David Flees Jerusalem
13 Then a messenger came to David, saying, “The hearts of the people of Israel are [e]with Absalom.” 14 So David said to all his servants who were with him in Jerusalem, “Arise and let’s flee, for otherwise none of us will escape from Absalom. Go quickly, or he will hurry and overtake us, and bring disaster on us and strike the city with the edge of the sword.” 15 Then the king’s servants said to the king, “Behold, your servants will do whatever my lord the king chooses.” 16 So the king left, and all his household [f]with him; but the king left ten concubines behind to take care of the house. 17 The king left, and all the people [g]with him, and they stopped at the last house. 18 Now all of his servants passed by beside him, and all the Cherethites, all the Pelethites, and all the Gittites, six hundred men who had come [h]with him from Gath, passed by before the king.
19 Then the king said to Ittai the Gittite, “Why should you go with us too? Return and stay with [i]your king, since you are a foreigner and an exile as well; return to your own place. 20 You came only yesterday, so should I make you wander with us today, while I go wherever I go? Return and take your brothers back; mercy and [j]truth be with you.” 21 But Ittai answered the king and said, “As the Lord lives, and as my lord the king lives, wherever my lord the king may be, whether for death or for life, there assuredly shall your servant be!” 22 Then David said to Ittai, “Go and cross over the brook Kidron.” So Ittai the Gittite crossed over with all his men and all the [k]little ones who were with him. 23 While all the country was weeping with a loud voice, all the people were crossing over. The king was also crossing over the brook Kidron, and all the people were crossing over toward the way of the wilderness.
And off to the wilderness David goes again, but interestingly all the men who came with him from Gath went out with him again.
These men had been together through thick and thin, and though they were once outcasts and on the run, they now had become like family. So much that if the king was going, they were going too.
To be fair, there was no telling what Absalom might have done if they remained, but their loyalty compelled them to go with David and help him in any way they could.
Are you that kind of friend, that sticks through the tough times? It isn’t easy, but if you want folks to be their in your time of need, it’s important to do the same for your friends. Through it all, Jesus is there with us and will give us the strength, wisdom, and compassion we need to be faithful friends (and family).