2 Samuel 15:17-22
Verse 19 The king said to Ittai the Gittite, “Why should you come along with us? Go back and stay with King Absalom. You are a foreigner, an exile from your homeland.
David, his family and his men start their journey into exile. Though not being banished from their homeland, they knew if they didn’t leave it would mean they would soon be killed by Absalom and his followers. This would have been a sad but urgent move from the city. For some this was a leaving of the only home they knew, for David it was reminiscent of his time on the run.
Leaving home when you don’t know if you will be able to return is not a light-hearted event. There is something about home which generally brings us a sense of peace and comfort. As David and his expansive group hurried to the border there would have been thoughts about if they would ever see Jerusalem again. There may have been sorrow about those they were leaving behind or maybe even personal belongings which wouldn’t be making the journey with them.
As David paused at the edge of the city to let the others go ahead he seems surprised to find some exiles who have recently joined them among those coming with him. Unlike the Kerethites and Pelethites who were mercenary soldiers of the king, the 600 Gittites were Philistines from Gath who had exiled to Jerusalem from their people only recently.
King David asks their commander, Ittai, why he was wanting to come along. And with words that seem reflective of David’s great grandmother Ruth, the Philistine commander said, “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.” Notice he said. LORD speaking about the God of Israel. This Philistine was announcing the commitment to the God of Israel by him and the other Philistines with him. They were in essence denouncing their gods!
The king was seeing the hand of the Lord upon him even in this time where his heart was likely breaking. God was showing him His plans had not changed. David was seeing he was still God’s choice to be over His people. And though David may not have understood it then, God was revealing His plan of election by calling these Gentiles out among His chosen people. God had a plan in saving these Philistines.
Making It Personal
When have you felt driven out? Have you been able to find a group of people to join in with? Do you know someone who may need a place to belong that you could offer welcome to?
Making It Personal Kids
Have you ever felt push out of a group? Have you ever pushed someone else out of a group you are in? Do you know anyone who needs a circle of friends that you could invite to join yours?
Father, even in the hard and sad times You are guiding and guarding us. Give us the wisdom to follow You even when it hurts and the eyes to see who You desire for us to keep in our circle of influence. In Jesus’ name, amen.