Chapter 55 describes the pain of someone who has experienced deep betrayal in an intimate relationship.
“It is not an enemy who taunts me-I could bear that. It is not my foes who so arrogantly insult me-I could have hidden from them. Instead, it is you-my equal, my companion and close friend. What good fellowship we once enjoyed as we walked together to the house of God.” 55:12
Have you ever prayed this prayer? Describing the violation of betrayal from someone you should be able to deeply trust? Maybe a parent, a spouse, a friend or a leader has failed you. Hurt you.
“Fear and trembling overwhelm me, and I can’t stop shaking.” (55:5)
If you know anything about David’s relationship with Saul (check out 1 Samuel), you know David gets it; he knows this type of intimate betrayal all too well. But I love that this doesn’t stop him from having a deeply intimate relationship with the Lord. He is definitely entitled to indulging in some trust issues, but instead he dives further into his trust in God:
“But I will call on God, and the Lord will rescue me. Morning, noon and night I cry out in my distress, and the Lord hears my voice.” 55:16
Jesus was well aware of our wavering loyalties, our fickle hearts and our tendency to fail him. Yet still he loves us, pursues us and engages in a relationship with us. In John 2:24 it reads: “Because of the miraculous signs Jesus did in Jerusalem at the Passover celebration, many began to trust him. But Jesus didn’t trust them, because he knew human nature. No one needed to tell him what mankind was really like.”
Isn’t that interesting? Jesus loves us, even if he doesn’t trust our human tendencies (and who could blame him). What a beautiful example of healthy, godly boundaries. The book of Proverbs is cluttered with warnings of relying on discernment and wisdom; steering clear of the foolish. Are we called to unconditionally and relentlessly loving someone? Yes. Does this mean it’s okay when someone betrays or violates us? No.
There’s a lot to say on this topic, and this chapter definitely got me thinking about my tendency to guard myself from relational pain. But I love the example David sets for us when people fail him: collapse into the net of God’s unfailing love.