In return for my friendship they accuse me, but I am a man of prayer. (Ps. 109:4)
Betrayal. The radio and music-streaming apps carry a thousand songs about it. Most are about being cheated on in a romance. You don’t hear too many lyrics complaining over an unfaithful friend. That’s what the song called Psalm 109 is about, though. Verses 1–20 make for raw reading as King David pours out his hurt and anger at how his false friends lied about him, attacked him, and cursed him. David prays that his enemies’ curses and unkindness will boomerang on them. If you’ve ever experienced betrayal by someone close, you know the feelings David is venting.
Listen to Christian music or look through a hymnal, and you won’t find much mention of the Bible’s most infamous betrayer, Judas. But this psalm is about him: in Acts 1:20, Peter quotes Psalm 109:8 to justify filling Judas’ vacancy with a new twelfth apostle. Peter doesn’t repeat everything David says; he’s following Jesus, the Son of David, who taught and practiced blessing those who curse you and praying for your enemies (see Luke 6:27–37; 11:4; 23:34). Peter picks the one verse that suggests moving on from the betrayal by finding someone new to trust.
Betrayal won’t have the last word when you follow Christ. Judas betrayed him, but he rose from the dead and replaced Judas with a faithful apostle. He’ll give you a song beyond “they done me wrong” too.
Release your hurts into the hands of the risen Christ.
Jerome Van Kuiken is a missionary kid, a pastor’s kid, and dean of the School of Ministry and Christian Thought at Oklahoma Wesleyan University.
© 2022 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.