Devotional: ‘There’s Not a Friend Like the Lowly Jesus’

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Psalm 55:1 Listen to my prayer, O God. Do not ignore my cry for help! 2 Please listen and answer me, for I am overwhelmed by my troubles. NLT

When David wrote these words, he was suffering one of the greatest pains a person can ever face – he had been betrayed by someone he thought to be a friend. “It is not an enemy who taunts me — I could bear that. It is not my foes who so arrogantly insult me — I could have hidden from them. Instead, it is you — my equal, my companion and close friend. What good fellowship we enjoyed as we walked together to the house of God.” (vs 12-14)

Many believe that perhaps this close friend was his own son, Absalom. Scripture teaches us that Absalom led a rebellion against his father and tried to take away the kingdom. (see 2 Samuel 15-18) Though some of David’s men thought that he should have acted quickly and squelched the uprising, David could only punish himself over his own failures as a father. Later, when Absalom was killed in battle, David mourned bitterly for him. “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!” (2 Samuel 18:33 NLT) Like many parents, David loved Absalom more than his own life and therefore his son’s rebellion caused him some of the deepest kind of pain a parent can ever suffer.

Others believe that Psalm 55 is Messianic, meaning that it is prophetically speaking of the coming Messiah. In specific, this psalm may be a reference to Judas’ betrayal of Jesus. We know that it was Judas who turned Jesus over to the enemy for thirty pieces of silver. And it was Judas who used a kiss to identify Jesus as the one to be arrested. (Luke 22:48)

Regardless of the reasoning for Psalm 55, it is evident that David was experiencing the bitter pain of betrayal and therefore he was crying out to God for comfort. “Listen to my prayer, O God. Do not ignore my cry for help! Please listen and answer me, for I am overwhelmed by my troubles.” Did David find the comfort he needed?

Psalm 55:22 Give your burdens to the LORD, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall. NLT

David found great comfort in his personal relationship with God. Scripture says that Jesus is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. (Pr 18:24) In closing, consider these words to an old song.

There’s not a friend like the lowly Jesus,
No, not one! No, not one!
None else could heal all our soul’s diseases,
No, not one! No, not one!

Jesus knows all about our struggles,
He will guide till the day is done;
There’s not a friend like the lowly Jesus,
No, not one! No, not one!

(John­son Oat­man, Jr., 1895)

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