Seeing Jesus in Psalm 55 – Trusting Even in Betrayal
Psalm 55:1 – “Give ear to my prayer, O God, and hide not yourself from my plea for mercy!”
Psalm 55 begins with a tone like many of the psalms of David. David is going through a difficulty and this difficulty is plaguing him. He is suffering and in the midst of his suffering he cries out to God as his Father. He is humble in his cry but still somewhat forceful because he recognizes the depth of his need, “give ear to me o God…..attend to me and answer me.” In other words God help me, I am desperate without you, and I need you. David realizes his own helplessness and his own need.
What is going on in David’s life? Previously he has talked about the difficulty of having some of his countrymen turn on him (Psalm 54), but here it is more personal he has been betrayed by a close friend. He is emotionally wounded and hurting and even then he cries out to God for help. David’s response to this trouble stands in stark contrast to how many people would choose to respond. Many would simply throw up their hands and quit caring, while others would take it upon themselves to rectify the situation themselves, and some maybe the majority would lash out vindictively on their own.
David is different however in the midst of trouble he trusts God, and here in the midst of extreme personal anguish he trusts God. He is not being passive in his response but rather active. He knows that the greatest thing he can do even in this situation is to trust. I was given some extremely valuable advice one time by an elderly friend when he said, “Why do we say all we can do is pray? We come to the end of our ropes and we say well all we can do is pray, but in reality the greatest things we can do is pray.” He is right the greatest thing we can do in any situation is pray and simply trust God. David modeled that in this intensely personal situation. It would have been easy to take matters into his own hands and to make matters worse but David didn’t he simply trusted God.
Jesus did as well. David’s countrymen turned on him, so did Jesus’. He was hailed as King on Palm Sunday as the crowds cheered, “hosanna, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord,” then just a few days later those same countrymen chanted, “crucify Him and kill Him.” David was betrayed by a friend, Jesus was as well. Betrayed by Judas, sold for 30 pieces of silver. In the midst of the betrayal and the hurt, David trusted God, Jesus did as well. In the Garden before He was betrayed He prayed, “Father take this cup from me, yet not my will but your be done.” Even hanging on the cross Jesus could have taken matters into His own hands, He could have called down legions of angels and saved Himself. He could have come down anytime He wanted, but He didn’t. He chose to willingly stay on the cross, He chose to willingly die for you and for me. He could have saved Himself, but He didn’t He chose to save us and that is the greatest things about the cross, through that cross He makes our salvation possible.
The cross and the events surrounding it also stand as an example to us, to trust God even in the midst of whatever the difficulty is. Instead of trying to make it right and instead of trying to take matters into our own hands, we, just like David and just like Jesus, simply need to trust God, the Father. We need to trust that He is working “all things together for good”. It is a helpless place but sometimes it is the place that God leads us to, to teach us how to live, to teach us to trust Him, to teach us to live everyday for His glory.