2 Samuel 15:21
“As surely as the Lord lives, and as my lord the king lives, wherever my lord the king may be, whether it means life or death, there will your servant be.”
I have a new hero – Ittai. I am not even 100% sure how to pronounce his name but I certainly want to imitate his character. When David was fleeing Jerusalem and his rebellious son, Absalom, Ittai and his 600 men accompanied him. But Ittai was a foreigner from Gath. He had no reason to be loyal to David.
When I lived in Guatemala there was a coup. The deposed president, who was a committed Christian and actually attended our church, had to flee the country (Yes, the US was involved and its actions were disappointing when viewed from a Guatemalan perspective.)
Imagine uprooting my family (and 600 other families!) to follow this man into exile, defeat, not knowing what the future held for him. What a friend that would take! A man willing to risk it all, lose it all, for a friend.
David would not ask this of a man and encouraged Ittai to go back with David’s blessings. But look how Ittai responded.
“…wherever my lord the king may be, whether it means life or death, there will your servant be.”
Wow! When I read that, I immediately thought, “Lord, I want that to be my attitude toward You. I also want to be a friend like that.”
A friend who will stick with you in “life or death” is a rare find and, of course, one never really knows the depth of the friendship until it is tested by “death”.
“Lord, may I follow You ‘whether it means life or death’ and may I be a man of courage and loyalty toward others as Ittai was … as You are.”
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.