Born to Be – Betrayed

PSALM 41

ABSALOM’S REBELLION

The Old Testament book of Psalms is actually a library of five different books.  Psalm 41 is the last psalm of book one.  It starts with the word “blessed,” which connects it to the first psalm of book one.  David is the author of this psalm.  It’s context can be found during the rebellion of Absalom in 2 Samuel chapters 15-18.  Absalom was the son of David.  Through trickery he “stole the hearts of the men of Israel” (2 Samuel 15:6).  A man named Ahithophel was one of the trusted advisors of David.  Everyone respected his counsel as if it were straight from the Lord (2 Samuel 16:23).  Ahithophel saw the influence of Absalom grow and betrayed David to join the rebellion.  David was fleeing the city and weeping upon the Mount of Olives when he learned of the treachery of Ahithophel.  He was heartbroken.  It was during this time that He wrote Psalm 41.

 

POINTING TO JESUS

Psalm 41 is quoted by Jesus as He refers to Himself being betrayed by Judas (John 13:18).  It was easy for the Hebrew people to see Messianic undertones in Psalm one.  The Messiah would be the righteous man.  It was also easy for them to see the Messiah in Psalm two where He would rule and reign.  However, they had a real problem with the Messiah being weak and betrayed.  This is why Paul taught that the gospel of Christ was “a stumbling block to the Jews” (I Corinthians 1:23).  They wanted a Messiah that was a powerful leader who would save them from the clutches of the Roman empire.  However, God’s plan was to save His people from a more ruthless enemy.  Jesus came in human flesh to fully identify with us (Hebrews 2:10, 17).  He came to suffer as we suffer, yet in a way that no other human had.  Psalm 41 details the pain of being betrayed by a close friend.  Unlike King David, Jesus suffered betrayal and never sinned.  God could have justly removed David from the throne.  Jesus fully deserves to rule.  We have a reigning king that fully identifies with our deepest pain.

 

Study Questions

  1. Have you ever been weak and had a close friend take advantage of the moment and use it to slander you and turn others against you?  What was the response of David and Jesus to this pain (2 Samuel 16:5-14; Matthew 26:38-39)?
  2. David knew his sin was part of the problem in the betrayal of his son and close friend (vs. 4).  How can God allow us to pray for healing when our sin is part of the problem?
  3. How does our personal pain point to the greatness of Jesus Christ and what He has done for us?