On Saturdays we'll worship God through a selection from the Psalms.
Read Psalm 55:16-23
As for me, I call to God,
and the Lord saves me.
Evening, morning and noon
I cry out in distress,
and 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.
My companion attacks his friends;
he violates his covenant.
His talk is smooth as butter,
yet war is in his heart;
his words are more soothing than oil,
yet they are drawn swords.
Cast your cares on the Lord
and he will sustain you;
he will never let
the righteous be shaken.
But you, God, will bring down the wicked
into the pit of decay;
the bloodthirsty and deceitful
will not live out half their days.
But as for me, I trust in you.
The middle stanza of this passage ("My companion…") is often understood as a reference to Ahitophel, a good friend and wise counselor to King David whose advice was said to be "like that of one who inquires of God." But Ahitophel betrayed David at a crucial time, only later seeing the error of his ways, and ended up taking his own life. Have you ever had a good friend who gave you trusted advice, even on spiritual matters, but who later turned and went in a different direction? What did it make you think of them? Did you see their advice in a different light?
How do you deal with people you love who disappoint you with an offense against you personally? Depending on the nature of the offense, of course, how hard is it to offer them the same grace Christ offers you? Pray today for that grace to be both given and received, and pray for present and future friends of the kind that "sticks closer than a brother."