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March 25, 2014

THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 25 March 2014

Perhaps no greater pain can affect one’s emotions as betrayal by a best friend or confidant. The potential for emotional damage is much greater when an intimate friend acts treacherously, than if a declared adversary instigated the perfidy. Psalm 55 is a lament in response to betrayal by a friend. The psalm is described as a “maskil of David,” which is a Hebrew word (derived from the Hiphil participle of sākal), meaning “to enlighten” or “one who makes (another) understand, or become wise.” Psalm 55 is poetic instruction (teaching) regarding how to respond when one experiences disloyalty.

A former “companion” and “familiar friend” had betrayed David (Ps 55:13). In response to the treachery, David prayed to God, expressing personal and profound anguish (vv. 1-8), in addition to righteous anger (vv. 9-15). David was certain that God would remedy the situation (vv. 16-23).

With a profound sense of urgency, David pleaded, “Give ear to my prayer, O God” (v. 1). David was distressed “because of the voice of the enemy” (v. 3; cf. 2 Sam 15—18). Rebels brought “trouble” upon David, and “in anger” bore “a grudge” against him (Ps 55:3). David entire inner being (his “heart”) was “in anguish” (v. 4). He used graphic language to describe the intensity of his emotions (vv. 4-8). David longed for “wings like a dove” to allow him to “fly away and be at rest,” even if it was in the “wilderness.” Longing for relief, David confessed, “I would hasten to my place of refuge,” which would be a shelter far removed from corrupt and scheming people.

Motivated by righteous anger (vv. 9-15), David prayed that God would “confuse” the schemes of his antagonists. The petition was motivated by a desire for the common good because David witnessed “the violence and strife in the city” that was caused by his enemies. If “an enemy” reproached David, he “could bear it;” however, he was betrayed by a “companion,” who was a “familiar friend,” one with whom he enjoyed “sweet fellowship . . . in the house of God” (vv. 12-14).

Although there were increasing threats upon David, he expressed confidence that the Lord heard his supplication and would save him (v. 16). The Lord would “redeem” David “in peace from the battle” raging against him by his former friend and also from those who were duped into following this betrayer. David’s peace came from God who hears and answers the pleas of his people. David’s hope was in “the one who sits enthroned from of old” (v. 19). God rules sovereignly, and the believer may take confidence in his supreme rule over all life circumstances (103:19; 115:3). Peace with all people is certainly desirable; however, it is better to accept the inconveniences that arise from having men or women as our enemies, knowing that is infinitely better to have the entire world as enemies and have God as your friend (and certainly better than having the world as a friend and God as your enemy).

If you have a relationship with God – by grace through faith in Jesus Christ – you can “cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you” (55:22). God will uphold his people – by his sustaining power – when believers commit themselves and their burdens to Him. David was certain that God would accomplish justice. He simply needed to trust in the Lord’s provision.

God not only hears the prayers of his people, but also He is aware of the perversity of those who rebel against Him. God is holy and just! Believers will find a reliable defense in the Lord in times of affliction and betrayal. Christians do not need to seek revenge; rather, believers need only trust in the Lord God. “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you” (1 Pet 5:6-7).

REMINDER: next Tuesday (1st of April) is
the monthly (interim) Capitol Commission Bible Study
Room 123 CAP, Georgia Capitol, @ 12 Noon