BETRAYED BY A FRIEND
Lord, thank You for just being there for me.
Read PSALM 55
For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A maskil[b] of David.
1 Listen to my prayer, O God,
do not ignore my plea;
2 hear me and answer me.
My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught
3 because of what my enemy is saying,
because of the threats of the wicked;
for they bring down suffering on me
and assail me in their anger.
4 My heart is in anguish within me;
the terrors of death have fallen on me.
5 Fear and trembling have beset me;
horror has overwhelmed me.
6 I said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove!
I would fly away and be at rest.
7 I would flee far away
and stay in the desert;[c]
8 I would hurry to my place of shelter,
far from the tempest and storm.”
9 Lord, confuse the wicked, confound their words,
for I see violence and strife in the city.
10 Day and night they prowl about on its walls;
malice and abuse are within it.
11 Destructive forces are at work in the city;
threats and lies never leave its streets.
12 If an enemy were insulting me,
I could endure it;
if a foe were rising against me,
I could hide.
13 But it is you, a man like myself,
my companion, my close friend,
14 with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship
at the house of God,
as we walked about
among the worshipers.
15 Let death take my enemies by surprise;
let them go down alive to the realm of the dead,
for evil finds lodging among them.
16 As for me, I call to God,
and the Lord saves me.
17 Evening, morning and noon
I cry out in distress,
and he hears my voice.
18 He rescues me unharmed
from the battle waged against me,
even though many oppose me.
19 God, who is enthroned from of old,
who does not change—
he will hear them and humble them,
because they have no fear of God.
20 My companion attacks his friends;
he violates his covenant.
21 His talk is smooth as butter,
yet war is in his heart;
his words are more soothing than oil,
yet they are drawn swords.
22 Cast your cares on the Lord
and he will sustain you;
he will never let
the righteous be shaken.
23 But you, God, will bring down the wicked
into the pit of decay;
the bloodthirsty and deceitful
will not live out half their days.
But as for me, I trust in you.
a Psalm 55:1 In Hebrew texts 55:1-23 is numbered 55:2-24.
b Psalm 55:1 Title: Probably a literary or musical term
c Psalm 55:7 The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here and in the middle of verse 19.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28). Thank You, Jesus, for Your invitation. This is good news!
The movement in this psalm is indicated by “I said” (6), “I call” (16) and “I trust” (23) (J. A. Motyer, “Psalms,” in D. A. Carson et al., eds., New Bible Commentary, 520). First, David says to himself that he would like to flee from all the trouble he faces. Then, he calls upon the Lord, that is, he goes to God with all his anxiety and anguish. Finally, after he has cast his burdens on the Lord, he trusts in him. Often, we too look first at a troubling situation from a human perspective before taking it to the Lord in prayer and trusting him. Let us be more quick to approach him.
In this psalm, David faces trouble and opposition, not from foreign enemies but from within the city of Jerusalem itself (9–11). The real trouble, however, is still closer to home. More disturbing and painful than the insults or threats from enemies is the betrayal by a close friend with whom David once had intimate fellowship (12–14,20,21). David’s experience foreshadows that of Jesus’ by his close friend (Judas). This is why we can go to Jesus with all our burdens: he has experienced anguish, frustration and temptation and can empathize with our situation (Heb. 4:15,16).
Faced with extreme anguish, the psalmist considers fleeing from it all (4–8). When threatened, people instinctively choose fight or flight, but the better option is often simply to face the situation. Likewise, David eventually decides to face the situation by going to God in prayer and pouring out his distress (16–19). David’s exhortation to cast one’s cares on the Lord (22) is echoed by Peter in his first letter (1 Pet. 5:7), adding that we can do so because he cares.
If you are burdened by sin, go to Jesus, who has taken your sins upon himself so you can go free. If you are burdened by anxiety, accept Jesus’ invitation.
Lord, because we must interact with those around us all our lives, disappointment in others abounds. Thank You for the strength to make it through these tough times.