How gracious it was of Jesus to single out the blustery, self-confident Peter, who had just proclaimed his undying loyalty to his Lord, and yet was soon to face the greatest sorrow of his entire life, when he deserted the Lord he loved and denied Him three times.
Loyalty in friendship is a grace that becomes all the more precious when despite intensifying hardships a friend is there to comfort and help... and the scriptures remind us never to abandon a friend - nor even to forsake the friends of your father or mother.
Wise counsel and spiritual encouragement is the calling-card of the friend that loves at all times and loyalty, sensitivity and a genuine interest in the other are the qualities of the brother that travels through adversity with us.
Conflict of interest enters-in when there are two opposing loyalties - and the inevitable result is that greater allegiance, love, loyalty and devotion is given to one party, which takes far greater precedence over the other..
The characteristics that the natural man so values are things like intellect, wealth, position, power, and success, but the attributes that God looks for in His servants is faithfulness to the cause of the gospel, fidelity towards the Lord Jesus, loyalty and devotion to those they serve, and steadfastness in the work with which they have been entrusted.
In the former we are instructed that in order to have friends, we need show friendship towards other people, while in the latter we are informed that having a lot of fair-weather friends can make us vulnerable, because their loyalty towards us may fluctuate with feelings or change with circumstances, and we would be wise to heed the sound advice contained in each of these translations of the text of Scripture, and apply them to our own lives and the friendship choices we make.
But all translations agree that there is a friend that sticks closer that a brother - there is a friend who displays such loyalty towards us that no matter what we say or do they will remain loyal to us.
He recited the words of the covenant that God made with Israel, in the hearing of all the people. 'The Song of Moses' is a long, but beautiful poem, that contrasts the love and loyalty of God to His people, with their wilfulness and waywardness.
Solomon gives specific warning against the oily allurement of the prostitute or adulteress, and delineates the enormous price of infidelity, while commending the delights of monogamous matrimony and loving loyalty between a husband and his wife - who pledge to love, honour, respect, and cherish one another, 'until death separates this God-ordained union'.
Job was unaware of the heavenly wager that had been allowed in heaven and that Satan, that crooked serpent who deceived Eve and caused Adam to bring death and disease upon his fallen race, was being permitted to test Job's loyalty to the Lord God by robbing this unsuspecting man of all that he had - whilst sparing his life.
For centuries, they were challenged to turn from their evil deeds and to give God their complete loyalty and obedience. The whole nation was called to repent of their sin and behold the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world... and they were to trust His Word and keep His commands.
This passage gives important instruction to believers on the responsibilities we have within our marriages, the unequalled intimacy that exists in a marriage relationship, and the higher loyalty that is expected of every married couple.
Removing their Hebrew names which honoured the Lord their God, was designed to disconnect their memory, and loyalty, from their former belief system, and replace it with names that honoured different Babylonian deities.
The Lord had referred to Job as, My servant, and said of him, there is no one on earth like unto him. The result of Satan's dialogue with the Lord, and his evil accusations against Job, was that the Lord permitted the devil to test Job's loyalty to God and his faith in his Creator, Whom he served with reverent fear.