Dr. Richard Ing
We’ve been discussing servant hood and what is contained in a
true servant’s heart. In our previous
newsletter, we examined the issue of obedience and how obedience is a principle
of God’s kingdom, while disobedience or rebellion is a principle of Satan’s kingdom. We learned that obedience is a character
trait of every true servant’s heart, not just a doctrine. In this writing, we will explore another
characteristic of a true servant’s heart: loyalty.
In order to have a true servant’s heart, loyalty to his leaders
must be buried deep inside. Loyalty in a true servant is so strong that even
death or the threat of death cannot overturn it.
In Genesis 39, Joseph was a slave in the house of Potiphar,
captain of the Pharaoh’s guard. He
served so well that Potiphar made Joseph the overseer over his house. Gen. 39:4.
When Potiphar’s wife false accused Joseph of trying to rape her, Joseph
was thrown into prison. Joseph never
defended himself. He never told Potiphar
that his wife was trying to seduce him.
He never even denied the false charge.
It would have made Potiphar’s wife a liar and disgraced Potiphar. His loyalty to his master prevented him from
saying anything negative about Potiphar’s wife.
His master’s reputation was more important than Joseph’s own life. Instead, Joseph chose prison. He had the heart of a genuine servant - loyal
In the end, God rewarded Joseph by making him second in command
over all of Egypt,
except for the Pharaoh. Joseph was able
to save the entire known world.
SAUL AND KING DAVID
King Saul disobeyed God and God had Samuel, the prophet, anoint
David as the next king. Saul became
insane and tried to kill David many times.
Saul pursued David for years in the wilderness to kill him. But David refused to even complain,
criticize, fight back or gossip about Saul. Once, Saul fell asleep in a cave
where David was hiding with his men.
David’s men encouraged him to kill Saul.
They said, “God has given Saul into your hands. Everyone knows God has made you the next
king.” “No,” David said, “I will not touch the anointed of God.” David let Saul go. I Sa. 24:6,7.
A while later, David sneaked into Saul’s camp while everyone was
asleep. Once more, David’s men
encouraged David to kill Saul. Again,
David refused. He said, “As the Lord
liveth, the Lord shall smite him; or his day shall come to die; or he shall
descend into battle, and perish.” I
Sa. 26:10. David left his destiny up to
God. “Let God handle it, let God’s will
be done,” was David’s attitude. “I will not be disloyal.”
Even though everyone knew that God had chosen David to be the
next king, David remained loyal to Saul.
David had once been Saul’s armor-bearer, sworn to defend and serve the
king, even with his life. He refused to
dishonor his vow. Loyalty was more
important than self-ambition to David.
In the end, God promised that there would always be a son of David on
the throne. Jer. 33:17. Jesus Christ fulfilled that promise. Jesus is the “offspring of David, and the
bright and morning star.” Rev.
22:16. The name of David will always be
honored throughout eternity. In the end,
David became king of Israel
because his heart was right before God.
Great is the reward of the loyal in heart.
Some people think that a leader needs to earn respect from his
servants or people under him before they are required to give back loyalty and
submission. Not so. Respect and loyalty comes from the position a
person occupies in the kingdom
of God. You are not only respecting or expressing
loyalty to the person, but to the position itself. In the U.S. military,
a general’s flag is flown on his chauffeur-driven automobile for all to
see. It’s usually a gold-trimmed, red
flag emblazoned with the number of stars the general has. Whenever the general is in the car, his flag
is flown. Sometimes, the chauffeur
forgets to cover the flag when the general is not in the car. Regardless, all military personnel lower than
the rank of general are required to salute the flag, whether the general is in
the car or not. Respect and loyalty is
to the position, regardless of the person.
If God puts you under the authority of a pastor, the pastor doesn’t have
to “earn” your respect. Loyalty and
submission are due the position. The
same is true with children. Honor and
respect toward parents come from the relationship. Parents don’t have to earn the respect and
honor of their children. It comes with
the position. This is true no matter
what kind of parent he or she is. Lousy
parents do not erase God’s command to “honor thy father and thy mother.” If a person loves and has loyalty to someone,
no one, even the person they love and are loyal to, can take it away.
Loyalty based on earned respect will diminish and even disappear
when the person who is the subject of loyalty changes, is no longer viewed as
the favored one, makes mistakes, or is no longer respected by people around
him. David had many followers and
faithful servants when he was strong and appeared to be the next king. When he was made king, many more joined and
surrounded him. But, when it appeared
that David was about to be dethroned, many of David’s “loyal” followers left to
join the opposition. When his son,
Absalom, looked like he was about to defeat David and become the next king,
people left David in droves. II Sa.
