But Ittai answered the king, “As the Lord lives, and as my lord the king lives, wherever my lord the king shall be, whether for death or for life, there also will your servant be.” 2 Samuel 15:21
In the midst of Absalom’s rebellion, we see the faithfulness of those who were loyal to God’s anointed king. The king’s servants said to David, “Behold, your servants are ready to do whatever my lord the king decides” (15:15).
But special attention is paid to the loyalty of one man: Ittai the Gittite. A Gittite was an inhabitant of Gath, one of the five Philistine cities. So Ittai was not an Israelite. But Ittai had pledged his loyalty to David along with 600 others, of whom he was the leader, and had followed him from the time David was in Gath years before.
David speaks with great kindness to this man (15:19-20). “Ittai, why don’t you take your men back home? Don’t risk your lives with us here when you don’t need to. Go home and God bless you.” But Ittai answers David, “I am with you and for you, whatever it costs.”
Think about the position David was in as he leaves Jerusalem, and how hard it must have been for those who loved him and followed him. David had lost his home and his job. He was pushed out of the work that God had called him to do. He had lost the affection of his son and the support of his people. He had to flee from his own city to save his own life. Yet Ittai and the others remained faithful to David and they stood by their word.
How might you demonstrate loyalty to the people God has placed in your life?