Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

1 Peter 5:7-8

The above passage from Peter’s first epistle is a staple of verse a day calendars and inspirational plaques; it’s certainly a concise and encouraging statement for the believer. Something important is left behind without the context of Peter’s letter and the passage the verse refers to.

My companion attacks his friends;
    he violates his covenant.
His talk is smooth as butter,
    yet war is in his heart;
his words are more soothing than oil,
    yet they are drawn swords.

Cast your cares on the Lord
    and he will sustain you;
he will never let
    the righteous be shaken.

But you, God, will bring down the wicked
    into the pit of decay;
the bloodthirsty and deceitful
    will not live out half their days.

But as for me, I trust in you.

Psalm 55:20-23

Peter is talking to an audience who needs unity and strength in the face of persecution. He is encouraging the leaders of the Church to conduct themselves properly and to act with the urgency and intentional living required in these last days. So when he references this Psalm, he draws on the conclusion that David lands on, God will keep his own, but also pulls in the framework of the rest of the song. God can save us from betrayal from our closest allies and friends.

Trusting and humbling oneself before God is the relief for betrayal. Not revenge, not wrath and not self-pity; the only cure for the pain of being hurt by those closest to you is to be sustained by our Creator.

Ethan Kirl