Enduring Church of God
info@enduring.org Contact Us

Practicing Hadassah Loyalty

Today, it seems that a trustworthy, loyal individual is very hard to find.

Article Tools

Printer Friendly

The character trait of loyalty is of utmost importance in truly successful and happy living! But this vital quality of human relationships is rapidly fading away—in families, friendships, careers and yes, even in our personal relationship with God—which is the most critical of all.

In 1947, Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong and his wife Loma raised up Ambassador College, located in Pasadena, California. My wife Sharon and I had the honor and privilege of attending this college from 1961 to 1965.

One of the principles stressed to the students by Mr. Armstrong was loyalty! He said real loyalty doesn’t just go from the bottom up, it also goes from the top down! Can you think of anybody who practices that kind of loyalty anywhere in the world today? Maybe. But it has become all too rare instead of common practice as it used to be in years past. This change is having a destructive and devastating effect on our society at all levels of daily life. The world at large needs a renewal, a groundswell of the type of loyalty Hadassah had.

But who was Hadassah? And what is true loyalty in the first place? Loyalty has to do with faithfulness, allegiance and trustworthiness. It means you will never turn your back and walk away—except from bad people doing bad things. You will stick to your commitments and never forsake those who are counting on you.

Hadassah was a very special historical lady who achieved exceptional things by practicing true loyalty toward people who needed her help. She is the queen mentioned in the book of the Bible called by her name—Esther, the Persian form of her Hebrew name Hadassah (meaning a Myrtle).

“And he brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle’s daughter: for she had neither father nor mother, and the maid was fair and beautiful; whom Mordecai, when her father and mother were dead, took for his own daughter” (Est. 2:7). This makes it plain that Hadassah was indeed Esther, who put her life on the line for her people, the Jews of her day.

“Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish” (Est. 4:16). She risked sure and sudden death by approaching the king about this matter.

It is impossible to guess what might have happened to the Hebrew nation had there been no Esther. Except for her, Jerusalem might never have been rebuilt, and there might have been a different story to tell to all future ages.

This book of Esther is about a Very Important Historical Event, not just a story to point a moral: The Hebrew Nation’s Deliverance from Annihilation in the days following the Babylonian Captivity... This beautiful Jewish girl of the long ago, though she herself may not have known it, yet played her part in paving the way for the coming of the world’s Saviour. (Halley’s Bible Handbook®1965, p. 237)

That act of bravery and pure unselfish loyalty, at all costs, is still celebrated as a national holiday in Israel today, with the Feast of Purim.

The decree for the Jews’ massacre could not be reversed. But Esther did persuade the king to make another decree authorizing the Jews to resist and slay all who would attack them, which they did. Thus Esther saved the Jewish race from annihilation... This was origin of Feast of Purim, which Jews still observe. (Halley’s Bible Handbook® 1965, p. 238)

All too often, at all levels of life throughout the world, instead of loyalty you find expediency. The attitude of going along to get along. Instead of hanging in there and not budging on what is right and supporting who is right, you find betrayal, flip–flopping and hypocrisy. People you thought you could count on, will ”turn on a dime” so fast you can get whiplash and then they go in exactly the opposite direction from what they previously so loudly proclaimed they stood for!

Nations and governments turn on one another, break treaties and go back on commitments on a frequent basis. Sometimes even going to war! Their word is no good. They act and react according to the situation and do what is best for them at the moment. No sacrifice. No loyalty. No standing by allies and friends whatever the circumstances might be. Only selfishness, which is what disloyalty is.

In the world of politics, loyalty is a joke, with few exceptions. The standard modus operandi is: do whatever you need to do and say whatever is required in order to get elected or gain power and riches. Forget about loyalty and fidelity. It is every man for himself. And just look at the festering decay and corruption brought on by this self–centered approach. Disloyalty breeds strife, upheaval and ultimately failure and collapse. Loyalty produces stability, steadiness and success. It involves forgiveness, extending the benefit of the doubt and cutting the other fellow some slack when it is obviously appropriate and justifiable to do so.

