“And Ittai answered the king and said, ‘As the Lord lives, and as my lord the king lives, surely in whatever place my lord the king shall be, whether in death or life, even there also your servant will be.’”
— 2 Samuel 15:21
Have you ever been betrayed by a friend? Have you experienced the heartache of disloyalty? In our mobile society where divorce, the breakdown of families, corporate mergers, and hostile takeovers are commonplace, loyalty is sometimes a rare quality. Often it seems that everybody’s out for “number one.” Yet loyalty is one of the most fragrant and lovely of all the flowers that grow in the garden of the soul. Does it grow in your soul?
We can learn about loyalty from an obscure Bible character, Ittai the Gittite. When David’s rebellious son, Absalom, tried to steal the throne from his father, forcing David into temporary exile, many within the kingdom went over to Absalom’s side. Others remained loyal to David and fled with him. When David saw Ittai the Gittite among those who had followed him, David warned Ittai to turn back lest he be killed. But Ittai said that he would follow David to help him, even if it meant death.
Ittai was a tremendously loyal person. He was willing to sacrifice his life to be in the presence of the one who held his affections. Something about David captured Ittai’s heart. Despite David’s one great fall, he had a great, generous, and noble spirit that attracted so many. Ittai was drawn to him and attached his heart to him, pledging his loyalty even to the point of death.
We, too, have Someone to whom we must remain loyal, Someone of great, generous, and noble spirit—our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He is worthy of our attaching our hearts to Him. As we pledge our loyalty to Christ, we could change the world.