# 196 A journey through the Psalms. Psalm 55 Friends who become enemies.

It’s a tragic thing in life that people you once called friends turn against you and can eventually feel like enemies.

Saddest of all is that it can occur in marriages. I doubt that anyone reading this does not know of, or maybe has even experienced themselves, a situation where two people who once spoke of being “in love” and who were the “best of friends”, now “hate” each other and have gone through a “bitter divorce”.

But of course, it doesn’t only occur between marriage partners, it can occur in all realms of life – amongst business partners, school friends, politicians, in extended families and even amongst siblings.

In Psalm 55 we discover that this was David’s problem.

He describes his situation as follows:

   …My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught
    because 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.

My heart is in anguish within me;
    the terrors of death have fallen on me.
Fear and trembling have beset me;
    horror has overwhelmed me…

…I see violence and strife in the city.
10 Day and night they prowl about on its walls;
    malice and abuse are within it.
11 Destructive forces are at work in the city;
    threats and lies never leave its streets.

Then comes the crunch:

12 If an enemy were insulting me,
    I could endure it;
if a foe were rising against me,
    I could hide.
13 But it is you, a man like myself,
    my companion, my close friend,
14 with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship
    at the house of God,
as we walked about
    among the worshipers…

20 My companion attacks his friends;
    he violates his covenant.
21 His talk is smooth as butter,
    yet war is in his heart;
his words are more soothing than oil,
    yet they are drawn swords.

This “enemy”, giving David such a difficult time, was once a his “companion, [his] close friend”! No wonder he says that his “thoughts troubled” him and he is “distraught”. Maybe you have known that feeling yourself.

Jesus also understood this feeling. We read in Matthew 26 that Jesus arranged to spend the Passover meal (the “last supper”) with his 12 hand-picked disciples, but prior to this:

14 …one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests 15 and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So, they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. 16 From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.


20 When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve. 21 And while they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.”

22 They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, “Surely you don’t mean me, Lord?”

23 Jesus replied, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me…

25 Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, “Surely you don’t mean me, Rabbi?”

Jesus answered, “You have said so.”

Judas, who was one of the chosen 12 disciples and had spent the last 3 years with Jesus, was willing to betray him to the authorities for 30 pieces of silver!

I think the words of Psalm 55 could well have been spoken by Jesus concerning Judas.

In fact, Wilcock quotes Spurgeon who said concerning this psalm: “The spiritual eye ever…sees the Son of David [Jesus] and Judas and the chief priests appearing and disappearing upon the glowing canvas of this psalm.” Wilcock continues, “David’s experience is as it were the same shape as that of Jesus in Gethsemane, in the city full of malice and threats, where foes plot violence and ‘friends’ plan treachery. Jesus too fears the cup of suffering, yet entrusts his fate to God. Our own distresses will never be as terrible as his, but if like David we have to go through something of the sort, we can regard it as a privilege – ‘the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings [Philippians 3:10]’” (# 5)

Knowing that you can also:

22 Cast your cares on the Lord
    and he will sustain you;

Confident that:

he will never let
    the righteous be shaken.


But as for me, I trust in you.

Thank you, Father for Jesus, who was willing to go all the way to the cross for me – for the punishment for my sin. Thank you, that Jesus is alive and now lives to intercede for us, his people, understanding all that we go through. Thank you that I can cast all my worries upon you and you promise to sustain me. Amen.

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