Blog – June 17, 2015
Loyalty – Part 2
“Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself.”
1 Samuel 18:1
Last week I talked about dogs and how I love their loyalty. This week I would like to expand on the concept of loyalty and dig into what God’s word has to say about it. When I think of loyalty in the Bible, I can’t help but think of Jonathan and David. What a beautiful picture of dedication and devotion.
Loyalty is defined as having or showing complete and constant support for someone or something or unswerving in allegiance. Jonathan was loyal to two very important people in his life, his father, Saul, and his best friend, David. The problem is Saul was busy trying to kill his best friend. Saul became insanely jealous of David as David became more and more successful in battle. David quickly went from being Saul’s golden boy to his archenemy. In 1 Samuel 18:1 it says that “Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself.” In the very next chapter, his father is trying to kill the man he had just become one in spirit with, his best friend. Talk about being between a rock and a hard place. How could Jonathan possibly find a way through this mess?
If you read the whole story in 1 Samuel, you will discover that Jonathan realized one very important truth first and foremost: God deserved his ultimate loyalty. In the midst of the conflicting loyalty that he felt to his father and his best friend, two people he loved that were in a battle for their very lives, Jonathan turned to the one source of truth, God, for guidance and direction in this very complicated situation. It would be easy to look at this scenario and not see a way out, but God showed Jonathan how he could be loyal to his father and remain loyal to David at the same time. If you read 1 Samuel you can learn more about this incredible story.
The thing about loyalty is it can be costly. It can make us choose sides when we sometimes want to stay in the middle, where it’s safe. Loyalty is a selfless act because it asks us to not live only for ourselves, but to put other’s needs before our own. At times, it will even ask us to suffer in the name of loyalty. I can’t imagine the sleepless nights Jonathan must have endured as he tried to figure out a way to be loyal to both his father and David. It must have torn him up inside to see two people that he loved so much at odds with each other. I can picture him wanting to scream, “Can’t you guys just work this thing out!”
We have all probably been in similar situations in our lives where people we love are at odds with each other… whether it’s friends, co-workers, or even our children. How do you show each side love and loyalty without hurting the other person? How do you give good counsel in the midst of such trying circumstances? How do we not feel a sense of betrayal to one side or the other in the midst of these conflicts?
Jonathan gives us a clear picture of where we need to go for answers. Jonathan’s faith was the guiding light that gave him the ability to deal effectively and lovingly in a situation that is probably a lot more complicated than any we will ever face. His unwavering faith helped him find a path through the tangled jungle of his human relationships, and he remained loyal to both people he loved deeply because he first and foremost remained loyal to God.
Father, thank you for the stories in the Bible that show us how we can handle difficult situations in our lives. Help us look to people like Jonathan for inspiration, and show us how to apply the truths that are in Your word to our own lives. Give us the ability to show loyalty to the people we love, but above all, let us show loyalty first and foremost to you. Amen.