biblestudy: Psalm 55

Dealing With Betrayal
Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Given 17-Jan-15; Sermon #BS-011715; 60 minutes

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Richard Ritenbaugh, asserting that there is nothing more disconcerting than to be betrayed by someone we really care about, such as some individuals from our former fellowship who shun us as heretics and pariahs for various reasons, focuses on techniques and strategies for dealing with betrayal, using the insight of Psalm 55, written at a time of fleeing into exile, describing David's profound sorrow upon suffering betrayal from a supposedly close friend, the counselor Ahithophel, who joined Absalom's rebellion. God apparently sent David some comfort and a way of escape by sending another well trusted counselor, Hushai to his side, a man whom David entrusted to spy on the rebellion and neutralize Ahithophel's evil counsel, creating confusion in Absalom's mind. In the meantime, David's mercurial mind was roiled with despair, sick at heart from the betrayal of his son as well as his once trusted counselor. Psalm 55 shows us how a righteous man deals with treachery and betrayal. When we are faced with horrendous problems such as betrayal, escape is never an option. As David surveyed the situation of the enemy camp, he became aware of their division and conflict, embroiled in violence, unrest and destruction, all resulting from corrosive sin. David had considered Ahithophel an intimate friend and a spiritual brother, experiencing the betrayal as a painful twist of the knife. Ahithophel, whose granddaughter was Bath-Sheba, probably was bitter about the dishonor brought to his family, possibly feigned friendship and loyalty until he had the opportunity to get even. David realized that a treachery of this magnitude would meet the same fate as the rebellion of Korah and Dathan. Ahithophel, having opened himself up to evil, ultimately hanged himself while Absalom, hanging by his hair in a tree, was speared by Joab. David called upon God repeatedly at regular intervals, and God




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