Read Psalm 55
1 Listen to my prayer, O God,
do not ignore my plea;
2hear me and answer me.
My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught
3because 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.
4 My heart is in anguish within me;
the terrors of death have fallen on me.
5 Fear and trembling have beset me;
horror has overwhelmed me.
6 I said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove!
I would fly away and be at rest.
7 I would flee far away
and stay in the desert;
8 I would hurry to my place of shelter,
far from the tempest and storm.”
9 Lord, confuse the wicked, confound their words,
for 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.
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.
15 Let death take my enemies by surprise;
let them go down alive to the realm of the dead,
for evil finds lodging among them.
16 As for me, I call to God,
and the LORD saves me.
17 Evening, morning and noon
I cry out in distress,
and he hears my voice.
18 He rescues me unharmed
from the battle waged against me,
even though many oppose me.
19 God, who is enthroned from of old,
who does not change—
he will hear them and humble them,
because they have no fear of God.
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.
22 Cast your cares on the LORD
and he will sustain you;
he will never let
the righteous be shaken.
23 But you, God, will bring down the wicked
into the pit of decay;
the bloodthirsty and deceitful
will not live out half their days.
But as for me, I trust in you.
How do people usually react when they feel betrayed or let down by a trusted friend?
How did David deal with his pain and anger? (Psalm 55:16-19, Psalm 55:22-23)
In what way can we follow David’s example when we feel overwhelmed with anger at another person?
For what friend or enemy do you need to pray this next week?
How can you commit a sense of anger or hurt to the Lord?
How could you show your confidence in the Lord as righteous judge of all?
“The psalm has three basic motifs: persecution, betrayal, and divine help. It is therefore the kind of psalm that most believers will appreciate and probably appropriate in their personal experience sometime. And the fact that it does give a powerful description of the pain and anguish of being betrayed helps us appreciate more the suffering of the Savior himself.
The simple fact this psalm lays out as its foundation is that the whole world is filled with violence, deceit, and oppression. There is great evil in this world. And according to Scripture it will get worse before the end of the age. The problem is that evil people do not keep to themselves; they are insidious, often very deceptive and destructive, making life painful for others.
Only the LORD will enable people to overcome the world, so faith in him is basic. The central theme of the psalm could be worded to reflect what the righteous must rely on in their faith: In a terrifying world of evil, deceit and oppression, only the LORD can establish righteousness, peace and safety. He is able to do this in any troubling situation; and he will do it finally when he comes in glory. In the meantime, the apostle tells the people of God to remain faithful to the Lord, remain at peace in that faith, and take care not to be carried away with the error of lawless people and lose their stability. The only successful way to do this is to grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord (2 Peter 3:14–18). And in living by faith the faithful may pray with confidence for the Lord to change evil into good, for they know that he has a history of doing this, and has promised that he will do it once and for all.”
Ross, Allen P. A Commentary on the Psalms 1–89: Commentary. Vol. 2. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Academic, 2011–2013.
Lord, I often want to just check out. Being the friend, the family member, and the Christian I should be seems so hard! But in your presence I realize that while living that way is hard, all the alternatives are harder, infinitely so. Be my support and keep me on the path of life. Amen.