Monday, December 23, 2013

Psalm 41


False Friendships 

David had many friends--he also had a few who claimed to be and could not be trusted.  The greatest example was Saul.  He called David a son and yet was jealous of him--in ways that lead him to seeking ways of putting him to death. 
 
One of the most beautiful stories is the relationship David had with Jonathan.  Saul's own son Jonathan loved David more than a brother. He would lay down his own life for David if need be.  Read more 1 Samuel 18.  
 
A Psalm of David
 1   How blessed is he who considers the helpless—
      the Lord will deliver him in a day of trouble.
 2  The Lord will protect him and keep him alive, and he shall be called blessed—
      and does not give him over to the desire of his enemies.
 3   The Lord will sustain him upon his sickbed—
         in his illness, You will restore him to health.
 4   As for me I said, “O Lord, be gracious to me.  Heal my soul,
      for the day I  sin against You.”  

 5   My enemies speak evil against me, “When will he die, and his name perish?”
 6   And when he comes to see me, he speaks falsehood—
    His heart gathers wickedness to itself; when he goes outside, he tells it.
 7   All who hate me whisper together against me; against me they devise my hurt,
     saying—
 8   “A wicked thing is poured out upon him, that when he lies down, he will not rise up again.”
 9   Even my close friend in whom I trusted!   Who ate my bread!
    He has lifted up his heel against me.  

 10   But You, O Lord, are gracious to me and raise me up.
 11   By this I know that  You are pleased with me, because my enemy does not shout
      in triumph over me.

 12   As for me, You uphold me in my integrity, and You set me in Your presence
      forever.
 13   Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting.
       Amen and Amen. 
 

The best way to describe a false friend is to look at what a true friend is.  
The basis of any good relationship is within the boundary of true biblical love. This love we often misunderstand because it is confused with emotion.

To love is the desire for and to delight in the well being of the ones we care for.  It should lead to a self sacrificing effort on their behalf.  

Any true lasting relationship will be based on grace. God made us to need one another. When we fail in our relationships we must fail in exercising biblical grace.  We all need each other.  It is never one-sided.  Unselfishly we give support and friendship to others.  The basis of any sound lasting relationship begins with a relationship with God. "There is a friend that sticks closer than a brother."  That friend is Jesus Christ.  

  Genuine friends have open ears.  A true friend will listen when you speak. He wants to understand how you feel and what concerns you.

  Genuine friends will always look out for each other.  A friend is one who walks in when others walk out.

   Jesus is the friend who will always have us in His protection. He protects us today. Psalm 125:2 says, "As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people from this time and forever more.

    Genuine friends are always honest with us.  Proverbs 27:6,  "Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful."  Sometimes we need to be told the truth.

   Genuine friends accept us, warts and all.

    Jesus himself said, "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends" (John 15:13).
 

Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”  1 Corinthians 15:33