog is a blessing, but a loyal human being…that’s even better.
The life of David is a study in loyalty. David was what you could call a loyalist. He was loyal to Saul even after Saul had lost touch with reality. He showed loyalty to his best friend, Jonathan, even after Jonathan died, by taking care of his family. And among David’s favorite attributes of God, the loyalty of God was near the top. Over and again, David mentions the word hesed in the psalms. This is the Hebrew word for several God-like qualities, including kindness, mercy, love, and yes, loyalty.
Could it be that the reason why God’s loyalty was a primary theme for David was because he experienced the pain of human duplicity so often? It is very possible, even likely, that David valued God’s fidelity so deeply because he had so often been left high and dry by people, including family members.
Like the time David was undercut by his own son, Absalom. Talk about betrayal. Absalom literally stole the hearts of the people behind David’s back so he could replace David as king. But ironically, as David was forced to scurry out of town to avoid a lethal run-in with his boy, he met another guy by the name of Ziba. This low-key fellow was the very picture of loyalty. He generously supplied David with a ton of groceries and a couple of donkeys, things David would need in his unplanned escape.
Ziba’s loyalty is especially beautiful in contrast to the dis-loyalty of the guy he worked for, Mephiboseth. David had mercifully be-friended both of these men when they were down, vulnerable, and desperate. But only Ziba remembered. Only Ziba had David’s back when David was down, vunerable, and desperate. In hopes of gaining power, Mephibosheth played the part of opportunist and sided with the traitors.
So like most of us, David experienced loyalty in both directions. He had known the beauty of a loyal friend, but he had also felt the jagged edge of dis-loyalty in his back. All of this caused him to celebrate the rock-solid loyalty of his God. David believed that, come what may, the Lord would be true to His covenant vows. He would do everything he promised and He would be there for David through thick and thin. This is what kept David going.
Oh, to bring back some of that old-school loyalty. Oh, to be people that are like God in the sense that we keep loving others even when it’s hard. Not that we don’t confront and speak hard truth when necessary – loyalty does that, too. But even when things go crazy sideways, it is the virtue of loyalty that will keep us together.
Join me in thanking God for His loyalty today. Because whether it’s a good day or a horrible day, whether we are winning or losing, Jesus remains supremely loyal. He isn’t going anywhere. In His own words,
“…And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”-Jesus, Matthew 28:20
It’s a new day with God. Run with it.
*This post is dedicated to my son, Jonathan Sage, who turns 17 today. I love you, Son.