Practical Christianity Part 6
August 11, 2019

Practical Christianity Part 6

Passage: 2 Samuel 15:13-23
Service Type:

This is the summary of the sermon that was shared Sunday, August 11, 2019. It was part 6 in a summer series titled “Practical Christianity Learned From Unsung Heroes”. This particular message was titled, ‘Ittai – The Loyalty Factor’. The key verse was 2 Samuel 15:13-23. Other important verses were 1 Corinthians 10:11; Romans 15:4; 2 Timothy 2:13, 3:16-17; Acts 2:42; 2 Corinthians 6:14; Joshua 24:14-15; Deuteronomy 7:9; Ruth 1:16; Mark 8:34-35; 1 Peter 4:11; and Matthew 28:20.

In brief: The Christian faith – although filled with amazing and life-transforming – is also a very practical faith. It is a faith that moves us towards sanctification and good works; and it also should move us away from a life (which is really no life) in the flesh.

We’re taking a summer break from Romans and looking at a variety of little-known characters from both the Old and New Testament, who are examples to us of believers who trusted the Lord and exhibited aspects of a practical Christianity. Our sight should always be on Jesus and not the ‘unsung hero’, but these are real people who stood for righteousness and show us that by trusting Christ we can live a practical Christian life that can impact the world with the Gospel.

In this sixth installment, we examined the little known story of Ittai the Gittite, a Philistine who was apparently assigned to look after David when he was in exile from Jerusalem during the reign of King Saul. At this point, King David was leaving Jerusalem because of the mutiny started by his own son Absalom. David chose to leave so that the city and its people would not be annihilated. As David was leaving, Ittai and his 600 men were coming into Jerusalem. David encouraged him to stay with Absalom or go home, rather than following David out into the unknown wilderness or an unknown amount of time.

Ittai did not want to leave King David’s side. He pleaded with David to allow him and his men (and their families) to go with David into the unknown wilderness, and David relented and allowed them to go with them. This is a beautiful picture of loyalty. Loyalty is defined in a number of related ways: Giving or showing firm and constant support or allegiance to a person or institution. “Even though his favorite team has playing poorly, he remained loyal to them.” It also means faithful in allegiance to one's lawful sovereign or government: “The soldier stood his ground because he was loyal to his king.” And among other things, loyal also means faithful to a cause, ideal, custom, institution or product: “Despite what his neighbors said, Joe was a loyal churchgoer.” Or, “Even if it was easier and maybe less expensive to by the product online, Susan was going to remain loyal to the mom and pop store down the street.”

As we are maturing as Christians – and as our faith develops in ever-increasing practical ways – the loyalty – the faithfulness – we show to our loved ones; our church; and most importantly, towards the Lord, ought to be a shining example of the love and grace of the Lord God within us.

As Christians we do have to be careful that we aren’t abused with the issue of loyalty. There is such a thing as ‘misplaced loyalty’ and this is when we live by an unwritten ‘code of honor’ because of a group, fraternity, institution, or individual, and we are made to ‘promise’ to remain loyal by not sharing any immoral, criminal or sinful behavior done by the group. There is a higher code of honor that we are to live by – the Word of the Lord. So, the time may come when we have to stand up for what is right, which may cost us our job or friends, but the Lord will honor us when we honor Him and His Word.