From the time of his youthful conquest of Goliath until his death as king about fifty years later, David’s life was associated in some way with the highest levels of Israel’s government. His initial association was in serving in King Saul’s court as a teen. Next, he married into the royal family. Finally, he was anointed king. Because of this, it really should not surprise us to learn that David wrote several psalms in the aftermath of being betrayed.
Few wounds cut as deep as the knife of betrayal. Few injuries hurt more intensely than the emotional devastation caused by a turncoat. Few pains take longer to heal than the sorrow and heartache you feel when you are betrayed.
Psalms 52, 54, and 55 were written in the context of a recent betrayal experienced by David. They bear a subtle testimony to the enduring bad news about betrayal: It is a universal human experience. Regardless of whether the treachery comes in the form of gossip, apostacy, financial malfeasance, adultery, political maneuvering, or a multitude of other gut-wrenching ways, getting stabbed in the back is a fact of life. In being made like unto His brethren in all things, it was something that Jesus Himself had to experience.
The superscription of Psalms 52, 54, and 55 identify these compositions as Maschils (King James Version) or Contemplations (New King James Version). It is believed that the Hebrew root word denotes the idea of wisdom or insight. It appears that David’s purpose for these psalms is more than simply expressing the legitimate grief and anguish felt when one is betrayed; each is designed to be profitable for teaching and instruction which will make us wiser.
You can turn to God when the wound, injury, and pain of betrayal are viciously inflicted in your heart and soul. Though others may be faithless, Jehovah remains faithful. He cannot deny Himself. “I will never leave you or forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5) is the good news whenyou have been betrayed.