Sermon Summary: June 10, 2018
“FATHER KNOWS WHAT IS BEST: LESSONS IN LOYALTY”
2 Samuel 15:13-23
There are some people in this world who sincerely believe that every man has a price. Every man can be bought if the price is right. Anyone can be loyal, when the rewards are plentiful; it is guaranteed; and it’s not difficult. What is the price for your loyalty?
Ittai had nothing to gain by staying loyal to David. He had everything to lose. David was not in any position to promise any rewards – only hardship. But Ittai proved that he was not an opportunist and he was rewarded later for his outstanding loyalty although he was not expecting it. He was made commander of one-third of David’s troops in a fight against Absalom, David’s son.
It was probably the darkest moment in David’s life. In these dark moments, the outstanding loyalty of Ittai shone as a bright light of hope in the gloomy sky of despair. What a refreshing loyalty. It was totally unexpected. David’s own flesh and blood was willing to kill him; whereas, here a paid servant was willing to die for him.
Ittai, with a double oath and most solemnly swore undying loyalty. He did not say, “Well, David, at some point of time, I will think about it.” But he displayed a self-sacrificing loyalty to share David’s fate, good or bad. He may even have died in the battle with Absalom because he was never mentioned again.
Looking back, 30-plus years ago, I had no idea that I would face the test, challenges, and trials of leadership like the ones that I’ve gone through. This is the lesson my father, the late Bishop U. S. King, Sr., taught me: Crisis is a God-given opportunity for us to demonstrate the virtue of extraordinary loyalty. When we choose to remain loyal, even when there is no allegiance owed, there are no benefits promised and when there are no conditions attached.
You know who your true friends really are when you are down, in a crisis. They are those who would remain loyal to you when they owe you nothing. They are those who can receive no benefit from you. They are those who attach no conditions. These are not fair weather friends. When you have such friends, you are truly rich. — USK