Thursday, January 22, 2009

Anguish Trust… (Psalm 55) 220109

What is the most painful experience you have gone through? For mothers, it would be the childbirth experience. For man, it could be the season of joblessness, especially true in this financial difficult situation. For students, it might be the moment you collect your result slip after a semester or a year or some years of hard work and discover that you have failed terribly. For lovers, it would be the breakup. I can go on and on, or you can fill it in for me. But for our Lord Jesus Christ, I think the most painful experience for Him is not the Cross, it is the betrayal of His friend Judas.

This psalm exemplifies the genre of the individual lament. The psalmist pours out his heart before the Lord surrounded by expressions of animosity, not only from old foes, but now even from "friends." The mood of the psalm moves from despair, to complaint, to a note of confidence in the Lord. Some have seen in the psalmist's experience a reflection of that of our Lord as he was betrayed by Judas. (Taken from VanGemeren, Willem A. “Psalm 55: The Lord Sustains the Righteous!” In The Expositor's Bible Commentary: Volume 5. 392. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, © 1991.)
When I read through this psalm, verse 4 echoes loudly in me. It says: My heart is in anguish within me, And the terrors of death have fallen upon me. NKJV translates as: My heart is severely pained within me. As I meditate upon this verse, in particular, there seems to be a painful pierce within me, right at my heart. I am not sure what this experience is, but I know that I am not having a heart attack at that moment. I think the Spirit of God is leading me to experience the pain of Jesus at the Garden of Gethsemane. The Lord knew that His good friend who had been traveling with Him for the past three years was going to betray Him.
Betrayal is one of the most painful experiences a person can go through. The psychological and emotional damages cause by the betrayal of a very good and close friend can be devastating. If you are married, just imagine, your spouse whom you have been together for years, betray your trust and cheated on you and have an affair with one of your close friend. I think you will be very angry, sad, disappointed, and devastated; because the one you have trusted the most, betray you. Even if you are not married, you can also imagine that your closest friend whom you share all your secrets, including the most horrible sins, betray confidentiality and tells others about your secrets. I think you will be embarrassed, feeling angry and even hatred towards that friend.
The consequences of betrayal; a wall is build. You will not trust or love another person easily in the future and this will hinder ones growth in the Lord. And this is the irony; we need to learn to trust people in order to grow spiritually; but the most painful experience is when the trust is being betrayed. No wonder the Lord has to go through it Himself, so that we know that we have a God who can completely understand us and yet He still step out in love toward the Cross.
I love this psalm, because it does not only describe the pain of being betray and thought of revenging and the feeling of hatred; neither does it tells us how can the hurt of betrayal can be dealt with; but it simply points us back to the Lord. But as for me, I trust in You (v23, NIV).
This is an emphatic statement of the psalmist to trust in the Lord. Anyone around us can betray us; anyone whom we place our trust in can possibly betray us; and anyone whom we consider as friend might betray us. Husband can betray his wife, your close friend can betray you, you business partner can also betray you, your colleague might betray you, and your sibling might also betray you. But only the Lord God will be forever faithful and will not betray us. Therefore, put your trust in the Lord, and choose to trust in Him. Only God can heal the pain of betrayal, because He understands how you feel. He has been there, done that.


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