Hope After Betrayal

by Carolyn Hulliberger on June 25, 2024

One of the most beautiful aspects of Scripture is how ancient words can apply to modern-day situations. It is widely thought that Psalm 55 was written by King David as he faced a vast conspiracy to end his reign, launched by his son and his closest friend. These words ring true still today for anyone who has faced betrayal and abuse by someone they love.

In the first part of his lament, or complaint, David lays out his grievance to God: “…do not ignore my plea”, “my thoughts trouble me…because of the threats of the wicked”.  He continues in verses 4-5 to reveal his anguish, describing “fear and trembling have beset me; horror has overwhelmed me.” 

By verse 6, our author is describing what many yearn for when confronted with betrayal…the desire to avoid, run away, to escape the agony of the situation. “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away,” “I would flee far away,” “I would hurry to my place of shelter, far from the tempest and storm.”

David’s pain was amplified because his betrayal did not come from a stranger or some far-off king in another land. The treachery he faced was at the hands of family and a friend. Verses 12-14 say it best, “If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it;…but it is you…my companion…with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship…” The reality of abuse is that the perpetrator is typically someone in a position of love and trust in relationship to the survivor.

Ultimately, David’s thoughts lead him to his true source of comfort, to partner with God in restoration. In verse 16, he states, “As for me, I call to God, and the LORD saves me.” David refuses to be defined by the despair, and instead chooses to trust that the Lord will redeem and restore. His closing words of the passage show his mindset: “But as for me, I trust in you.”

What I find most beautiful and relatable in these verses is that in spite of the desperation and pain of the circumstance, David is holding on with white knuckles to his faith in a God that is all-powerful, that will provide help and deliverance for him. We can have that same faith that God holds us together in our own hard and terrible circumstances as well.

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