Tempted to Run – Part 2: Betrayed!
“If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it…” (Psalm 55:12 NIV)
David’s soul was in anguish. He was in fear for his life, and he was pouring out his heart to God. What was compounding his suffering, rendering it doubly painful, was the fact that it was caused by someone close to him. It’s bad enough when someone is in a bad situation while the people around them are fussing, accusing, lying, trying to hurt them. The Psalmist, nonetheless, said that he would have been able to endure it if it had been a question of some foe that had come against him – if it had been a Philistine, or another enemy. Then came his plaintive cry: “But it is you… my companion, my close friend, with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship at the house of God…” It was a guy with whom he used to worship who had turned his arrows on him! So here we see the double pressure that was on the Psalmist: he was tormented, and the source of his torment was someone from whom he would have never expected such an attack.
God inspired this Psalm because he knows that this is sometimes what we go through in life. David was not only surrounded by difficulty; he had been stabbed in the back by somebody close to him. Has that ever happened to you? Have you ever had somebody in your own family or your own compatriot or a friend—someone you trusted in—turn on you for no reason? That hurts more than anything else. If it were someone who hated God and hated you because you serve God, perhaps you could understand it. But when a friend or a loved one betrays you, when a person who once professed love and affection for you now expresses disdain and even hatred, it cuts to the core. That would tempt anyone to run away. Feeling he was at the end of his rope, David poured out his heart to God, and so can we.
We can call on Jesus when we’re hurting this way, because Jesus knows what it feels like to be betrayed by a friend. He knows what it feels like to be abandoned in an hour of need. Moreover, he has promised never to leave us nor forsake us.
To be continued…