There were several very noble and courageous sentiments expressed by David and others when King David left Jerusalem during Absalom’s rebellion. One of them came from Ittai, a foreigner (:19) who refused to stay in Jerusalem with the new king, but said in :21, “As the LORD lives and as my lord the king lives, surely wherever my lord the king may be, whether for death or for life, there also your servant will be.” This is the definition of real lordship, and should challenge each of us to be committed to follow Jesus our Lord in the same way.
But the statement he made, “As the LORD lives” is also a significant one.
It is literally “As Yahweh lives.” Yahweh is the personal name of the God of Israel. Ittai, as we saw from :19, was a foreigner. And yet when he swore to follow David wherever he went, he did not swear by the gods of his native country, but by Yahweh, the God of Israel instead. This demonstrates that Ittai had come to know Yahweh during the time he had spent with David — so David’s faith was evidently both demonstrable and contagious.
This also should challenge us as followers of Jesus. Do people who spend time with us hear about our God, and are they coming to know Him because they have been around us — like Ittai did with David? Is our faith in the Lord both demonstrable and contagious enough that others might come to God through us?