Monday, January 17, 2011

The Bitterness of Betrayal

No treachery is worse than betrayal by a family member or friend. Julius Caesar knew such treachery. Among the conspirators who assassinated the Roman leader on March 15, 44 was Marcus Junius Brutus. Caesar not only trusted Brutus, he had favored him as a son. According to Roman historians, Caesar first resisted the onslaught of the assassins. But when he saw Brutus among them with his dagger drawn, Caesar ceased to struggle and, pulling the top part of his robe over his face, asked the famous question, "And you, Brutus?"

Here are some of the possible situations:
-A friend backstabs you. I read on Facebook the other day of one of the girls who used to come to our church and how she was betrayed once again by a boy and her world has fallen apart. Though you and I roll our eyes, to her it is pretty important stuff.
-The employer you were loyal to fires you or promotes someone else over you even though you know you were the deserving one. Or, after 29 years, a few months away from retirement, you get laid off and everyone knows, it was only because the company doesn’t want to pay your pension.
-Someone you served the Lord with up and leaves the church and has nothing but venom and vitriol to spew.
-A spouse you came to an altar with leaves you for another man or woman and you are left with the responsibility.
-A parent leaves the home when you needed them most.
-A child becomes a black sheep, leaving everything they know is right to live in the pigpen of the world.
-A brother or sister no longer talks to you because of some little insignificant matter.
-A pastor turns his back on God, leaves the church and leaves the congregation in emotional and spiritual shambles.

Perhaps you could even give an instance of a bitter betrayal you have experienced.

My son (who is in Middle school, and you know how that can be) was betrayed by a good friend who used both our church and our home against him. It hurt deeply.

Betrayal is not a strange concept to the Holy Scriptures. Treachery, duplicity, infidelity, disloyalty, perfidy and unfaithfulness are recorded throughout the Word.
-Joseph was betrayed by his own brothers, by Potiphar’s wife, by the butcher and the baker.
-David was betrayed by his king, his chief of staff and his own son.
-Abel was betrayed by Cain.
-read through the books of the kings and you witness one treachery after another.
Jesus prophesies that in the end times… And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. Mat 24:10

I give you now the saddest betrayal in the history of the world.

Mar 14:10 And Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went unto the chief priests, to betray him unto them.
Mar 14:11 And when they heard it, they were glad, and promised to give him money. And he sought how he might conveniently betray him.
Mar 14:18 And as they sat and did eat, Jesus said, Verily I say unto you, One of you which eateth with me shall betray me.
Luk 22:47 And while he yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss him.
Luk 22:48 But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?

Psa 41:9 Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.

Zec 13:6 And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.
(explain Middle-Eastern hospitality)

How can we deal with this most hurtful of all things that could ever happen to us?

1. Count the betrayer as a friend, Jesus did. “Friend, betrayest the son of man with a kiss?”
2. Have forgiveness in store – Eph 4:32, Lord’s prayer
3. Learn to depend only on Him. People will fail you! When you find He is all you have, you will know that He is all you need. Remember, it is better to be single wishing you were married than to be married wishing you were single!!!
4. Cast all your care on the One Who knows exactly what you are going through, for he cares for you! I Pet 5:7 He has a promise especially for you… “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.” Heb. 13:5
5. Know that God has something better in store for you…
a. a new and improved friend, maybe even a mate. I hate to say this (for sake of being misunderstood) to those of you who have lost friends, church friends, spouses, boy or girl friends, etc., You are better off without them!!!
b. drawing closer to Him
c. heaven!
6. Know that there is a special place set aside for betrayers
a. The Bible says that Judas went to his own place. Regular hell was too good for him.
b. People like Judas, John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, and David’s son Absalom also have a special place set aside for them in history. You know how history has treated Jezebel, Hitler, Attila the Hun, Pol Pot, Vlad Lennon, Chairman Mao? Well, history also doesn’t look to kindly upon those who were treacherous against beloved people.

In American history, there is a man who wanted to be famous, but he became famous for the wrong reasons. You have probably heard his name, even if you don’t know the details of his life. Benedict Arnold is a name that brings to mind betrayal and treason. He actually was a gifted man and a great soldier. All he ever wanted was to be accepted and respected, but in trying to achieve that, he actually ended up causing no one to trust him or accept him.

He was a general during the American Revolutionary War who fought under George Washington. Benedict Arnold was passed over for promotion, falsely accused by his rivals, deferred by those who could help including George Washington, and deprived of the recognition for his accomplishments. He wouldn’t admit that he had caused any of his problems. He always blamed someone else. He finally decided to get revenge by switching sides to help the British. In fact, while he was the commander of West Point, he plotted to surrender it to the British. Before that happened, a British spy was captured carrying papers that exposed his plan. Benedict Arnold barely escaped.

The British rewarded him, but never completely trusted him. He was never given an important military command. Arnold has been called "the best general on either side of the conflict." He earned a name for himself, but it is a reputation as a traitor.

I promise you, people won’t soon be naming their babies Benedict, Absalom, Brutus or Judas.

If you have tasted of the bitterness of betrayal, you are in great company, Jesus!


Anonymous said...

I really needed to read this today. The sting of betrayal is like a wound that never quite heals, and if it catches your attention,or soemthing triggers the memory of it, you might pick at it a little, only making things worse. I got married in December, I got divorced in December, I've been struggling financially ever since, and with Christmas just a short time away, I find myself a little sad, and angry. Angry at myself for marrying such a poor choice for a spouse, angry again for staying 20 years, for putting up with the lies, the affairs, the alcoholism, and not making better decisions and getting myself out of it along with my two kids. I'm bitter that now I'm 48, single, providing for both my young adult children in these hard economic times without even so much as an offer of assistance from the ex making well over 170k a year, married to the lover I was left for. I've grown alot since the initial events that were the final blow ending the marriage. It was my doing, the ending of the marriage. I couldn't do it anymore, I was devastated, crushed. I just didn't have the guts, I wasn't strong enough to stick with it anymore. I hate giving up,I said vows, holy vows before God, but I couldn't go on. Part of me feels it was some sort of pride, that finally made me walk, but truthfully I was just to hurt to keep trying. I gave up, my pain made me run. I understand and accept that I may in fact feel the hurt and pain of that betrayal for the rest of my life. But I would do well to find a way to let the bitterness go. Maybe the two go hand in hand, can't let one go without letting the other part go too. So, when I'm feeling this way, I try to find a way to thank God for something good: Dear God, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU...for not letting my birthday fall sometime in Decemeber, because I think by this point I would totally be ready to go live in a treehouse and ignore society for the next three weeks if that were the case! :P

Pastor Fuller said...

Oh, I am so sorry about what you have been through. I understand it, to some extent, but not nearly as badly as what you have experienced. We will be in prayers for you!!!