A Season of Psalms - Psalm 55:12-13, 16-17, 20
Psalm 55: 12-13, 16-17, 20
“For it is not an enemy who taunts me—then I could bear it; it is not an adversary who deals insolently with me—then I could hide from him. But it is you, a man, my equal, my companion, my familiar friend…But I call to God, and the Lord will save me. Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he hears my voice…My companion stretched out his hand against his friends; he violated his covenant.”
English Standard Version (ESV)
Betrayal is a gross violation of trust and one of the most devastating forms of pain that can be inflicted on a human being. I’ve been watching a series on PBS called Poldark, the story of a British soldier who returns to Cornwall, England after the Revolutionary War only to find that his world has changed: his father is dead, his girlfriend is engaged to another man, and he has no inheritance or future in Cornwall to speak of. Worse yet, betrayal lies at every corner, from friends as well as family. Betrayal erodes his trust in them for a time, but he soon discovers that nobody is beyond forgiveness .
David was no stranger to betrayal. He was betrayed by both friends and family alike. His son Absalom refused to accept David’s kingship and instituted a revolt. King Saul sought to kill David at every opportunity because the favor of the Lord rested on him. His wife Michal despised him in her heart. Betrayal can wound us deeply as it did David; how do we respond? First, cry out to King Jesus who loves us, pursues us, who understands the reality of betrayal when his closest companions either deserted him or sold him out for money. In verse 16, David says, “But I call to God, and the Lord will save me.” Second, and perhaps hardest, forgive the betrayer. When we choose to forgive, we give the betrayer a gift—freedom from personal retaliation. In so doing, we give ourselves the gift of living a grudge-free life. Trading bitterness and anger for the love of God gives us life more abundantly.
Jesus said in Matthew 5:44 to “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.” Without question, it’s enormously difficult to forgive someone who has betrayed our trust. Anything is possible with God. Only with the help of His Spirit can we love and pray for those who do us harm. Who has betrayed you? Pray for them today.
Further Reading: Matthew 26:47-56; Colossians 3:12-17
Pray with me: Father, when we’ve been wounded deeply, may the peace of Christ rule in our hearts. Let us extend compassion and forgiveness and grace, as You have extended the same to us. This is our prayer in Jesus’ name, Amen.