55: Betrayal by a close friend
the director of music. With stringed instruments. A maskil of
Comments: A cry of David when he fees betrayed by one
who was once close to him. He calls on the Lord to hear him [v.1,2]
because of the anguish he feels over enemy threats [v.2-5]. He
wishes he could escape [v.6-8] and so asks the Lord to deal with
this enemy [v.9-11], but his greatest anguish is over one who
used to be a close friend but now acts as an enemy [v.12-14].
He determines to cry out to the Lord [v.15-17] and is reassured
that God will deal with his enemies [v.18,19] but still anguishes
over his friend [v.20,21]. He concludes with the reassurance that
if we cast our cares on the Lord, we can trust Him to deal with
those against us. [v.22,23]. It is a psalm of anguish over people.]
A Plea for the Lord to hear him
to my prayer, O God,
do not ignore my plea;
me and answer me.
anguish: people who threaten his life
thoughts trouble me and I am distraught
of what my enemy is saying,
because of the threats of the wicked;
for they bring down suffering on me
and assail me in their anger.
heart is in anguish within me;
the terrors of death have fallen on me.
and trembling have beset me;
horror has overwhelmed me.
His desire to escape from this place
said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove!
I would fly away and be at rest.
would flee far away
and stay in the desert;
would hurry to my place of shelter,
far from the tempest and storm.”
He calls to the Lord to deal with the wicked
confuse the wicked, confound their words,
for I see violence and strife in the city
and night they prowl about on its walls;
malice and abuse are within it.
forces are at work in the city;
threats and lies never leave its streets.
His anguish is over a friend turned against him
an enemy were insulting me,
I could endure it;
if a foe were rising against me,
I could hide.
it is you, a man like myself,
my companion, my close friend,
whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship
at the house of God,
as we walked about
among the worshipers.
May his enemies fall while he calls to the Lord
death take my enemies by surprise;
let them go down alive to the realm of
for evil finds lodging among them.
for me, I call to God,
and the Lord saves me.
morning and noon
I cry out in distress,
and he hears my voice.
Reassurance of the Lord's saving power on his behalf
rescues me unharmed
from the battle waged against me,
even though many oppose me.
who is enthroned from of old,
who does not change—
he will hear them and humble them,
because they have no fear of God.
The treachery of his friend
companion attacks his friends;
he violates his covenant.
talk is smooth as butter,
yet war is in his heart;
his words are more soothing than oil,
yet they are drawn swords.
Declarations of confidence in the Lord
your cares on the Lord
and he will sustain you;
he will never let
the righteous be shaken.
you, God, will bring down the wicked
into the pit of decay;
the bloodthirsty and deceitful
will not live out half their days.
as for me, I trust in you.
Thoughts: The lesson of the psalm is clear: when people
are against us, and even close ones let us down, the answer is
simple and clear – tell the Lord and seek His help.]
to Psa 56