James Merritt - Betrayed and Broken
We've been in a series, if you're a first time guest of ours, we've been in a series we've been calling "Playlist", and you know a playlist today is, it's a digital collection of songs. If you've got an iPhone or a Pad, or whatever you might use, you can actually, you can go on, you can categorize different music into different genres. An on my phone for example, I've got a list, pop music, I've got country music, I've got worship music, I've got, you know, those kinda, and I can listen to any of those kind of musics, you know, those songs that I want to. And it's interesting to notice that, and the reason why we all on this universe love music, is because music does communicate in a way that nothing else does. God knew that, so God made His own playlist, it's called Psalms.
There's a book in the Bible called Psalms, what you probably never knew, or some of you didn't realize was that 3,000 years ago, you didn't just read a Psalm, you would listen to a Psalm sung. You would listen to a Psalm played, they were all set to music, and today we're going to close this series we've been in with a Psalm that was written by a king that's going through the storm of betrayal. He's going through the hurt and the heartache of being stabbed in the back by someone he thought would never ever would do to him whatever it was that was done to him.
So if you brought a copy of God's word and want to look on, or you want to get out your phone or pad or whatever you're using, we're gonna be in the book of Psalms, we're gonna look at Psalm 55, alright. Psalm 55. Psalms right in the middle of your Bible. Let me kind of setup what's kind of is going on here. King David wrote these songs, it's very obvious that when David wrote this, his emotional level was at code red. His stress was at DEFCON 1, I mean, he evidently was at the bottom of the barrel. As a matter of fact, today, we would say he was having an acute anxiety attack. That's what we would call it. I mean he is about as low as anybody can get, and the problem is, he's still carrying the aura of betrayal by a close friend in his heart.
Now, we don't know who this buddy of his was, we don't know who this close friend was. I read a lot of stuff, and read a lot of Bible scholars and everybody was all over the map. I don't know who it was, but whoever it was, he thought it was a BFF. He thought, "We're gonna be like this forever and ever". So, he tells us why he wrote this particular Psalm in verses 12 and following. He said, "If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure that", right? I mean if somebody you don't like says something bad to you, you lose about a half a second's sleep, right? "If a foe were rising against me, I could hide. But it's you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend". Well how close? "With whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship at the house of God, as we walked about among the worshipers".
Now when David wrote this particular Psalm, he was at the absolute peak of his political power. Peace was everywhere, prosperity was everywhere, the nation had never done better. He was living in absolute, complete luxury. His military power was absolutely unquestioned. Everybody was happy, and yet, here's a king at the zenith of his power, and the betrayal of just one friend destroys his world. The betrayal of one friend turns his world upside down. Even the heart of a great king can be broken by the betrayal of one friend. Why is that? Because I believe there is no greater human heartache in life, relationally speaking, than when someone that you love, someone that you trust, someone that you open your heart up to, someone you always thought would have your back, sticks a knife in it.
So we're gonna give you four things today, hopefully that will help you get to the other side of this mountain you've been trying to climb. Number one, you tell your hurt to God. That's the first thing. When somebody hurts you, the first thing you need to do, you tell your hurt to God. So, David begins by writing, in the psalm, he begins by these lyrics, he says, "Listen to my prayer, O God. Do not ignore my plea, hear me and answer me. My thoughts trouble me, and I am distraught". Now, listen to what David said. David said, "I am so distraught. I am so devastated. I am so torn up I can't even think straight. I can't get my mind on anything, I just, everytime I open my mind up all I can think about is how hurt I am. And the more I think about how hurt I am, the more I hurt".
As a matter of fact, things are so bad, David says this, now listen to what he says, this is amazing. He said, "I would flee far away and stay in the desert. I would hurry to my place of shelter far from the tempest and the storm". Did you understand? David, now, he's a king. David said, "I would gladly give up my throne. I'd gladly give up all of my gold and all of my sliver. I'd gladly give up this beautiful palace. I would gladly give up my fame. I would gladly give up all of my political power. I'd give up all the wealth that I have. I'd give up all the good things that come to being a king of the greatest nation in the world if I could just get away from the hurt, and just get away from the heartache. If I could just get one night's sleep and forget about what this person has done to me".
