Psalm 55

Talks for Growing Christians

David’s Close Friend Betrays Him

Psalm 55

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Lesson Number 41

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. David’s betrayal by a close friend has practical implications.
  2. David’s betrayal by a close friend has prophetic implications.

Practical Application

  1. We can fly away!


  1. What was the possible occasion for Psalm 55?
  2. What right move did David make after his friend betrayed him?
  3. What do verses 9-11 tell us about the result of this betrayal?
  4. How do we know that the one who betrayed David was at one time very close to him?
  5. David’s betrayal by a close friend, probably Ahithophel, looks ahead prophetically to whose betrayal of the Lord Jesus?


  1. The context of this psalm concerns the betrayal of David by a close friend. One likely occasion is when Ahithophel, his trusted counselor, betrayed David at the time of Absalom’s rebellion. Ahithophel went over to Absalom’s side and counseled Absalom against David. See 2 Samuel 15-17.
  2. He brought the matter to the Lord in prayer.
  3. This betrayal of the king resulted in a breakdown of government in Jerusalem.
  4. Verses 12-14 show that they had fellowship together and worshipped in the house of the Lord together.
  5. Judas


  1. David longed to fly away from the painful situation of his friend’s betrayal, like a bird flies away from a storm (verse 6). Can you identify with David at this point? How can you practically apply some of the actions David took instead?
  2. Discuss some of the parallels between David’s betrayal by his close friend and our Lord’s betrayal by Judas. Have you ever been betrayed by a friend? Recognize that you can take those feelings to the Lord, because He has felt that hurt as well!


  1. It’s not good to run away from your problems – but you fly away! There is a quiet place, a place of refuge near the heart of God, when we turn to Him in the midst of our troubles.

Key Verses

  • “My heart is severely pained within me, and the terrors of death have fallen upon me.” Psalm 55:4
  • “Cast your burden on the LORD, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.” Psalm 55:22

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