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Psalms

Psalm 55 13 Commentary / 14 Meaning

And then something really interesting happens in this psalm. And it’s where we finally come to understand that David was betrayed by one of his close friends. And what’s very interesting is that we see David do something that’s fairly unusual in the book of Psalms. Remember that Psalms are really just prayers. And when we pray, we’re typically speaking to whom? We’re speaking to the Lord.

But in verses 12-14, David is certainly still praying to the Lord. But we actually see him turn aside as it were and directly address the person who betrayed him and who was the human agent responsible for all his troubles.

And so, it’s an interesting lesson in prayer to know that one acceptable activity in prayer is to directly address – at least in your own heart – the one whom you believe to be responsible for your troubles. That’s what David does in verses 12-14.

12 {For/Indeed} it {was/is} not an enemy {that reproached/who reproaches/who insults} me;
{then/or else} I could {have borne/bear/endure} it:

{neither was it he that hated/nor is it one who hates/it is not one who hates} me {that did magnify himself against/who has exalted himself against/who arrogantly taunts} me;
{then/or else} I {would/could} {have hid/hide} myself from him:

13 But it {was/is} thou, a man {mine equal/like me/like myself},
my {guide/companion/close friend}, {and mine acquaintance/and my familiar friend/in whom I confided}.

14 {We took/With whom I once enjoyed} {sweet counsel/sweet fellowship/personal thoughts} {together/with each other},
and walked {unto/in/at} {the house of God/God’s temple} {in company/in the throng/among the crowd/with the throng}.

So, all of these troubles were kicked-off by the betrayal of this one man – David’s former friend.

And no doubt as you’ve experienced betrayal in this life you’ve felt similarly to what David expresses – when enemies attack you, that’s one thing. You’re ready for that because that’s what you expect from them. You still don’t like their treatment – but it’s easier to handle.

But when a friend does you wrong – you’re not expecting it at all. And for that reason, people might almost act surprised that you’re taking things so personally and poorly.

I remember one case of betrayal in my life in which someone whom I looked at previously as something of a fatherly type ended up intentionally humiliating me publicly. And the response of this man’s son was something like, “Boy, if people treated me at work the way that my dad treated you, I would let them pay me less!” His point was that the way his father treated me was not as bad as the way he was treated by his coworkers. The only problem with that logic is that his father claimed to be a Christian and his coworkers didn’t. Betrayal by supposed believers is very painful – it’s much harder to deal with than ill-treatment at the hands of people who are self-avowed atheists.

So, David does here – and you and I can – speak to our betrayer as if he were listening – as we’re praying to the Lord about being betrayed.

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