December 14, 2021 – Psalm 41:9 & John 13:18

David contrasted the faithfulness of and protection from the Lord with the malice of his enemies. The Lord delivers and protects. The Lord blesses and sustains and heals. How differently does David describe his enemies: “My enemies say of me in malice, ‘When will he die, and his name perish?’” (Psalm 41:5) David even despaired regarding his closest friend: “Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me” (Psalm 41:9).

With David, Messiah would be abandoned by those closest to him. Jesus references this very verse. After washing his disciples’ feet and speaking of the one who would betray him, Jesus quoted from this psalm: “I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill this passage of Scripture: ‘He who shared my bread has turned against me’” (John 13:18). In this, and in the other psalms that point toward Messiah, even as we recoil at the betrayal of Judas, we are greatly encouraged in knowing that all takes place precisely as God intended. Charles Spurgeon put it this way: “So, you see, even the great trouble of the early Church, the betrayal by Judas, was used by Christ for the strengthening of his disciples’ faith. He foretold that it would be as it came to pass.”

Surely, David and Jesus would concur with the words of William Cowper:

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,

but trust Him for His grace;

behind a frowning providence

He hides a smiling face.

Blind unbelief is sure to err,

and scan His work in vain;

God is His own interpreter,

and He will make it plain.-- William Cowper (1774)

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