“They have also surrounded me with words of hatred, And fought against me without a cause. In return for my love they are my accusers, But I give myself to prayer. Thus they have rewarded me evil for good, And hatred for my love.” (Psalm 103:3-5 NKJV)
I don’t know if any sin causes more harm to the person being sinned against than betrayal. Physical punishment may cut or bruise the skin, betrayal cuts the heart. When your enemies treat you wrong, it’s easy to deal with because you expect that. When those you love, those you’ve cared for, those you’ve helped along the way treat you wrong, betray you, that hurts your heart. And that’s what David’s dealing with in this Psalm. If you look at David’s life, he was betrayed on numerous occasions. Then, sometimes, he was the betrayer. While the psalm continues by wishing terrible misfortune on those who betrayed him, David does mention the best response: prayer.
Betrayal hurts and often our response causes more hurt and an escalation of the pain. Ultimately, our best response to betrayal is to pray. You may pray for God to take out vengeance on your betrayer, we see that a lot in the Psalms. It’s important to remember though, that just because the Bible mentions something that people did, it doesn’t mean that’s the right thing to do. When we understand life from the perspective of God’s grace, we understand that when someone betrays us, we need to forgive them and then, now this is hard, pray for God to bless them. When someone betrays people, they have deeper needs and concerns that lead to the acts of betrayal. If we pray for God to bless them, especially with the ultimate blessing of a relationship with Him through Jesus, we’re more likely to see a positive change as God works on their heart. The next time someone hurts you and betrays you, after seeing to your physical and emotional safety, pray for God to bring that person into His will and bless them. It’s amazing what God will do.
Lord, it’s so unnatural to pray for persecutors and betrayers – yet You did just that. Give me Your grace and sense of forgiveness so that when I pray for those people, I’ll joyfully put them in Your hands, knowing that You’ll love them and keep drawing them to You.