“So, then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.” Galatians 3:9
It was King David who cried out, “Help, Lord; for the godly man ceases; for the faithful fail from among the children of men.” (Ps. 12:1). A generation later, his son Solomon desperately proclaimed: “But a faithful man who can find?” (Prov. 20:6). And, when the Lord was instructing His disciples about future events, He gave this ominous prediction: “…Nevertheless, when the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8). Faithfulness among God’s people has always been a problem—from before the time of David to the present day and will continue even until the time that the Lord returns to set up His kingdom. Faithfulness to God is hard to find! The amazing thing is that despite being reminded in Scripture and song of these words: “great is thy faithfulness” (Lam. 3:23), that He is “faithful and just” and “a faithful Creator” (1 Pet. 4:19) somehow, we find it hard to reciprocate.
The Example of Enoch, Joseph, and Daniel
Faithfulness to God is indeed a challenge, but certainly not impossible to attain. After all, the Lord has given us His promises and His power to live for Him. Some might say that it is too hard to maintain a vital testimony for the Lord in these dark days. But the example of Enoch who was faithful to the Lord should encourage us to think differently. He had a testimony that he pleased God despite the conditions that existed in his day. Joseph is another example of someone who was faithful to the Lord despite all that happened to him. Hated by his brethren, he was also tempted in private by Potiphar’s wife, and then thrown in prison by false accusation. From a human standpoint, Joseph could have easily “thrown in the towel.” But instead, he stayed faithful to the Lord without bitterness or resentment. Daniel was another hero of the faith who lived faithfully despite his surroundings. Though he lived in a foreign land, when he was commanded to partake of the king’s menu, he stood up for his convictions and did not yield to the prevailing culture. Yet, he still rose to the top but did so with a clear conscience before God. These and others were true heroes of the faith, who embraced the promises, and by their example challenge us to do better in our walk and witness.
The Example of Naboth
When it comes to commitment to the Lord, my mind always goes to the shining example of Naboth the Jezreelite, whose dedication to the Lord is recorded for us in 1 Kings 21. Owning a vineyard next to the palace of wicked King Ahab, he was approached by him to exchange it for a better vineyard (v. 2) or receive its value in money. What an opportunity, what a deal! It would mean a better piece of property than the one he had or payment from the king himself. Imagine how that would have sounded to his family in years to come! But Naboth did not budge or negotiate a deal. He knew the law, that his inheritance should not change hands (Lev. 25:23; Num. 36:7). True to his convictions, he stood firm. If we were writing the story, we would make it a happy ending—rewarding the main character with riches and honor in abundance. But that is not how God’s Word has it. Instead, Ahab who sulked after his offer was rejected, was approached by his wife Jezebel, a person even more wicked than he. She concocted a plan to frame faithful Naboth, all under the guise of religious formality (v. 5–16; esp. 9). Unfortunately, the pattern of hypocrisy, manipulation, forgery, and the rest of the actions that comprised this charade are considered legitimate tools in the arsenal of those who do not fear the Lord. The result is that Naboth is murdered based on false testimony. Ahab’s attempt to obtain Naboth’s property, and Jezebel’s actions that secured it, are met by God’s answer to address this farce. But Heaven is not silent in these matters and divine retribution is surely in store for the parties involved for such a miscarriage of justice. It was the task given to Elijah, God’s man for the moment who did not mince words but told it like it was. He was not worried about being accused of “hate speech”! Ahab would suffer the consequences for his actions and so would Jezebel, even more so (1 Kings 22) as will everyone whose actions are contrary to God’s Word.
Where is this all leading? Well, here it is—what is our example in the world that continues to reject the Lord and His Word? Are we willing to stand firm in our witness for Christ or will we shift our stance? Will we set our face as a flint and stay the course, saying in the words of the psalmist: “My heart is fixed O God; my heart is fixed” (Ps. 57:7) or will we cave in to the culture?
Let us be sure that we do not cast away our confidence which has great reward (in God’s time), and let us remain unmoved in our faithfulness to the Lord.