I mean, we're talking again about, this is code red, and we just read the source of his heartache. Someone he called his close friend, and by the way, how close was this person? He said, "We used to go to church together, we sat in the same seat together, we opened up the hymn book and we sang together. We listened to the prophet together, we took notes together, we went to lunch afterwards together. We were absolutely just like this", and he said, "the pain is unbearable. The hurt and the heartache are just crushing". As a matter of fact, he goes on to say this, "My heart is in anguish within me, the terrors of death have fallen on me, fear and trembling have beset me. Horror has overwhelmed me".
Now, think about it, who's writing these words? This is David, this is the giant killer. This is the guy that took a little rock out of a creek with a slingshot and killed a guy that was 9'6" tall and weighed over 400 pounds. And yet, even though a giant couldn't touch him, one friend could devastate him. Some of you are going, "Man, that's where I am. I know exactly how he feels". The great preacher Charles Spurgeon said, "No one is such a real enemy as a false friend". "No one is such a real enemy as a false friend".
So what does David do? He does the best thing you can do when somebody hurts you, he does the wisest thing you can do when somebody hurts you. When you're deeply hurt, you've been bitterly betrayed, you know what he does? He vents. He empties his clip. He starts talking, because the worst thing you can do when somebody hurts you, listen, the worst thing you can do is to harbor your hurt because harbored hurt becomes burdened bitterness. Not most of the time, not a lot of the time, every single time. If somebody hurts you, and you hold it in, and you brood over it, and you stew over it, harbored hurt becomes burdened bitterness.
Now you may say, "But I just, nobody understands my situation. I don't have anybody to talk to". Well David's already alleviated that, he says, "No, you can always talk to God, because God always understands". You know, there's a great deal of truth in the saying, that a trouble shared is a trouble halved. It's true. A trouble shared, is a trouble halved. David says, "Don't harbor your hurt, don't hide your heartache, that always makes things worse". Now, here's the good news, you can always go to God with any trouble, any pain, any heartache, because...and let me tell you, several reasons why you can do that, why you should do that, and several reasons by the way, why this God is such a great God.
Number one, He's always available. You don't have to stand in line, you don't have to make an appointment. Number two, He completely understands. You'll never ever go to God with any problem and God say to you, "Man, I don't know how you feel. I didn't know that, that's news to me". He absolutely understands. You never bother God, as a matter of fact, I think the only thing that bothers God is when we think we bother God. You never bother God. Listen, His shoulders are big enough to hold your hurt. His ears are sharp enough to hear your hurt. His hands are strong enough to handle your hurt.
So, the first thing you need to do, tell your hurt to God. Now, here's the second thing David said, "You tune your heart to God". Tell your hurt to God, then you tune your heart to God. Let me tell you why this is so important. When somebody hurts you, they betray you, they stab you in the back, they deceive you, they jerk the rug out from under you, they throw you under the bus, they leave you holding the bag. Always remember this, your heart's like a tuning fork. You know what a tuning fork is? Your heart's like a tuning fork, and here's what will happen. You will either allow your heart to be tuned to, and tuned by that person that hurt you, and their betrayal will become your bitterness, or at that point you can make a decision.
You can say, "I'm not gonna let my heart be tuned to your hurt, and I'm not gonna let my heart be turned to the one that hurt me. I'm gonna let my heart be tuned to the God that I know that loves me". So, listen now what David says, "As for me, I call to God and the Lord saves me. Evening, morning, and noon I cry out in distress, He hears my voice. He rescues me unharmed from the battle waged against me, even though many oppose me. God who is enthroned from of old, who does not change, He will hear them and humble them, because they have no fear of God". David said, "When I took my mind off this hurt, and I took my eyes off the person that hurt me, and I decided to put my mind on God and to focus my eyes on the God that loves me, I remembered something".
God is a savior, God is a listener, God is a rescuer, and God is a ruler. Now, if God is a savior, that means He can save you from anything that anybody does to you. If God is a listener, that means you've always got someone to talk to. If God is a rescuer, that means He can always enable you to overcome anything that anyone does to you, and if God is a ruler, that means that God can take anything bad that someone means for you, and someway, somehow, God has this divine ability to turn it into good for you. And then David said, "I cried out to God in the morning, I cried out to God at noontime, I cried out to God in the evening". And that was just a Hebrew way of saying, "I'm going to God 24/7".
