Much has been written about the first 3 verses of this Psalm. It is good to help the poor and I would do well to spend more time in this capacity. However the part of the Psalm that hit me today is found in verse 9. “Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me.” David had been betrayed. Not only that, but we read in the Psalm how he has been struggling with his own sin. He is pretty down on himself here. Not only has he sinned, but he is also noticing that other people are speaking badly about him and wishing the worst on him. Even his good friend has become a part of the problem. David is hurting. I would imagine that I would be feeling a deep sadness, maybe even the onset of a time of depression. Yet, in the midst of these feelings, He cries out to God for grace. (vs 10) He recognizes that the LORD “takes delight” in him. He feels good about his integrity and knows that God will honor those decisions. He recognizes God’s presence. When we recognize these things, we can endure and persevere through almost anything.
This Psalm foreshadows Jesus’ betrayal by Judas, His good friend. Jesus had even more reason than David to feel confident in His integrity. Unlike David, He had no sin. Jesus knew His Father would honor that integrity and certainly knew God’s presence more than anyone. Jesus endured these things so that He could offer us hope when we find ourselves in similar circumstances.
Friends, whatever situation you’re in – whoever has betrayed you – if death itself is knocking at your door, please recognize that Jesus has promised to be with us. In this Christmas season in particular, we celebrate “Emmanuel” – “God with us.” When we find ourselves saying, “Even my close friend has lifted his heel against me,” trust in the other part of the Psalm that says, “I know that you delight in me…….you have upheld me because of my integrity and set me in your presence forever.” (By the way, that kind of integrity is also only possible as we follow the Holy Spirit’s presence in our decisions.)