Loyalty

2 Samuel 3:9
“May God do so to Abner, and more also, if I do not do for David as the Lord has sworn to him”

Abner is an interesting case study in human behavior. He was the commander of Saul’s armies. After Saul’s death, he became the commander of Ishbosheth’s army. In many ways, he seems to be a very good man, and had even earned David’s trust. If there is one word that sums up the life of Abner, it is loyalty. Webster defines loyalty as “unswerving allegiance.” In other words, Abner was a man of commitment. We might say his word was his bond. When he committed to something, he saw it through to the end. In many ways, this is an admirable character trait. Abner’s folly was in putting his allegiance in the wrong place. By his own admission, he knew God had called David to be king, yet he found himself committed to Ishbosheth, refusing to allow David to sit upon the throne.

Today, too many follow the pattern of Abner. Knowing they should surrender their complete allegiance to Jesus, as Lord of their lives, instead, they sway back and forth between commitment to the Lord and loyalty to something else. For many, it is friendships, for others, it’s lifestyle, or substances. Whatever the case, we must learn that not all loyalty is admirable.

If you are continuing down a certain road just because that’s where you began your journey, or because you have traveled it for a long time, it is time to get off, and put your allegiance in the Lord.

Pastor Jim

 

A Love Story

Ruth 2:11

“And Boaz answered and said to her, ‘It has been fully reported to me, all that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband, and how you have left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and have come to a people whom you did not know before.'”


The book of Ruth is one if the most beautiful love stories ever written. In it, we read of a wealthy landowner who falls in love with a young servant girl, and goes to great lengths to earn her hand in marriage. His story is so fascinating that, until recently, it was part of the mandatory reading in public high schools, and as a result, was the first Bible story I ever read. While the assumption is that Ruth must have been physically attractive, that is not what caught the attention of Boaz. He was drawn to her for her character and her commitment to the Lord. 


Ruth  2:11

“And Boaz answered and said to her, ‘It has been fully reported to me, all that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband, and how you have left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and have come to a people whom you did not know before.'”


Ruth made a decision to lay her life down, first for the God of Naomi, and then for Naomi, herself. She left her culture, her religion, and homeland, to remain with her mother-in-law, even if it meant she would never have a husband, children, or life of her own. This act of self-sacrifice was driven by her commitment to God and became a testimony that spread throughout Bethlehem. 


Ruth 1:16-17

“For wherever you go, I will go;

And wherever you lodge, I will lodge;

Your people shall be my people,

And your God, my God. 

Where you die, I will die,

And there will I be buried.

The Lord do so to me, and more also,

If anything but death parts you and me.”


Relationships are key to successfully following Christ, and no relationship is more important than the person we choose to marry. Boaz is a good example of a man who waited until he met someone who was as committed to God as he was. His wealth and status in the community would have afforded him the opportunity to pursue the woman of his choice, but he chose to wait. It was not until he met Ruth, who not only spoke of being a follower of God, but demonstrated it with her lifestyle. 


Pastor Jim