Now, let me tell you why this is such a big deal, when somebody hurts you, and they're gonna hurt you. When somebody disappoints you, and they're gonna disappoint you. When somebody throws you under the bus, and one day you're gonna get thrown under the bus. You're gonna do one of two things. You can spin your time stewing over what somebody's done to you, and hurt you. Or, you can spend your time pursuing the God who loves you and will take care of you. Now, if you want to waste your life, I mean really waste it, you just spend all your time stewing over that person that hurt you, but if you want to make your life productive, instead of stewing over what that person's done to you, pursue the God who can take care of you.
And here's what happens, when we begin to think about the way God saves us, and the way God listens to us, and the way God rescues us, and the way God rules over us, then somehow, I can't even explain how it happens, God starts delivering us from the poison of unforgiveness, and the prison of bitterness. Because when you're tuned to God, then you can forgive like God. So, number one, tell your hurt to God. Number two, tune your heart to God. Number three, trust your healing to God. Now, David does something that we all have to do if we're going to come to grips with the hurt and heartache that someone near to us and dear to us has done to us.
Now, I want to warn you, what we're about to see that David did is the opposite of what we tend to do, and listen, I've done the same thing I'm about to tell you, so I'm not throwing rocks at anybody, I've done the same thing. Because, you know, if somebody really hurts you, and somebody really betrays you, you know what we'll start doing, we'll start following them on Facebook. We'll start looking for what they're posting on Instagram. We'll start reading their Twitter feed. You know why? Because we're obsessed with them, and our prayer every day is, "O God, make them as miserable as I am. God, hurt them like they hurt me. God make their brakes fail going over a mountain next week".
Don't look at me like you're real holy, we've all been there. And we get obsessed with them, because what we do is, we want to see are they happy? Cause we don't want them to be happy. Have they been affected like we've been affected? Have they been hurt like we've been hurt? David says that won't work. That is non-productive. David says, "Instead what you ought to do," now this is gonna help some of you. "Why don't you start looking at them through the lens of God's eyes, and why don't you realize that many times, when people hurt you," now listen, this is gonna be new for some of you. "Why don't you stop and think about the fact that when people hurt you, and people stab you in the back, and people jerk the legs out from under you, and people throw you under the bus, and people leave you holding the bag, in a sense, God just did you a big favor".
Cause He just revealed to you what the person really was to begin with. Because, listen to what David now says about this friend. "My companion attacks his friends". David says, "You know, I'm not the only guy he's messed over. He violates his covenant, he never did keep his word. His talk is smooth as butter, yet war is in his heart. His words are more soothing than oil, yet they are drawn swords". All of a sudden God pulls the curtain back, God turns on the light, and David starts seeing this former friend for what his former friend really was. This buddy of his, what was he really like? He was a backstabber, he was a gossiper, he was a liar, so David, all of a sudden, realizes God did him a favor. He says, "You know what, this is a friend, when I look back, he broke promises, he didn't keep 'em. He'd talk one way to your face and another way behind your back".
I was talking to somebody out in the lobby and they just heard the message, we were talking about it, and I said to them, reminded them. I said "Let me tell you what a true friend will do, this will be worth coming to church for. A true friend will praise you, a true friend will never flatter you". You say, "Okay, I don't understand. What is the difference between that"? Okay, listen carefully, flattery is what you'll say to somebody's face but you don't really mean it, so you don't say it behind their back. Praise is what you'd say to someone's face or say behind someone's back because you really mean it, whether you say it to their face or not.
There's a big difference between praise and flattery. Friends don't flatter, friends praise, and David is finally coming to grips with the fact, you know, this friend really wasn't a true friend. And David finally woke up and said, "You know what, he's not worth my bitterness. He's not worth me being friends with him on Facebook. He's not worth me reading his Twitter feed or seeing what he's posting on Instagram. He's just really not worth it". In other words, listen to this, David finally woke up and said, "It's time to leave behind the person that left me behind". It's time to leave behind the person that left me behind.
Now listen, this is the most important thing I'm going to say right now. When you can't leave your past to God, you cannot enjoy the present, nor can you focus on the future. When you can't leave your past to God, you cannot enjoy the present, nor, focus on the future. I think one of the greatest men that lived in the 20th century was a man by the name of Nelson Mandela. Nelson Mandela, as you know, fought all of his life to end apartheid in South Africa. Well during his fight for equality, some so called friends betrayed him, and in three years time he was arrested for treason, he was put on trial for sabotage, he was sentenced to life in prison. He did hard labor, he slept on a floor in a cell with no toilet. He could only receive one visitor, one day a year, and he got 30 minutes.
