The devo­tio­nal for 20th May by Peter Mohr is based on 2 Sam 15,21: Do you know Ittai?

A trans­la­ti­on of a devo­tio­nal held by Peter Mohr and based on 2 Samu­el 15, 21:

But Ittai ans­we­red, Your Majes­ty, I swe­ar to you in the LORD’s name that I will always go with you whe­re­ver youm go, even if it means death.” (Good News Bible)

Dear lis­teners! »Do you read in the Bible?« If you do, that’s good, as it gives you the chan­ce to expe­ri­ence direct­ly what God wants to say to you. A second ques­ti­on: Do you know Ittai?” If you don’t, then I would like to intro­du­ce you to this man who belon­ged to the fol­lo­wers of King David.

Let me begin with a few words on the situa­ti­on in which David found hims­elf. The army lea­der Itta had made his way from the Phi­lis­ti­ne city of Gath, which we have to ima­gi­ne in the area of ​​today’s Gaza Strip, to David, brin­ging with him 600 sol­di­ers as well as with women and child­ren. Ittai wan­ted to streng­t­hen David’s army. David, howe­ver, was fle­eing from his son Absa­lom, who had ins­ti­ga­ted a muti­ny against him. In this situa­ti­on David wan­ted to spa­re Ittai and his peop­le, tur­ning down his offer of help:

Why are you going with us? Go back and stay with the new king. You are a for­eig­ner, a refu­gee away from your own coun­try. You have lived here only a short time, so why should I make you wan­der round with me? I don’t even know whe­re I’m going. Go back and take your fel­low-coun­try­men with you — and may the LORD be kind and faith­ful to you.”

But someo­ne who makes their way to a new gene­ral with 600 sol­di­ers and women and child­ren has cer­tain­ly con­si­de­red their actions well befo­re­hand Hence, Ittai replied to King David:

Your Majes­ty, I swe­ar to you in the LORD’s name that I will always go with you whe­re­ver you go, even if it means death.”

Ittai wan­ted to be faith­ful and loy­al until death. His loyal­ty and sup­port should be a help for David in every situa­ti­on. What Ittai said won even more weight when he swo­re in the name of the Lord. Ittai appar­ent­ly belie­ved in the God of Isra­el, even though he had come as a for­eig­ner from a hos­ti­le coun­try whe­re the­re were many other gods and idols. That gave his oath of alle­gi­an­ce a who­le new and deeper credi­bi­li­ty than it could other­wi­se have had com­ing from a sol­dier. That makes him a son of David. Ittai would not have thought that far with his oath. But God had pro­mi­sed David that his thro­ne should last fore­ver (2 Samu­el 7:13). So, with Ittai’s pro­mi­se, we advan­ce from Ittai to David and through God’s pro­mi­se from David to a »SON« of David. Dif­fe­rent peop­le of his time repeated­ly refer­red to Jesus Christ as the” son of David. This was in par­ti­cu­lar the case when Jesus ent­e­red Jeru­sa­lem and the peop­le shou­t­ed: Hosan­na to the son of David. (Mat­thew 21: 9) In Jesus Christ the sov­er­eig­n­ty of David will endu­re fore­ver! And so Ittai, with his time and place-bound oath, was inclu­ded in an eter­nal per­spec­ti­ve!!

But what about you? How do you stand with regard to this son of David?

Ittai and David both died, but Jesus Christ, »David’s son«, is ali­ve. We can encoun­ter Him in many dif­fe­rent ways, in a church ser­vice, in a Bible word, through a car acci­dent that shakes us or some other dif­fi­cult situa­ti­on. We can also encoun­ter Him in a con­ver­sa­ti­on or in a quiet moment.

But the ques­ti­on is: how do we react when we do encoun­ter Jesus Christ in wha­te­ver way? I would like to invi­te you to such an encoun­ter with Jesus Christ, son of David.

Are you preoc­cu­p­ied with all num­ber of other things at the moment? Are you perhaps so afraid of the cri­sis in which we at pre­sent find our­sel­ves that you are no lon­ger able to think clear­ly? Or are you not inte­res­ted in such encoun­te­ring Jesus at all? I have the impres­si­on that the cur­rent situa­ti­on in our coun­try and in the world should inspi­re us to think about a per­so­nal encoun­ter with Jesus Christ. If we do that, we will soon be faced with the ques­ti­on what it means to say I belie­ve in Jesus Christ«?

Is it a ques­ti­on of kee­ping the Ten Com­man­dments? Is it main­ly about doing good works, does it mean that we are no lon­ger allo­wed to enjoy nor­mal things?

Do we some­ti­mes stand in the way of our know­ledge or more gene­ral­ly our mind? Ittai hel­ps us with the ques­ti­on: What does it actual­ly mean to say: I belie­ve in Jesus Christ?” Ittai, the man from the land of the Phi­lis­ti­nes, »belie­ved« so much in David and in his future as a king that he wan­ted to go to him and be with him, even if it meant dying. This, I think, gives us a won­der­ful ans­wer to the ques­ti­on: »What does belie­ving in Jesus Christ actual­ly mean?« Belie­ving in Jesus Christ means con­nec­ting to Him, even more, it means han­ding over your who­le life to Him, unto death. Belie­ving in Jesus Christ means that in good days as in bad times we remain clo­se by Him and aim with our thoughts, words and deeds to do His will.

As Ittai did with David, his gene­ral. Belie­ving in Jesus Christ means that par­ti­cu­lar­ly in grief and suf­fe­ring we stay by His side, ins­tead of with­drawing from Him in disap­point­ment. Ittai is, in the tru­est sen­se of the word, a role model: by bon­d­ing with David he show­ed his belief in him and so gave us an examp­le that our belief in Jesus Christ means bon­d­ing with Him in all situa­tions, in life and in death, and hol­ding on to our trust in Him and love of Him.

Amen