15 Sep Shepherd To King-Day 18
Scripture: Psalm 3:1-5 -NLT- “O LORD, I have so many enemies; so many are against me. So many are saying, ‘God will never rescue him!’ But you, O LORD, are a shield around me; you are my glory, the one who holds my head high. I cried out to the LORD, and he answered me from his holy mountain. I lay down and slept, yet I woke up in safety, for the LORD was watching over me.”
- For more context around today’s devotional, take a few moments and read through these relevant passages of scripture: Psalm 3; 2 Samuel 13; 2 Samuel 14; 2 Samuel 15
Observation: Betrayal is a very human experience. In fact, many of us have either been betrayed by someone or something, or if we’re honest, we’ve been the person who betrayed someone else. Thankfully, in the moments when human weaknesses lead to betrayal—whether perpetrated against us or by us—God’s protection is a constant shield and safe place.
Application: I was eight years old when I realized that my vision was not as clear as it had once been. Some days, I would struggle to see the writing on the chalkboard in my third grade classroom. Other days, I would have to squint to make out the words on signs and billboards around town that I used to be able to read. My eyesight was literally betraying me, and there was nothing I could do about it. Even as a kid, I’ll never forget how helpless I felt, how unfair the situation seemed, and how sad it all made me. Those feelings of betrayal are just as acute and intense today as they were all those years ago.
As we’ve been unpacking the life of David and reflecting on how his life can help guide our walk with Jesus, we’ve seen that there is no situation that David did not experience. That includes being betrayed, not by a thing or a circumstance, but by those he loved the most. During his reign as king, David became estranged from his son, Absalom. You can read the violent and vengeful story of how their estrangement came to be in chapters 13 through 15 of 2 Samuel. Eventually, Absalom incites a rebellion against David and attempts to ascend to the throne. What an unimaginable betrayal—to have your own son turn against you!
It’s in this moment that David laments to God in Psalm 3. David—recognizing how helpless he felt, how unfair the situation seemed, and how saddened he was because of his son’s betrayal—cries out to God for protection and safety. Consequently, David’s posture is instructive for us. In our relationships today, feelings of betrayal are not uncommon. We are all broken in some way, and we don’t always live up to God’s standard. As a result, we can betray those who love us most and those we love most can betray us. The good news is that God makes space for us to cry out to him in times of betrayal. We can tell him how helpless we feel, how unfair the situation seems, and how sad we are about it. He can handle every emotion we’ll ever experience, no matter how overwhelming those emotions may seem.
Now, my eyesight still isn’t very good. In fact, it’s worse than it was back in third grade. But I’ve found safety and protection in a great pair of glasses. Those feelings of betrayal were only temporary. And as long as I’m wearing my glasses, I can see anything and everything that I need to see. Similarly, no matter how deeply we’ve been hurt or how deeply we’ve hurt someone else, God’s protection, safety, and forgiveness can help us to see clearly through it all.
Prayer: Jesus, thank you for your protection and your safety. Help me to remember that you, more than anyone, know the sting of betrayal. You were betrayed and denied by those you loved and called friends. And still, in what must have been one of your lowest moments, you looked to our Heavenly Father for protection and safety. In those times when I experience betrayal, help me to look to God in the same way. And in those times when I betray others, help me to pursue forgiveness and reconciliation. In your name, I pray. Amen.
- Come back and read Day 19.
- Read all of David and Absalom’s story and how David lived under God’s protection (2 Samuel, Chapters 13 through 15).
- Reconcile a relationship that has been strained or broken.
- Identify an area of your life where feelings of betrayal have taken hold, and ask God for forgiveness for yourself and anyone you’ve harbored those feelings toward.
Cresean Hughes/Production Team Leader
Cresean loves sharing through the written word. He currently serves on several teams at The Journey, including the Production, Communications, and Research teams. Cresean and his wife, Jade, have been attending and serving at The Journey since 2018.