“It is not an enemy who taunts me—I could bear that. It is not my foes who so arrogantly insult me—I could have hidden from them. Instead, it is you—my equal, my companion and close friend. What good fellowship we once enjoyed as we walked together to the house of God. Let death stalk my enemies; let the grave swallow them alive, for evil makes its home within them.” Psalm 55:12-15
Betrayal by a trusted friend is one of life’s most painful experiences. From David’s broken heart to Judas kiss in the garden, we are saddened to hear any story of duplicity.
Because of his commitment to God, Jeremiah found himself increasingly isolated until even his close friends turned against him (Jeremiah 20:10).
Similarly, David says this of his friend: “my equal, my companion, my familiar friend, with whom I kept pleasant company” (verses 13-14). They had worshiped together in the house of God, but now the friend has joined the enemies. From his enemies he could hide (verse 12), but how can he deal with treachery?
Betrayal by a close friend is devastating. It produces a feeling of worthlessness for having trusted an untrustworthy person. If foments anger and depression. It raises questions about our judgment. Because of the intimate friend’s knowledge of our situation, such betrayal has great potential for further damage.
The betrayed psalmist turns to God. He curses them to “go down alive to Sheol” (verse 15). Here the thought includes the idea of punishment for the “evil that is in their homes and in their hearts” (verse 15). So also, Jeremiah prayed that his enemies “will not succeed” and that “their eternal dishonor will never be forgotten” (Jeremiah 20:11).
Can we as New Testament followers of Jesus do better? On one hand the bitter and raw emotions must go somewhere. Telling God of our anger as David and Jeremiah did are healthy. On the other hand finding a way in life to move past the betrayal through Christian counseling, forgiveness and abiding in Christ daily are crucial.
It takes both hands to move past betrayal. Jesus gave us two hands at the cross. He won’t waste any time hugging us with those nail scarred hands when we get home. Why? because He hurt over us, cried out in pain from our betrayal. But how quickly He desires to forgive us when we come to Him with ready hearts.
“Father, help me to be honest with you about my deepest feelings of hurt and shame. Help me to cry out honestly in prayer. Lead me to healthy relationships and help me to forgive as I have been forgiven. Amen”