Hello, my friend. I’ve been pondering today’s PSALM 55, and have been wondering what would we consider the most important things in life. Some would say financial security, others fulfillment in ones career, and others may say that there is nothing more important than belonging to some group. But I remember one of my students in South Africa, a Jewish student named Ernie Sax, who commented during one such discussion, “The most important thing is to have a truly loyal friend.” The other students in the class, also prospective physical education teachers, laughed and said, “Hey, Ernie, we’re all your friends.” And he said, thoughtfully, “Hey, I’m glad I am in this class with you guys, but we’re all just acquaintances. I think if a guy goes through life and finds three true friends, he is rich.” And they were silenced, and agreed.
There is a great passage in the Apocryphal Book, Ecclesiasticus, which goes like this, “A faithful friend is a true shelter. Whoever finds one has found a rare treasure. A faithful friend is something beyond price, there is no measuring his worth. A faithful friend is the elixir of life, and those who fear the Lord will find one. Whoever fears the Lord makes true friends, for as a man is, so is his friend.” And in the very heart of our Psalm for today, we read, vs. 12, “If an enemy were insulting me I could endure it; if a foe were raising himself against me, I could hide from him. But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend, with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship as we walked with the throng at the house of God.”
And one thinks of that poignant moment, when Judas approached Christ with a group of men with drawn swords, the eve of the crucifixion. Judas kisses him, and Christ responds with a very intimate word, ‘haitare’ which means ‘beloved.’ Judas, for a few pieces of silver, betrayed the Lord, his dearest friend. Have you ever felt the sting of this kind of betrayal, there is nothing more grievous. The Psalmist experienced it, and there are many who have also been stunned by the unbelievable betrayal of someone whom they loved and trusted. And what is the answer?
Well, David reminds us of a wonderful resource in this time of heart-ache, in vs. 22, “Cast (or fling) your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.” Or as the Message translation says, “Pile your troubles on God’s shoulders–he’ll carry your load, he’ll help you. He’ll never let good people topple into ruin.” The hymn writer put it this way, “The Lord’s our rock, in Him we hide, a shelter in the time of storm. Secure whatever ill betide, a shelter in the time of storm. O, Jesus is a rock in a weary land, a weary land, a weary land; O Jesus is a rock in a weary land, a shelter in the time of storm.” He is enough.
“Thank you, Lord Jesus, for the joy of your refuge, the peace of your presence, the wonder of your love. We trust you, we love you, we thank you. Bless my friend who is alongside and especially those in urgent need. We wait on you, Lord Jesus.”
Thank you, friend, for being alongside so faithfully. I praise God for you. Cheerio!
These meditations on the Psalms were written by Village Schools of the Bible Founder, Monty Sholund and first published in book form as Monty’s Musings on the Psalms in 2000.