Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Trusting God When Even Friends Turn On You
To the chief Musician on Neginoth, Maschil, A Psalm of David.
Tradition ascribes this Psalm to David, and says it was intended to be accompanied by stringed instruments, but gives no clue as to when it was written. Internal evidence seems to indicate that it was written about the time Absalom revolted and tried to usurp the kingdom, as recorded in II Samuel 15-18.
“Give ear to my prayer, O God; and hide not thyself from my supplication. Attend unto me, and hear me: I mourn in my complaint, and make a noise; Because of the voice of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked: for they cast iniquity upon me, and in wrath they hate me.” (Psalm 55:1-3)
Absalom had developed a carefully planned conspiracy to take over the kingdom, and David was forced into exile for a period of time. Part of the strategy had involved accusing David of favoring special interests and focusing on his own agenda rather than caring for the people, in an effort to inflame the opposition, just as what we see in politics today.
“My heart is sore pained within me: and the terrors of death are fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me. And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest. Lo, then would I wander far off, and remain in the wilderness. Selah. I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest.” (Psalm 55:4-8)
As a result of the threats against his life and the constant false accusations, David reached a point where he wanted to just withdraw and go somewhere where he could rest and relax. He wanted to go out into the dessert where he could be alone and live at peace, leaving the problems for other people to deal with.
“Destroy, O Lord, and divide their tongues: for I have seen violence and strife in the city. Day and night they go about it upon the walls thereof: mischief also and sorrow are in the midst of it. Wickedness is in the midst thereof: deceit and guile depart not from her streets.” (Psalm 55:9-11)
David prays that God would cause a division among those who were trying to destroy him because they were stirring up such violence in the city, much like what we see with the riots and protests against Donald Trump’s candidacy. They were stirring up riots and conflicts night and day, destroying businesses and homes of innocent people and blaming David for the riots.
“For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him: But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company. Let death seize upon them, and let them go down quick into hell: for wickedness is in their dwellings, and among them.” (Psalm 55:12-15)
Absalom was David’s son, and was assisted by one of David’s former advisors and personal friends, a man named Ahithophel. This really hurt David that a man he considered a friend could turn so completely against him and plot his murder, and encourage Absalom to rape David’s wives. God would have to judge Ahithophel for his betrayal.
“As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me. Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice. He hath delivered my soul in peace from the battle that was against me: for there were many with me. God shall hear, and afflict them, even he that abideth of old. Selah. Because they have no changes, therefore they fear not God. He hath put forth his hands against such as be at peace with him: he hath broken his covenant. The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords. ” (Psalm 55:16-21)
Because David had seen God’s deliverance in the past, he placed his trust in the Lord to deliver him again. He would spend his time in prayer asking God to deliver him. He was confident God would hear him.
People who make mistakes have to make changes to correct those mistakes. People who refuse to change their minds or actions effectively tell themselves they are perfect and have done nothing wrong. They talk like friends, promising help and comfort while looking for a chance to destroy those who trust them, because they have convinced themselves God will not punish them. Today, many refuse to acknowledge they are wrong because they think it makes them look weak. In my opinion, it is better to appear weak than to be stupid and not repent of one’s sin.
“Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved. But thou, O God, shalt bring them down into the pit of destruction: bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in thee.” (Psalm 55:22-23)
When we trust God, he carries the load for us and promises he will never allow his people to be destroyed. At the same time, we can count on him to punish and destroy those who continue in their sin. Both Absalom and Ahithophel ultimately died as a result to their attacks on David, while David was restored to the throne.