Read Psalm 55:1-23
Ouch! If you were attentive to David’s words in verses 12-14, you can imagine the pain. Or, maybe, you don’t have to imagine it. Perhaps you have felt it. It is possible that you, too, have been betrayed by your equal, a companion, or a familiar friend. You may have even been stabbed in the back by a trusted family member or a fellow Christian with whom you have served and/or worshiped. The pain of that is unthinkable.
David understands your experience. Most people place the writing of this Psalm at the time of his own real life experiences of betrayal by either Absalom or Ahithophel in 2 Samuel 15-18. Absalom, you see, was King David’s very own son. And yet, Absalom was seeking to take the kingdom from his father’s hands. Ahithophel, meanwhile, had been one of the king’s trusted counselors. In spite of their long-standing relationship, Ahithophel changed his allegiance and joined ranks with Absalom. Together, the two of them sought to gain national support, muster an army, and even lay plans for an attack. David’s pain must have been deep.
So what do you do when you are betrayed by someone close to you? The New Testament tells us to make efforts to address the sin, to seek reconciliation, and to pursue peace. (See Matt. 18:15-18; Rom. 12:14-21.) And, here in the Old Testament, we learn from David the importance of pouring out our heart to God in prayer.
David had been pouring out his pain to the Lord throughout the day (evening, morning, and noon v. 17). He took encouragement in knowing that God heard his cry (vv. 17, 19), that the Father would redeem him and keep him safe (v. 18), and that God would rescue and save him (vv. 16, 18).
Thankfully, David’s confidence is not something you and I can only wish for. In the midst of his own pain, he made an appeal to all of us who have experienced that kind of pain in relationships. He says this:
“Cast your cares on the Lord
and he will sustain you;
he will never let
the righteous be shaken” (v. 22)”
Do you need to do some casting today?