What do you do when a friend betrays you? Psalm 55 tells us. Is it wrong to ask God to listen to your prayers? If so (and it is not), David is in big trouble (and he is not). Psalm 55 is another example of David asking the Lord for deliverance from his enemy. Although we don’t know who it is this time, it seems a close friend has betrayed him (vv. 13-14, 20-21). While the wounds of a friend can be exactly trusted (Proverbs 27:6), it seems this is much more than tough love from a trusted ally. When a friend betrays you, it hurts! One must expect enemies to do this as you know they are out to get you. However, a friend who wounds you with disloyalty hurts more profound than any adversary. Psalm 55 gives us a glimpse into the aching heart of David as a friend has deeply wounded him. It teaches us how we should respond when this happens to us.
First, like any other attack or hurt, we need the Lord. David called out to the Lord (v. 1), asked Him for help with his thoughts (v. 2) and their actions (v. 3). His heart is wounded deeply (v. 4), as anyone would be in the betrayal of a close friend. He is full of anxiety (v. 5), probably uncertain who He can trust. He wants to run away – really fly away (vv. 6-7) and escape the inner and outer torture he’s enduring. Second, David asks the Lord to confuse his enemy (v. 9). Perhaps this approach would cause them to forget about harming David as he is facing their cruelty day and night (v. 10) everywhere he goes (v. 11).
David could endure it if this were a true enemy (v. 12). He had dealt with many of them before in his position of serving the Lord. But this was a “companion” and “close friend with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship . . . at the house of God” (vv. 13-14). This companion was someone he spent a lot of time with, even at church! In frustration, he asks God to take their lives (v. 15). He knows this isn’t the answer and that God’s intervention is best (vv. 16-18). This so-called friend has attacked his covenant friend with two-faced words (v. 20-21). David knew his ultimate step was to “cast cares on the Lord and He will sustain you. He will never let the righteous fall” (v. 22). His final words comforted his anxiety and hurt, “But as for me, I trust in You.” When our enemies attack, we must trust the Lord. When our friends turn, we must do the same.
- Have you trusted the Lord when your friends have turned against you?
- Have you, in turn, turned on them?
- Are you praying for them and allowing the Lord to vindicate you?
- Are you completely innocent in this matter?
Lord, help me trust You when those I thought were for me go against me. Help me remember You are a friend that sticks closer than a brother. May I not retaliate but be at peace. Turn their heart back to you and consequently turn their hearts back to me. Restore our friendship. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Stephen and his wife Haley have called Arkansas home all of their lives. Stephen has served in several ministry roles over the last 25 years and as a lead pastor for the last 8 years. Stephen attended Williams Baptist College and earned a BA in Biblical Studies from Ouachita Baptist University, an MA, MDiv, and DMin in Christian Leadership and Pastoral Ministries from Liberty University. When not pastoring, Stephen enjoys running, cycling, reading, writing, camping, fishing, and spending time with his family.