That is especially true among family and friends. You have probably heard the old saying, “Blood is thicker than water.” That means that blood kinfolks always stick together regardless of what happens. Family can be counted on to be there for one another because of an unbreakable bond of love and loyalty. True no longer–in all too many cases! There are still instances of family loyalty. But they are becoming more the exception than the rule. The same holds true for life–long friendships–rare in today’s world. Consider and compare Hadassah’s unshakable loyalty to family and friends at risk of life and limb. Her support and allegiance were heroic!

I had the privilege of growing up on a small farm in East Texas. This was a real opportunity. The experiences and lessons learned in helping out on the farm have stayed with me throughout life.

I was the youngest of nine children in a family (pictured below) that had to pull together through hard, tough times including the Great Depression. Loyalty to one another and our neighbors was a must or everyone would suffer. We looked out for one another, shared food, fun and hard work. Lending a helping hand was a given. If one hurt, we all hurt. If one did well, we all had a part in it. We stuck by one another.

We saw the benefits of loyalty displayed by the animals on the farm. It is built into them instinctively. They know who their master is and they will always be loyal to that individual over everyone else, even when push comes to shove, especially if their master treats them well and is loyal to them. This is the case with horses, dogs, cats, cattle and even chickens running free on the range. When the one in charge shows up, they come running ready for something good to happen—like eating! And that loyalty is typically alive and well until death.

Now it is a fact that some animals will turn on their masters or simply not stick with them. For instance, as an old adage says: “He is any man’s dog who will hunt with him.” That same point applies to the conduct of all too many human beings today—right?

However, there was an example in the news several years ago of a dog that was not just “any man’s dog.” He exemplified the kind of loyalty, even as an animal, that needs to be brought back among people in our day and time. Petty Officer Jon Tumilson was in a group of twenty–two Navy Seals who died when their helicopter was brought down by Afghan militants. Jon’s faithful companion for life, Hawkeye, his loyal dog, followed his casket into the room where his funeral was conducted and laid down beside the casket during the entire service. The hall was packed with people there to pay their respects, including at least 50 Seals. Nothing could sever the bond formed between Jon Tumilson and his faithful dog, Hawkeye—including death. That poignant scene was indelibly burned into my mind in such vivid detail that it will never be forgotten!

Think of how different our nation would be today if this kind of fidelity, commitment and unwavering loyalty was practiced throughout society. Companies, corporations and institutions would be models of stability and robust growth. Employers, owners and supervisors would appreciate and look after the needs and well–being of their workers and employees. Therefore the attrition rate of much–needed, experienced employees would decline. The workforce would stay put, turn out high quality work and at record volumes.

Everyone from top to bottom would benefit from this sustained loyalty in the workplace. The workers who returned this kind of allegiance to their bosses would advance and prosper all the way through to a respected retirement.

Loyalty has a way of growing, spreading and becoming infectious. It can start with one special person deciding to think about others and their needs rather than just thinking about self. Then it starts to multiply into a group of people who emerge with the same attitude and mindset of you can count on me, my word is my bond, I’m here for you, I will never let you down. This genuine loyalty runs up the line to the top and down the line all the way to the bottom.

Jesus Christ said, “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30). They are so unified and loyal to each other that they walk in perfect harmony forever. They extend that same loyalty to their true church and to anyone who fervently desires it and will do what is necessary to receive it. Remember, loyalty runs up the line as well as down the line. They require total loyalty from us in return. If we are “fair–weather Christians,” part–time disciples who give Him a bit of our time and thought now and again; then, we are on our own and will have to navigate through the dangerous minefield of everyday living on our own. Not a comfortable place to be in, not even for one second!

Christ states that He will never leave us nor forsake us (Heb. 13:5–6). However, we must be determined to never leave Him nor forsake Him either.

In order to receive unwavering loyalty, we must give unwavering loyalty. That includes others and that includes God. He is for us only if we are for Him (Rom. 8:31). Turncoats, betrayers and two–timers need not apply. A fickle, unfaithful individual who cannot be trusted will have to repent and undergo a complete change and total turnaround in order to enter into a thriving relationship with their Creator.

But the good news is, that can certainly be done! The question is will it be done, if it is needed. We truly hope and pray that the answer will be a resounding yes!

If Hadassah could practice this high quality of loyalty in her day, then we can do exactly the same in our day. It simply comes down to deciding to live the way of loyalty and meaning it, then looking to God for the strength to follow through on it all the way to the end—and what a happy ending loyalty will produce every time!