The Effects of Hostility and Betrayal upon the Mind and Body

by Paul Tautges | August 23, 2016 12:38 pm

Last week, I spent several days in Psalms 3-7 as part of my study through Alec Motyer’s devotional translation[1] of the Hebrew songbook we know as the book of Psalms. Whether or not all agree that Psalms 3-7 belong to the time of Absalom’s betrayal of King David and attempt at a hostile takeover, Motyer contends, “What cannot be denied is that they all arise from a time (or times) of hostility. The comparatively buoyant spirit of Psalms 3 and 4 becomes a much sharper sense of enmity in Psalm 5, with a clearer awareness of the wickedness which David was facing. Next comes the ‘terror’ [of Psalm 6]…and the solemn sense of divine judgment—and eternal judgment—which pre-occupies Psalm 7.”

Psalm 6, which Motyer entitles “Deep Danger, Great Deliverance,” is incredibly descriptive in its inspired portrayal of the effects of betrayal and hostility on the mind and body of David, as well as the blessings that this kind of suffering brought to his faith. As we counsel others—and even ourselves—in times of relational hostility, we may draw strength from this radically honest portion of God’s Word.

Results of Betrayal

Take note of what you see when looking through this window into David’s heart and soul and, in particular, how his trial affected his mind and body.

However, God has a way of redeeming hostility and betrayal in order to change us on the inside, thus making us more dependent, effective servants of Him.

Blessings of Betrayal

Though the negative impact of betrayal upon one’s mind and body—and even one’s faith—should never be understated, there is a manner in which God brings about good through it all. Here are just two good fruits of betrayal:

Sadly, hostility and betrayal are part of the human experience and even the Christian life. Hardly a week goes by that God does not have me minister to someone who is experiencing this kind of pain in some form. But I can say, for myself, that experiencing hostility and betrayal in the past has changed me. It has made me a different, more compassionate pastor (I hope); and more effective counselor (I think), as does the continued study of the most honest book in the Bible—the book of Psalms.

When was the last time you lived and breathed the Psalms? No matter what kind of suffering is on your current path to a stronger, purer faith, run to God. Listen to Him in the Psalms. And pour your heart out to Him in honest, seeking prayer. He will answer. He will comfort. He will feed your soul. He will cause you to hope in Him alone.

  1. devotional translation:

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