Betrayal: The Worst Hurt of them All (Psalm 41)

Is there a bigger hurt in life than when someone with whom you have been close turns against you?  It is difficult to quantify emotion or pain, but I am at a loss to make much of any sort of list of anything that hurts much more than betrayal.

This happens especially to people in leadership. It is a way of life in politics, where a person is valuable so long as they have worth relative to the next election. In business, loyalty extends to the value for the bottom line profit. In athletic ventures, loyalty rises with the statistics that are good, and falls with stats that are poor.

But we expect family to be better; isn’t blood thicker than water? And the church family also gives us a deeper relationship status than anywhere else, right?

Not always.

David knew the hurt of betrayal. In multiple situations, those who had been his friends – even his own flesh and blood family – counted him as irretrievably down and out and gave up on him. Beyond that, they worked to contribute to his demise, sometimes using treachery and duplicitous deceit to hasten his destruction.

But God … yes, but God remained faithful and loyal. Though times looked very bad, God proved over and over to be his loyal preservation, saving him in this land through horrific circumstances and guaranteeing his eternal home.

Psalm 41

For the director of music. A psalm of David.

1 Blessed are those who have regard for the weak; the Lord delivers them in times of trouble.
2 The Lord protects and preserves them—they are counted among the blessed in the land—
    he does not gi+ve them over to the desire of their foes.
3 The Lord sustains them on their sickbed and restores them from their bed of illness.

4 I said, “Have mercy on me, Lord; heal me, for I have sinned against you.”
5 My enemies say of me in malice, “When will he die and his name perish?”
6 When one of them comes to see me, he speaks falsely, while his heart gathers slander;
    then he goes out and spreads it around.

7 All my enemies whisper together against me; they imagine the worst for me, saying,
8 “A vile disease has afflicted him; he will never get up from the place where he lies.”
9 Even my close friend, someone I trusted, one who shared my bread, has turned against me.

10 But may you have mercy on me, Lord; raise me up, that I may repay them.
11 I know that you are pleased with me, for my enemy does not triumph over me.
12 Because of my integrity you uphold me and set me in your presence forever.

13 Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting.
Amen and Amen.

God is loyal; Christ is the true friend. In sin we were unfaithful party, yet through grace we have been restored to relationship because of God’s covenant love. When all seems lost, when we feel betrayed, abandoned and alone, we have the loyal love of the one who called us to salvation and will sustain us through to ultimate glorification. Recall these wonderful words as well from Romans 8 …

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?