“His speech is smooth as butter, yet war is in his heart; his words are more soothing than oil, yet they are drawn swords.”Psalm 55:21
Every once in a while you run across an old photo that makes you feel uneasy. The one-time scrapbook memory is now a picture you’d like to tear in half. Betrayal. It’s destabilizing. It throws us off center. It reminds us that not everything is as certain as we think. Not everyone is who they once said they were.
That’s what David is describing in Psalm 55 when he discovers that his friend has betrayed him. David remembers when he used to walk among the crowds of the temple with his friend. They would “take sweet counsel together,” or so he thought. In hindsight he realizes that his friend’s words were deceptive, as “smooth as butter.” What he once thought was camaraderie, he sees now is war. If it had been an enemy taunting him, he could have borne it. But a friend?
In times like this, remember that God is different. His own Son came to live on this earth where one of His good friends would betray Him for 30 pieces of silver. Yet He will never betray you. Be assured, as David was, that you can trust in your God.
“Friends may fail me, foes assail me,/ He, my Savior, makes me whole.” (J. Wilbur Chapman, 1910)