The Wounds of a Friend

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There is no wound so painful as that inflicted by one who has been a friend.

David writes in Psalm 55: “If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were raising himself against me, I could hide from him. But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend, with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship as we walked with the throng at the house of God” (54:12-15).

Earlier in the passage, the psalmist expresses his feelings about the situation. He is troubled and distraught (vs. 2). He is in anguish. It feels like a death has occurred—and it has (vs. 4). A close relationship has been affected, perhaps destroyed forever. He is fearful and horrified (vs. 5). He wants to run away and hide (vss. 6-8).

These verses are often quoted as descriptive of what would later occur in the New Testament in the relationship between Jesus and Judas. The man who had walked with the Lord for three years, seen His miracles, heard His words, and observed His character, would sell Him to His enemies for thirty pieces of silver. David may have been surprised at the actions of his friend, but Jesus knew what Judas would do—and loved him still.

Having discovered the true character of his friend (vss. 20, 21) David goes to God and affirms his trust in the only One who remains constant no matter what.

But I will call to God, and the Lord saves me. Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice…Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall” (vss. 16, 17, 22).

There is a penalty for such a betrayal. Judas suffered it and David assumes that those who have turned on him will suffer it too. That’s God’s business. David’s business, as ours, is to take the situation and the pain back to God and leave it with Him. Like David, our signature song must be:

But as for me, I trust in you” (vs. 23). That's a trust that will never be betrayed.

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