15:12. But, Absalom was destroyed and the ones that followed him were no longer
welcome in David’s court. The disloyal
had their own personal agenda.
Even when David was on his death bed and it appeared that his
son, Adonijah, was going to be the next king, many of David’s previously
faithful and loyal people left to join Adonijah. They were more politicians than
servants. It turned out that God chose
Solomon to be the next king and many who went with Adonijah were killed or
banished from the kingdom. A few stayed
loyal to David until he died. One of
them was Zadok, the junior priest.
Zadok wasn’t even the head priest. Abiathar was.
But, Abiathar left David to go with Adonijah. He was looking out for himself. Zadok knew that if Adonijah was made king, he
would be left out in the cold. But Zadok
only wanted to serve David until either David or Zadok died. His loyalty was forever. Great was Zadok’s reward in the end. God will test until the very end.
When Solomon became king, Zadok was made head priest of the
kingdom. Later, one of Zadok’s sons
became head priest and a daughter became queen of Israel, and later mother to the
next king. But the greatest reward for
the “sons of Zadok” is found in heaven.
In Ezekiel 40:46 and Ezekiel 44:15, 16, God says that while the rest of Israel shall
minister in God’s sanctuary in His heavenly temple, they cannot come near unto
God or any of the holy things. But, the
sons of Zadok are the ones who:
... shall come near to me to
minister unto me, and they shall stand before me to offer unto me the fat and
the blood, saith the Lord God: they shall enter into my sanctuary, and they
shall come near to my table and minister unto me, and they shall keep my
charge. And it shall come to pass, that
when they enter in at the gates of the inner court, they shall be clothed with
linen garments; and ....
of Zadok, the loyal ones who served King David until the end shall forever
minister unto God, be in His presence continually and keep His charge. Their reward for loyalty to David, the
anointed of God, is for ever and ever.
The “sons of Zadok” are not the lineal descendants of Zadok, but
everyone who is loyal to their leader until the very end.
For David, the test of loyalty was when his king became insane
with jealousy and tried to kill him many times, and especially when David had
two opportunities to kill Saul and become king of Israel himself. Years of suffering in the wilderness, running
away from Saul had not changed David’s heart of loyalty. No one would have blamed him since Samuel,
the prophet, had already anointed David as next king, but David knew that God
was looking into his heart. David’s
integrity refused to allow him to abandon his character and morals no matter
how great the reward.
In the end times, everyone’s heart will be tested for
loyalty. In Revelation 13:15, Satan’s
beast is going to require every man, woman and child to receive a mark in their
right hand or forehead. Those who refuse
will be killed. Rev. 13:15,16. But those who take the mark will lose their salvation
(if they are a Christian) and go to hell.
Rev. 14:9-11. In that day, when
you are forced to line up and declare whether you will refuse to renounce Jesus
and die, or renounce Jesus, take the mark and live, the world will know how
much loyalty is in your heart. The
disloyal will take the mark. Those who
count loyalty to Jesus more important than life itself will refuse the mark and
Loyalty is not a casual thing with God. It is what drove Jesus to obey the Father and
die on the cross. Jesus’ obedience to
God’s will was based on His loyalty to the one He loved. Loyalty is one of the traits God desires in
His people. How can we be conformed unto
the image of Jesus without loyalty buried deep in our heart?
LOYALTY COMES FROM
Like obedience, loyalty comes out of love. When one loves, he puts all of his personal
ambitions away and seeks to promote and help the one he loves with everything
he has - even his life, if necessary.
Loyalty requires humility, love and submission - all character traits of
Jesus Christ. His death on the cross was
the ultimate show of love, loyalty and humility.
Loyalty is a heart matter, not just a political or social idea,
and like obedience, not just a doctrine.
The loyal in heart will serve their master until their dying
breath. Those with disloyalty in their
heart will go from master to master, church to church and person to
person. Their intention is to benefit
themselves. When they are discontent
with their present leader, they will leave without hesitation. They fail to understand a basic rule: Leaders
reward and promote the loyal, not the disloyal.
A person may be better looking, more intelligent, have more talent and
be more popular than others; but, without loyalty, he is useless to any
leader. He may turn out to be an Absalom
in the end. Such a person is
dangerous. God is looking for the loyal
This is not a writing to encourage you to obey or be loyal to
me. I really don’t care. What I care about is that we all understand
what it takes to be like Jesus Christ, the greatest servant of all time.