When he was finally released from, or got out of prison, he spent several years in house arrest making a total imprisonment time of 27 years, and what was his crime? Just trying to bring equality to the nation that he loved. When Nelson Mandela got out of prison in 1990, he made one of the greatest statements anybody's ever made that I've ever heard. Listen to what Nelson Mandela said, "As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I did not leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I would still forever be in prison". For some of you today, it's time for you to do what Mr. Mandela did, get out of your prison. You are in a prison of bitterness that was not made by the person that betrayed you, you made that prison. You didn't have to get into it, nobody forced you into it, and you can get out of it anytime you want to.
Now you may be sitting there saying, "Man, but you don't know what I've gone through". I don't. "You don't know the hurt that I've been through". No, I don't. And you may be sitting there thinking, "I'll never get over the mountain of hurt". You know what, you won't if you don't want to. You may think, "I'll never get through the storm of this heartache". You know what, you won't if you don't want to, but I'll tell you this, if you're will say one thing that David said to God and really mean it, you'll get over that mountain like this, and you'll get through that storm like this. Listen to what David said, "But as for me, I trust in you". You just look up to God, "You know Lord", here's what I believe. You can take every hurt, and every hurter, and you can trust God to heal that hurt, and deal with that hurter.
Did you hear me? Listen. You will never heal your hurt, so quit trying to do it on your own. He can. You're never gonna be able to deal with the one that hurt you, He can. So, if you just go to God and you say, "God, here's my hurt, and God, here's the one who hurt me". God says, "Great, I'll heal your hurt, and I will deal with the one that hurt you". That's the only way you'll ever be free from the prison of your own bitterness. Now, look what happens. If you'll do those three things, you will automatically do the fourth thing without even realizing it, and here's what it is, you will tie your hope to God.
Now, listen to how David ends this, this is so good. Look, I understand, I've been betrayed like you have been. I've had people that I thought were some of my best friends when I needed them the most they turned tail and I've been there, trust me. Some of you know what I'm talking about. And in one sense, you know why it seems like a death, because it really is, because it's really hard to accept the fact that a relationship that you, at least on earth, you thought would last forever is really over. But here's what I want you to hear, just because a relationship is over doesn't mean your life is over. It's not.
And here's what some of you need to do right now. You need to cut the cord that you tied to that relationship that you thought would last but didn't, and you need to tie your cord, and tie your hope to a relationship that will never end. Because people will turn their back on you, God never will. And that's why David said in verse 22, "Cast your cares on the Lord, and He will sustain you. He will never let the righteous be shaken". Yep. The best of people will fail you, there's somebody, don't know who he or she is, you've got it in your mind. Now that person, they will be with me through thick and thin. Nope. At the first mention of thick and thin, they're thick and thin, out the door, gone. Just gonna happen. People will fail you, but God won't.
David said, "You know what, when you've been knocked flat on your back by a blow that you never saw coming from someone you never thought would deliver it". David said, "I'm proof positive you can take it, and you can make it". He says, "Cast your cares on the Lord, He will sustain you. You can still stand up". And then he says, "You not only can stand up, you can stay up". He says, "He'll never let the righteous be shaken, because of the love of this God that created us, and the hope that we have in Him, you may be temporarily down, but you will never be permanently out, because the hurt is the hallway to hope, always".
And what David said in this psalm is, God can take the sadness of betrayal, and turn it into a song of blessing. God creates a couple named Adam and Eve, puts them in a perfect paradise. They have everything you could ever want to be happy, and live happily ever after. And the dew is not even wet on the grass of creation until they reject what He told them to do and literally stabbed him in the back and said, "We reject what you wanted for us, we're doing it our way".
And then 2,000 years ago the Son of that Father, was in a garden called Gethsemane. And the grass was wet from the drops of sweat from His brow, and the one that thought that was BFFs betrayed Him, and stabbed Him in the back for the price of two bags of groceries. And the other 11 guys that He thought, "If everybody else betrays me, they'll stick with me". They ran like scalded dogs when He needed them the most. But it was out of those betrayals that a savior came, and a rescuer came, and a ruler came who died on a cross, and came back from the grave to prove, "I can take your betrayal, and I can turn it into a blessing".