PSALM 55:11 - Berean Lamp Memory Verse - (Feb 27-Mar 6)
The Berean Lamp Memory Verse for this week is:
“Destruction is in her midst; Oppression and deceit do not depart from her streets” (Ps. 55:11)
David likely wrote Psalm 55 in reference to his friend and counselor Ahithophel, who betrayed him in his greatest need. The very next verses he wrote say, “For it is not an enemy who reproaches me, Then I could bear it; Nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me, then I could hide myself from him. But it is you, a man my equal, my companion and my familiar friend; We who had sweet fellowship together walked in the house of God in the throng” (Psalm 55:12-14). We cannot go through this life without relying on others, without entrusting our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being to our friends, family, and church family (although for our salvation, we rely solely on Christ). Even a hermit had to rely on his parents when he was an infant and a child. What we may not always understand about our own willful behavior, is that it harms people around us who have entrusted some aspect of their well-being to us. The closer we are to them, the greater the damage. Just look at the works of the flesh: “immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these” (Gal. 5:19b-21a). While it is true that sin is harmful to ourselves, it is even more harmful to others—not only does it threaten their well-being, it is a betrayal of trust. So much harm is done when we betray one another. The damage that abused children carry into adulthood alone speaks to the immeasurable harm of sin's betrayal from those we rely upon so much for our well-being.
But chances are you don’t fully realize how much you rely on others for your well-being. Indeed, it might take a situation like David’s for you to understand just how fragile your well-being is. At one time or another in this life, we all are completely at the mercy of someone we know. And every day, in small and large ways, we entrust ourselves to people who have the power to harm our well-being—bank tellers, police officers, government officials, lawyers, car mechanics, doctors, insurance agents, pastors, teachers—pretty much everyone we meet or know has some ability to harm us in one way or another. David had no reason to doubt for a second that Ahithophel had his best interests at heart, until he had a moment of crisis and Ahithophel betrayed his trust. That is the moment that counts—the moment of crisis, because it tests the people around us. How will they treat us when we are in their hand? The damage of betrayed trust is incalculable.
In our relationships, may we take care not to act willfully and give way to sin, knowing that our works deeply affect the well-being of the people who have entrusted themselves to us. And when we are betrayed by people we trusted, may we conclude with David, “As for me, I shall call upon God, And the Lord will save me. Evening and morning and at noon, I will complain and murmur, And He will hear my voice. He will redeem my soul in peace from the battle which is against me, For they are many who strive with me. God will hear and answer them— Even the one who sits enthroned from of old— Selah….Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken. But You, O God, will bring them down to the pit of destruction; Men of bloodshed and deceit will not live out half their days. But I will trust in You. ” (Psalm 55:16-19a; 22-23). Even so, Amen.
Other verses to consider:
“Give ear to my prayer, O God; and do not hide Yourself from my supplication. Give heed to me and answer me; I am restless in my complaint and am surely distracted, because of the voice of the enemy, because of the pressure of the wicked; for they bring down trouble upon me and in anger they bear a grudge against me. My heart is in anguish within me, and the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fear and trembling come upon me, and horror has overwhelmed me. I said, ‘Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. Behold, I would wander far away, I would lodge in the wilderness. Selah. I would hasten to my place of refuge from the stormy wind and tempest.’ Confuse, O Lord, divide their tongues, for I have seen violence and strife in the city. Day and night they go around her upon her walls, And iniquity and mischief are in her midst. Destruction is in her midst; Oppression and deceit do not depart from her streets. For it is not an enemy who reproaches me, Then I could bear it; Nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me, Then I could hide myself from him. But it is you, a man my equal, My companion and my familiar friend; We who had sweet fellowship together walked in the house of God in the throng. Let death come deceitfully upon them; Let them go down alive to Sheol, for evil is in their dwelling, in their midst. As for me, I shall call upon God, and the Lord will save me. Evening and morning and at noon, I will complain and murmur, and He will hear my voice. He will redeem my soul in peace from the battle which is against me, for they are many who strive with me. God will hear and answer them— Even the one who sits enthroned from of old— Selah. With whom there is no change, And who do not fear God. He has put forth his hands against those who were at peace with him; he has violated his covenant. His speech was smoother than butter, but his heart was war; His words were softer than oil, Yet they were drawn swords. Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken. But You, O God, will bring them down to the pit of destruction; Men of bloodshed and deceit will not live out half their days. But I will trust in You” (Psalm 55).
“Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Him” (Matthew 10:4).
“From then on he began looking for a good opportunity to betray Jesus” (Matthew 26:16).
“‘Get up, let us be going; behold, the one who betrays Me is at hand!’ While He was still speaking, behold, Judas, one of the twelve, came up accompanied by a large crowd with swords and clubs, who came from the chief priests and elders of the people. Now he who was betraying Him gave them a sign, saying, ‘Whomever I kiss, He is the one; seize Him.’ Immediately Judas went to Jesus and said, ‘Hail, Rabbi!’ and kissed Him. And Jesus said to him, ‘Friend, do what you have come for’ Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and seized Him” (Matthew 26:46-50).
“Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death” (Matthew 10:21).
“At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another” (Matthew 24:10).
“But you will be betrayed even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death, and you will be hated by all because of My name” (Luke 21:16-17).
“Which one of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? They killed those who had previously announced the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become” (Acts 7:52).
“David went out to meet them and said to them, ‘If you have come to me in friendship to help me, my heart will be joined to you; but if to betray me to my adversaries, although there is no wrong in my hands, then may the God of our fathers see and rebuke you’” (1 Chronicles 12:17).