I was reading through 2 Samuel and noticed a name I had never paid much attention to: Ittai. Don’t recognize the name either? Let’s talk about who he was.
Ittai was from Gath, a Philistine city. Another Philistine you’d recognize from the Bible is Goliath, the giant David killed with a slingshot and a stone. So, at first glance, you may assume Ittai was also David’s enemy. However, he had pledged allegiance to King David.
We first meet Ittai in 2 Samuel 15, when David is fleeing from his own kingdom. His son, Absalom, had turned many people against him and was taking over the city.
As David and his household is fleeing, he says to Ittai, “Why are you also going with us? Go back and stay with the new king since you’re both a foreigner and an exile from your homeland. Besides you only arrived yesterday; should I make you wander around with us today while I go wherever I can go? Go back and take your brothers with you. May the Lord show you kindness and faithfulness.” (Verses 19-20).
David knew he’d be followed and persecuted, so he offered an escape for Ittai. But Ittai responded, “As the Lord lives and as my lord the king lives, wherever my lord the king is, whether it means life or death, your servant will be there!” (Verse 21).
Ittai was loyal to David, even if it meant his own demise. He did not choose the easy path, but one of integrity and friendship.
Later, in in chapter 18, we see Ittai leading a group of troops to reclaim the kingdom for David. His faithfulness is rewarded, and he was trusted to lead a large group of soldiers to battle. They were victorious in that battle, and the kingdom was restored to David.
The road we walk with God is not always easy. It is not always going to be luxurious. But we have to make the choice to be loyal anyway. When the road is rough, when the circumstances are not ideal, when things become painful and difficult, we have to be willing to choose God over the easy way out.
In the end, God will reward our faithfulness. He will overcome all of our adversaries and we will be victorious right alongside Him.
Romans 8:18 says “I [the apostle Paul] consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”
While being faithful may not be easy in the here and now, it will be worth it when all is said and done.