Scripture: Psalm 55:9 Confuse, O Lord, confound their speech; for I see violence and strife in the city. 10 Day and night they go around it on its walls, and iniquity and trouble are within it; 11 ruin is in its midst; oppression and fraud do not depart from its marketplace. 12 It is not enemies who taunt me— I could bear that; it is not adversaries who deal insolently with me— I could hide from them. 13 But it is you, my equal, my companion, my familiar friend, 14 with whom I kept pleasant company; we walked in the house of God with the throng. 15 Let death come upon them; let them go down alive to Sheol; for evil is in their homes and in their hearts.
Observation: It’s one thing to be betrayed by an enemy. But here the betrayal is at the hands of a friend. A “familiar friend” (v.13). A better translation might be “closest friend” with whom the psalmist has enjoyed worship “in the house of God”. One can sense the pain and heartbreak in the words, “Let death come upon them”.
Application: It’s an awful thing to be betrayed by someone very close, but it’s happened to me a few times. I’m guessing many of you readers have known such pain. I was talking recently with a long-time friend to whom I confessed I have a hard time trusting people. There are a number of reasons for this, but betrayal is part of the equation.
So as a coping mechanism I tend to keep people at a distance. I’ll let them in part way, but not all the way. And while the emotional walls may protect me from the possibility of betrayal, they also serve to steal my joy. I’m aware that I’ve been living in a prison of my own making out of fear of heartbreak. Yet coming out from behind the walls is hard. And scary. I need the Lord’s grace to be set free.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, loving relationships are inherently risky. Some of us deal with this by keeping others away. I’m seeing that very clearly in myself this morning. Give me grace to overcome fear, so that I might once again enjoy the close relationships you are making possible. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.