The Need For Heroic Fidelity To God
Heroic fidelity to God
, by Sethur Williams
The Need For Heroic Fidelity To God
Heroic fidelity to God. What does this mean?
In this week's Gem, we will focus our attention on one example of this in the Bible.
Now I'm sure that most of us will know what Heroic Fidelity might mean. Right? The term heroic can be associated with an act of bravery where thought for one's own wellbeing is given second place to the need or safety of another; or an act of loyalty where one's courage in a perilous situation is exercised, disregarding their natural feeling of fear.
The words Loyalty and Fidelity, are, both interchangeably, synonyms of each other; thus sharing similar meanings and assisting in defining the other. A simple internet search of these words, will, if necessary, render more helpful information as to their exact definition.
Now together, we have Heroic Fidelity; a reflection of the seriousness of this topic.
I want to direct your attention now to the word of God, that we may find some applications to these powerful words: 'Heroic Fidelity to God.'
Our first Biblical example of heroic fidelity to God is that of Elijah, as found in 1 KINGS chapters 16 & 17.
Elijah, a prophet of the Most High God, although living at a time when the worship of Baal, (a form of Pagan sun worship) was a common practice throughout the nation of Israel, sought not to hide the fact that he served the God of heaven.
In 1 Kings chapter 16, we read:
30 And Ahab, the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the Lord above all that were before him.
32 And he reared up an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he had built in Samaria.
33 And Ahab made a grove; and Ahab did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger than all of the kings of Israel that were before him.“
Led by King Ahab, Israel was now in a state of national apostasy, unrivalled by previous generations.
The true God of heaven had long been forgotten by most, but God still had at least one faithful man in Israel, for in chapter 17 of 1 Kings, we read:
1 And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the Lord God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.“
This judgement pronounced to the king of Israel placed Elijah in a potentially dangerous position, for in the verses succeeding this, the Bible tells us that God instructed him to go hastily to the brook Cherith, where God promised to sustain him.
And he went as God had directed him, and was sustained by God, fed by Ravens morning and evening and drinking from the brook.
There he remained; sustained by God, until the brook dried up, as the effects of the drought worsened across the land.
God now instructed Elijah to go to Zarephath, where he was to stay with a widow, who would sustain.
After a significant time had passed, God instructed Elijah to meet with King Ahab.
1 Kings 18:
17 And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel?
18 And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father's house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou hast followed Baalim.
19 Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebel's table.
20 So Ahab sent unto all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together unto mount Carmel.“
On Mount Carmel, Elijah, as one man, stood before four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal, along with four hundred prophets of the groves; not to mention King Ahab, his army, and the majority of Israels' citizens.
"Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only, remain a prophet of the Lord; but Baal's prophets are four hundred and fifty men."
1 Kings 18:22
Ultimately, God demonstrated, in a mighty way, that He is the only true God: "And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The Lord, he is the God; the Lord, he is the God."
1 Kings 18:39
Elijah, like Moses, Aaron and Eli, had weaknesses. When pursued by Jezebel, Ahab's wife, he ran to the wilderness in a futile attempt to escape her armies but was there met by God, and realized his dependence on Him.
Only when we realize our weakness, can God empower us with His strength. As we have seen God work through Elijah of old, He will work through us; but only if we will surrender completely, our lives to Him.
Does the story of Elijah match the description of our title: "Heroic Fidelity to God"?
In faithfulness to God, Elijah faced what, to many of us might seem terrifying! But rather than allow himself to be governed by his own fears for safety; or desire for comfort, he chose to obey God and to remain loyal to Him.
Are you sometimes afraid to let others know about your faith in God? Worried that you may be ridiculed, laughed at, or even persecuted for your loyalty to the Jesus Christ?
Take courage, dear friend! Jesus said in 2 Timothy 3:12: "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution."
You may feel alone; like no one understands why you choose to follow Christ; regardless of consequence, but the Bible also says in Deuteronomy 31:6:
"Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee."
My encouragement to you, dear reader, can be found in Mathew 28:18-20:
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.“
For more inspiration, I recommend reading in the Bible the story of Joseph, beginning in Genesis chapter 37. His was a life of like faithfulness and dedication to God, and has been and remains to be a faith-building story of great inspiration to me.
Also, feel free to check out some of these previous Gems:
May God Bless you all abundantly, as you study His word; that you may draw closer to Him each day.