Psalm 55:12-23 Relationships: Betrayal is sin.

#betrayal #suffering #forgiveness Psalms 55:12-23 

(Unless otherwise cited all scriptures cited in this devotional are from the King James Version-Public Domain.)

Betrayal Cuts Deep Into One’s Soul.

12 For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him: 13 But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance. 14 We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company.  15 Let death seize upon them, and let them go down quick into hell: for wickedness is in their dwellings, and among them.

Has this ever happened to you? You have placed your trust in a close friend, and then you find out that they have basically been skewering you with a sword – in your back? Well, that is what happened to David here. It has happened to me before. My ministry acquaintance that is all it was at that time, typed some inflammatory things about me. They did not know that I had access to what they were typing. I am not sure why they were all in a secret communications venue. To this day, my friend does not know that I know what they did to me, and they never will! When it occurred, it hurt to the core of my being. I cried for hours. However, we are closer friends now than we were then. 

David trusted his close friend.  If he had been betrayed by an enemy, the emotional pain would not have been as profound. Not only was the person his friend, but it was also his church brother. It was someone with whom he worshipped regularly. David says,” 14 We took sweet counsel together and walked unto the house of God in company.”  The sting of this betrayal was so deep that David just wanted his betrayers to die. 15 Let death seize upon them, and let them go down quick into hell: for wickedness is in their dwellings, and among them.” This is David, the “man after God’s own heart” speaking.

Let me say this. There is nothing more emotionally damaging than finding out that someone whom you love dearly has violated your confidence, has talked trash about you to others, especially if you are the leader of a group of individuals, or has defamed your name.

Let’s look at this from a natural standpoint. Have you ever prepared an area in your garden to grow a specific thing? You removed the patch of grass that was growing there. You added compost and did some soil enrichment to ensure that the seed or plants that you were going to plant their would grow and produce fruit. You watered the seeds and added additional nutrients to the soil. You wait and wait for the seeds to sprout. A seedling appears. You are delighted. You have become one with this little patch. You go out each morning to enjoy the musings of your new natural bond.

Flower appear-you think-I am going to reap some fruit. The plants look healthy and your heart is swelling with pride and joy.  You love this garden. One morning you walk out to your favorite spot to see what is happening and you notice that there are holes in the leaves, all of the fruit bearing flowers have been chopped off and the plant has been chewed down to a 3 in knob! What hapened? You had a close encounter with the other side of nature. Deer came to feast on your new found love. You feel betrayed by nature because you poured yourself into this little garden plot. You labor of love appears to have disappeared. How does that feel?

Well, multiply that by 10,000, and you will know how David felt. But that was only a garden patch. He is talking about the betrayal of a close friend. Someone whom he trusted. A Christian brother who had gutted him emotionally and spiritually. How does he trust him anymore?

 Look at How David describes this betrayal.

20 He hath put forth his hands against such as be at peace with him: he hath broken his covenant. 21 The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords. 

David said his friend talked in one way to him, but he was nothing more than a smooth-talking traitor who was syrupy with David, but behind his back, he was casting stones on him.  We know that the betrayal of Absalom and David’s close friends. The person whom David thought was his friend and confidant was nothing more than a “hypocrite” (Longman 2014, 233). For one to understand the importance of this event in David’s life, we must look back to what this relationship meant during his lifetime. This was a covenantal relationship that David had with his friend. It would be like a treaty that was agreed upon between two countries, and one of the parties broke the agreement. This was not just a social bond that these two men had. It was a spiritual and legal bond based on the culture of the day.

God’s Throne is Old and Will Last Forever.

16 As for me, I will call upon God; and the Lord shall save me. 17 Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice. 18 He hath delivered my soul in peace from the battle that was against me: for there were many with me. 19 God shall hear, and afflict them, even he that abideth of old. Selah. Because they have no changes, therefore they fear not God.

His solution was to trust in God. He was sure that God would deliver him from his emotional pain and deal with the betrayal.  David understood the eternal nature of God and that his love for him will never change. We know that  He will always be there for us. David continues to instruct us on how to handle relational conflict. Revelation 1:8 confirms the eternal nature of the Lord. “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” John 1:1 solidifies the fact that we have a God who does not exist within the confines of our concept of time and space. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” He has and always will exist. Our relational challenges are not new to Him. He has resolved them for others in the past, and He will solve them for us too. Don’t pray for God to destroy your enemies. Just…

22 Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved. 23 But thou, O God, shalt bring them down into the pit of destruction: bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in thee.

When I had my incidence with that person, I went immediately to this psalm. I read it over and over again.  There is actually a hymn with these words and I sung the hymn over and over again as I cried out to God.. You see I had been through a similar traumatic experience with one group of people. Generally, I am an open book, and I am very trusting. My friends told me all the time that I was naive.  Working with people online is another kettle of fish. But in the real world, it is also the same. Betrayal will come to you. You can either allow it to consume you, or you can put your confidence in God. None of us are immune to betrayal. Judas betrayed Jesus. How we handle betrayal shows our spiritual maturity and growth.

The song that goes with this psalm.

Prayer: Lord give me a forgiving spirit when I am betrayed by others. Give me a heart of reliance on you and a heart that recognizes that you alone are God and that there is no hurt that you cannot heal-Selah

 

References

Longman, Templar. Psalms: An Introduction and Commentary. 2014. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press. Accessed July 8, 2019. ProQuest Ebook Central.

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