Many years ago, I left my former pathology group to set up my own company. In spite of my best efforts to avoid any conflict and keep relations cordial, strife soon appeared. The pace of change was breathtaking. Within days, people whom I considered close colleagues and allies turned hostile. Even people who had a few years earlier, invited me to their weddings, now conspired against me. It was a painful experience but not completely unexpected. It was also illuminating.
For the first time in fifteen years, now I knew who my true friends and supporters were.
When King David was betrayed by a coup orchestrated by his son, Absalom, he was forced to flee Jerusalem. He needed to carefully select those who were loyal to accompany him. David had conquered many kings and foreign lands to establish the Kingdom of Israel and in the process, created many enemies. As he soon discovered, there were many sycophants within his inner circle who only gave lip service to him. The moment they saw that he was in a weakened state, they struck and allied themselves with his enemies. But a few unlikely loyal supporters remained. Ittai was a military commander from Gath, part of the Philistines whom David conquered. Although David had elevated his status to serve alongside his own generals, he did not expect him to join his side as he fled.
Then the king turned and said to Ittai, a leader of the men from Gath, “Why are you coming with us? Go on back to King Absalom, for you are a guest in Israel, a foreigner in exile. You arrived only recently, and should I force you today to wander with us? I don’t even know where we will go. Go on back and take your kinsmen with you, and may the LORD show you his unfailing love and faithfulness.”
2 Samuel 15:19-20 (NLT)
Ittai’s response is a breath of fresh air arising from the foul odors of disloyal subjects.
But Ittai said to the king, “I vow by the LORD and by your own life that I will go wherever my lord the king goes, no matter what happens—whether it means life or death.”
2 Samuel 15:21 (NLT)
I was also fortunate to find a few supporters like Ittai amongst my former colleagues. They remain close confidants to this day and I will never forget their loyalty to me, in spite of the hostile actions of their colleagues. Like David, many people abandoned me in a short period of time but God opened the door to reveal who were my Ittais. Now, I knew and am grateful to God that He revealed the truth to me.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.