2 Samuel 15:19-21—Then said the king to Ittai the Gittite, Wherefore goest thou also with us? return to thy place, and abide with the king: for thou art a stranger, and also an exile. Whereas thou camest but yesterday, should I this day make thee go up and down with us? seeing I go whither I may, return thou, and take back thy brethren: mercy and truth be with thee. And Ittai answered the king, and said, As the LORD liveth, and as my lord the king liveth, surely in what place my lord the king shall be, whether in death or life, even there also will thy servant be.
Absalom returned his father David’s mercy with a coup. David got wind of the revolt and fled with those who were loyal to him. David knew it would be tough, so in the generosity of his spirit, he told the foreigner, Ittai, to stay. Ittai had only recently come to Jerusalem as an exile from his own land. Instead of taking the easy way out, Ittai chose the tough road with David. Ittai’s response shows that David’s good spirit must have won his heart. Ittai was probably exiled because of his political savy and not going along with those who led his own country. He could see David was an honest and sincere king. He chose to stay by David’s side regardless of the cost. It doesn’t take long to develop strong friendships if you are a genuinely loving person. The world is looking for sincere people who will be honest, people that will risk their position to be kind. This is how we influence people with the Gospel. They see our sincerity, align themselves with us, and we get to tell them why we live like we do. In time, our God becomes their choice.