December 16, 2023
Picture: David the Betrayed King
Psalm 41:7-9; John 13:18-21
As David plodded through the brook of Kidron, adrenaline began to fade and strange déjà vu set in as he looked at the wild landscape that would once again become his temporary home. Years before it had been King Saul who had threatened his life and hunted him like a jackal, but this time it was his son Absalom. He should have seen it coming. Over the past 3 years, He knew he was losing him. Perhaps he should have acted more decisively when Amnon violated his daughter Tamar. Perhaps he should have welcomed him back more completely like Joab had suggested. A myriad of “what-ifs” saturated his thoughts as the betrayal of his son took front and center in his consciousness. He retreated to his own source of therapy, music and penned the words of this song to capture his emotions.
All who hate me whisper together against me;
Against me they devise my hurt.
“An evil disease,” they say, “clings to him.
And now that he lies down, he will rise up no more.”
Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted,
Who ate my bread,
Has lifted up his heel against me.
Psalm 41:7-9 (NKJV)
Though David specifically experienced this isolating betrayal, He himself is a type of Christ. In David’s life, we find parallels that paint pictures of the emotions and experiences of Jesus himself. Jesus so identifies with this moment in David’s life that he views it as a prophetic utterance which captures his own experience as He lies in wait, anticipating his betrayal. Jesus is gathered with the men who he had spent 3 years with. They were near constant companions, brothers and friends. As he shares what he knows is His final meal before his crucifixion with the men who had meant so much to Him, He confronts the truth of what he is about to experience.
“I do not speak concerning all of you. I know whom I have chosen; but that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘He who eats bread with Me has lifted up his heel against Me.’ Now I tell you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe that I am He. Most assuredly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.”
When Jesus had said these things, He was troubled in spirit, and testified and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me.”
John 13:18-21 (NKJV)
As we focus our attention on Jesus, we find a Savior who knew the sting of betrayal so severe that it would end his life. Yet, even in his agony and anxiety, He did not sin. The centerpiece of Christmas is a High Priest who can sympathize with our weakness as we endure betrayal, and the isolation that follows. He offers comfort to the broken hearted from a heart that has been broken.