There is an adage in a Ghanaian local dialect which says “Suro Nipa” which literally means “fear human being”. My mum always tells me that, no human being is an island and that one must relate cordially with others and have friends.

King Solomon said in Proverbs 18:24 that “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother”. In recent times, I’ve seen close friendships hit the rocks which usually leaves one party in acrimony. I recently met a friend and when I asked her about a close friend of hers, her countenance changed. I asked her what the problem was and she narrated how her friend ended up betraying her upon all the sacrifices she made for her. This is the story of many people and unfortunately, it’s the ones that show themselves friendly and sacrifice a lot in a friendship that gets betrayed.

I told my friend that betrayal is normal but I personally don’t understand why people get hurt and find it difficult to recover from it and here is why. David said in the book of Psalms that “It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in people”. Betrayal happens when trust is broken and if there’s someone who suffered the worst of betrayals, it is King David. At a point in time in his life, his own son plotted to kill him and his closest adviser was a party to this evil. So, in the first place, it is an error to think a friend or an ally can’t betray you. It is part of human nature. But one question still lingers; which is “How then can we relate with each other without being hurt even in betrayal”?

I’ve come to the realization that, it doesn’t hurt when one anticipates danger, compared to when one doesn’t anticipate. David has shown us the way and here is how.

So when an evil spirit came upon Saul, the services of a man who is adept at playing a harp had to be employed to remedy Saul’s condition. There was no better person to do that than young David.

When David entered the presence of King Saul, he found favor in the sight of the King and was chosen by the king to carry his weapons. The King then sent a message to David’s Father saying “I like David. Let him stay here in my service”. David stayed in the palace from then onwards and played the harp for the king anytime an evil spirit came upon him.

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Interestingly, their relationship turned sour when David conquered Goliath. After conquering Goliath, the women from the towns of Israel eulogized David saying “Saul has killed thousands, but David tens of thousands”. This got Saul jealous so on the next day while David was playing his harp for Saul to assuage his evil spirit condition, Saul threw his spear at David twice but David dodged on each occasion.

The plot of the incident looks simple but there’s something interesting about it. Under normal circumstances, it is difficult to dodge something you don’t anticipate. This means, even though Saul said he liked David the first time they met, David wasn’t carried away by his words but knew humans couldn’t be trusted.

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Another thing that has to be looked at critically is that Saul threw his spear at David while he was playing the harp. Under normal circumstances, a skilled instrumentalist gets carried away at a point in time when playing a musical instrument but it wasn’t so for David. Interestingly, his eyes were wide open while churning out soothing tunes for King Saul. That is the only way he could have been able to see Saul throw a spear at him to the extent of dodging it.

What befuddled me the most about this whole situation is that, David was the only one who had the remedy to Saul’s evil possessed condition but ironically, it didn’t stop Saul from executing his heinous agenda. David, on the other hand, could have thought that his service was indispensable and there was no way Saul would try to harm him but he didn’t. He only gave him the benefit of the doubt.

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There are a lot of cues we can all take from David’s close shave with death at the hands of Saul. In the first place, humans can’t be trusted. Secondly, in trying to make sacrifices for our loved ones, we should be vigilant and watch out for warning signs of betrayal before it’s too late. We shouldn’t be carried away during our fun moments because that’s the moment a betrayal is usually plotted.

Finally, let’s all remember that, when someone makes a decision to betray you, there’s nothing that can change their mind. Not even your good deeds can make the person renege on their decision. We should never think that our good deeds to people can buy their trust because trust and betrayal are all a matter of choice.

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When you read the Bible carefully, you’d realize it didn’t say David was hurt when Saul turned on him. Neither did it say he was acrimonious and couldn’t fathom why upon all the essential services he rendered to Saul, he still had the temerity to attempt to kill him. This means when you’re betrayed, don’t waste your time and energy feeling hurt or crying over how good you’ve been to your trusted partner who betrayed you. Flee just like David did.