Psalm 55: A Trusted Friend’s Betrayal

Why might we think God could ignore our prayers?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 55:1–3 To the minister of music, a song of David for stringed instruments.
Hear my prayer, O God. Don’t ignore my request. Please listen, because I need your help. My thoughts are in turmoil, so I must cry out because of what my enemies are saying and what the wicked are doing, making me miserable with their malicious attacks.
King James
Psalm 55:1–3 <To the chief Musician on Neginoth, Maschil, A Psalm of David.> Give ear to my prayer, O God; and hide not thyself from my supplication. Attend unto me, and hear me: I mourn in my complaint, and make a noise; Because of the voice of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked: for they cast iniquity upon me, and in wrath they hate me.

Why do people grieve when anticipating death? What could overcome those reasons?

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Psalm 55:4–8 Grief weighs heavily upon my heart, and I fear that I will soon be dead. I face the day with fear and trembling, consumed with terror over what might happen.
Oh, if only I had wings like a dove. Then I could fly away and be at peace. I would flee to live in a faraway place. Pause to think about that.
I’ll waste no time getting away from the harsh winds and violent storms.
King James
Psalm 55:4–8 My heart is sore pained within me: and the terrors of death are fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me. And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest. Lo, then would I wander far off, and remain in the wilderness. Selah.
I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest.

How much concern should we have about the wrongdoing of people in our country? Besides prayer, what should we do?

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Psalm 55:9–11 Lord, confuse and bring down the violent people I’ve seen stir up strife in the city. Day and night they walk the walls and fill the city with grief and sorrow. Liars and cheaters roam the streets, bringing destruction.
King James
Psalm 55:9–11 Destroy, O Lord, and divide their tongues: for I have seen violence and strife in the city. Day and night they go about it upon the walls thereof: mischief also and sorrow are in the midst of it. Wickedness is in the midst thereof: deceit and guile depart not from her streets.

When a close friend betrays us, how do we feel?

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Psalm 55:12–13 I could handle the insults of an enemy. I could hide from those who rise up against me. But it was you, my close companion and trusted friend.
King James
Psalm 55:12–13 For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him: But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance.

What do we want to happen to those who reject us? Why?

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Psalm 55:14–15 We had heart-to-heart talks and together joined the throng of worshipers in God’s house. Let death come upon those who live in wickedness and take them quickly to the grave.
King James
Psalm 55:14–15 We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company. Let death seize upon them, and let them go down quick into hell: for wickedness is in their dwellings, and among them.

What keeps us from joining the enemy?

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Psalm 55:16–17 But I will cry out to God and he will deliver me. I pray morning, noon and night, and the Lord will hear my cry.
King James
Psalm 55:16–17 As for me, I will call upon God; and the Lord shall save me. Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.

How might the magnitude of a threat make us wonder if God will deliver us?

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Psalm 55:18 Although so many are against me in battle, the Lord will deliver me, and I will live in peace.
King James
Psalm 55:18 He hath delivered my soul in peace from the battle that was against me: for there were many with me.

After experiencing life without God and seeing his punishment, why won’t some people change?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 55:19 God Eternal will hear me and punish them. Pause to think on that.
But they won’t change, because they have no respect for him.
King James
Psalm 55:19 God shall hear, and afflict them, even he that abideth of old. Selah.
Because they have no changes, therefore they fear not God.

How can we identify a “true” friend?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 55:20–21 My companion turned against me, breaking his commitment to me. His speech was smooth like butter, but his heart was against me. His message soothed like anointing oil but was actually like drawn swords.
King James
Psalm 55:20–21 He hath put forth his hands against such as be at peace with him: he hath broken his covenant. The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords.

What does God do to lighten our burdens and bring the victory?

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Psalm 55:22–23 Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will lighten the load. He will not allow the righteous to be defeated. But you, God, will destroy the murderous deceivers. They won’t live half their days.
But unlike them, I will trust in you.
Matthew 11:29–30 Take my yoke upon you, and learn to walk my way, for I am gentle and humble of heart. In me, you will find rest for your souls, because my yoke fits and your share of the load is light.
King James
Psalm 55:22–23 Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved. But thou, O God, shalt bring them down into the pit of destruction: bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in thee.
Matthew 11:29–30 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.