“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 whom I was introduced to by a very good friend. What good fellowship we once enjoyed as we fellowship online together discussing the word of God. Let death stalk my enemies; let the grave swallow them alive, for evil makes its home within them.” Psalm 55:12-15
Of all experiences in life, betrayal by a trusted friend is one of the most difficult to bear.
Because of his preaching of judgment, Jeremiah found himself increasingly isolated until finally his close friends turned against him, seeking his downfall (Jeremiah 20:10).
Similarly, our lamenting psalmist describes an intimate friendship: “my equal, my companion, my familiar friend, with whom I kept pleasant company” (Psalm 55:13-14).
They had worshiped together in the house of God, but now the friend has joined the enemies. From his enemies he could hide (Psalm 55:12), but how can he deal with treachery?
Betrayal by a close friend is devastating. It produces a feeling of worthlessness for having trusted an untrustworthy person. If foments anger and depression. It raises questions about our judgment. Because of the intimate friend’s knowledge of our situation, such betrayal has great potential for further damage.
The betrayed psalmist turns to God, but with what language! He curses them to “go down alive to Sheol” (Psalm 55:15). In ancient Israelite thought, Sheol was the grave, around which might hover the specters or shadows of the dead.
But here the thought perhaps includes also the idea of punishment for the “evil [that] is in their homes and in their hearts” (Psalm 55:15). So also, Jeremiah prayed that his enemies “will not succeed” and that “their eternal dishonour will never be forgotten” (Jeremiah 20:11).
Can we do better, even in the extremity of betrayal by a friend? We can perhaps not rid ourselves of our negative emotions, but we can keep in mind that revenge is counterproductive. The word “forgiveness” in New Testament Greek means to “let go” — not necessarily to have a change of emotion. If we can let go of such experiences we can move beyond our betrayal.
Help me, Lord God, to let go of the hurts that have come my way. O, God from the very beginning of this ministry the devil was out to destroy me and the ministry with lies. O, Eternal Father You have kept me under the shadows of Your wings and declare war on the enemies of lies from within and without. Grant us a spirit of discernment to see and behold that Thou art the same yesterday, today and forever. The lies sent forth to the Patriarch and myself Father hear and answer this my prayer. Let The Mystical Order, The Mystical Court and Starlight of Israel prosper and that no weapons formed against us destroy what you have formed. Almighty God hear and answer our prayers in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Your brother and servant,
+ Sir Godfrey Gregg DD
Archbishop and Presiding Prelate
Administrator and Apostolic Head