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What Is Betrayal?

Betrayal is the breaking or violation of a assumed trust, confidence, friendship, or contract, that automatically produces an emotional moral and psychological conflict within a relationship.

  • It creates unintended consequences, and
  • calls for an assessment as to its actual reality, or if a misunderstanding, or misinformation.
  • It creates emotions of anger, hurt
  • The possibility of "stabbed in the back" or "double-cross" are evaluated

What does betrayal look like?

Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.

Psalms 55.20-22 "As for my companion, he betrayed his friends; he broke his promises.

His words are as smooth as butter, but in his heart is war.

His words are as soothing as lotion,
but underneath are daggers!"

Did Esau betray GOD? What were the results...

GOD had prepared a birthright for Esau. He was hungry, and sold it for a bowl of soup that he asked Jacob for.

Esau wanted to get the birthright back. Hebrews 12.16-17 "Make sure that no one is immoral or godless like Esau, who traded his birthright as the firstborn son for a single meal.

You know that afterward, when he wanted his father’s blessing, he was rejected. It was too late for repentance, even though he begged with bitter tears."

There were consequences to his decision to sell the birthright. His evaluation of the value of the birthright was about the cost of a bowl of soup. He may have assumed he could reverse the transaction. As the oldest son, Esau would have received everything from his father, but he sold all that for a single meal. Be careful. Esau had no regard for the good, truthful, and divine. He was worldly, secular, and profane.

When Esau finally realized what he had forsaken, he made an attempt to retrieve it. He sought for it with tears, but lacked sincerity, remorse. "He found no place for repentance." His heart had not changed. Words only are not good enough. Too many want God’s blessings, but do not want God enough to have their heart changed

Jeremiah 12.6 " Even your own brothers, your own family, have turned against you. They have plotted to call for a mob to lynch you. Don’t trust them, no matter how pleasantly they speak. Don’t believe them."

  • so often this happens in families
  • Joseph sold out by his brothers
  • Abel killed by Cain

Causes of betrayal are many:

  • Jealousy seems to be number one

Joseph, a lesson in how to handle betrayal...

Genesis 37.12-36

Joseph Sold into Slavery

"When Joseph’s brothers saw him coming, they recognized him in the distance. As he approached, they made plans to kill him. “Here comes the dreamer!” they said.  “Come on, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns. We can tell our father, ‘A wild animal has eaten him.’ Then we’ll see what becomes of his dreams!”

But when Reuben heard of their scheme, he came to Joseph’s rescue. “Let’s not kill him,” he said. “Why should we shed any blood? Let’s just throw him into this empty cistern here in the wilderness. Then he’ll die without our laying a hand on him.” Reuben was secretly planning to rescue Joseph and return him to his father.

So when Joseph arrived, his brothers ripped off the beautiful robe he was wearing. Then they grabbed him and threw him into the cistern. Now the cistern was empty; there was no water in it. Then, just as they were sitting down to eat, they looked up and saw a caravan of camels in the distance coming toward them. It was a group of Ishmaelite traders taking a load of gum, balm, and aromatic resin from Gilead down to Egypt.

Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain by killing our brother? We’d have to cover up the crime. Instead of hurting him, let’s sell him to those Ishmaelite traders. After all, he is our brother—our own flesh and blood!” And his brothers agreed. So when the Ishmaelites, who were Midianite traders, came by, Joseph’s brothers pulled him out of the cistern and sold him to them for twenty pieces of silver. And the traders took him to Egypt.

Some time later, Reuben returned to get Joseph out of the cistern. When he discovered that Joseph was missing, he tore his clothes in grief. Then he went back to his brothers and lamented, “The boy is gone! What will I do now?”

Then the brothers killed a young goat and dipped Joseph’s robe in its blood. They sent the beautiful robe to their father with this message: “Look at what we found. Doesn’t this robe belong to your son?”

Their father recognized it immediately. “Yes,” he said, “it is my son’s robe. A wild animal must have eaten him. Joseph has clearly been torn to pieces!” Then Jacob tore his clothes and dressed himself in burlap. He mourned deeply for his son for a long time. His family all tried to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. “I will go to my grave mourning for my son,” he would say, and then he would weep.

Meanwhile, the Midianite traders arrived in Egypt, where they sold Joseph to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. Potiphar was captain of the palace guard."

When the brothers tried to get rid of Joseph, GOD intervened and worked His will and purpose without anyone knowing that GOD was watching every move and bringing good through it all.

Joseph did not allow the betrayal to destroy him. His confidence was in GOD.

Listen to his words to his brothers...they were scared, thinking he might want revenge. The work of "releasing forgiveness" to the brothers had been done out of their sight and privately in the presence of GOD. Joseph held NO grudges...

Genesis 50.19-21 "But Joseph replied, “Don’t be afraid of me. Am I God, that I can punish you?

You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.

No, don’t be afraid. I will continue to take care of you and your children.” So he reassured them by speaking kindly to them."

Joseph got the big picture. He did not act as GOD. He did not put himself in the position of a judge. He did not try for revenge. Joseph treated his brothers with kindness... thanks, Joseph, for showing us how we should act and respond.

Matthew 10.16 "“Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves."

Snakes are pros at escaping. Their most common form of self-protection is "avoidance". A snake’s first line of defense is to escape to safety among rocks or vegetation. Snakes have to be alert to dangers. Most snakes are not aggressive. Snakes do not want to attack humans. Snakes bite humans only in self-defense. They would rather not confront us.

To be harmless is to lack the capacity to injure or to be free from inflicting physical or mental damage. Innocent means to be harmless in effect or intention. Inoffensive means to be giving no provocation.

Doves aren’t referred to as the birds of peace for nothing. Their temperament is calm and their disposition is sweet. Doves do not bite.  Doves really are harmless.

When we realize that we cannot trust a particular person, acting wisely includes taking steps to avoid being hurt again and again...

  • distance ourselves to a safe place
  • make no steps or threats towards revenge
  • leave revenge, or repayment to GOD. He does a better job than we can.
  • release forgiveness to break the emotional damage happening inside
  • exercise deliberate and prudent self-protection

The miracle cure...

Romans 12.19-21 "Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” [Deuteronomy 32.35] To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."

Begin the strategy of blessing those who have done damage...STOP the cycle of retaliation. Create a new mindset. This is our way out of being tormented. Trust GOD to judge our cause. This will release cleansing, peace, and freedom.

A true story...

A lady in our church came to me one day for advice. Her name was Sharon. Her husband had hurt her deeply and she wanted to divorce him. After hearing her side of the story, my advice to Sharon was to "wait". But Sharon had had enough and filed for divorce. On several occasions she spoke with me, and the response was exactly the same - "Sharon, wait, the timing is not right!" Sharon decided against waiting and proceeded. The divorce was finalized. She and her daughter moved out.

One week after Sharon moved out of the house - her now, ex-husband was working on his car in the driveway.

The car fell and killed him instantly.

Sharon was left with nothing...was this really what Sharon wanted for herself and her daughter? Sadly, we allow "anger" and revenge to lead the way to unwise actions

Matthew 6.12,14 "and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us. If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you."

  • Forgiveness is our ONLY way out
  • the worst possible response to betrayal is to seek vengeance
  • vengeance destroys us, more than it destroys those who offend us
  • forgiveness is the door, the only door to freedom
  • GOD has forgiven us
  • We are forgiven for far more sin than what has been done to us
  • How can we compare what we have done against GOD?
  • Do yourself the greatest favor in the world - "forgive those who have hurt you"
  • The Holy Spirit of GOD will heal our broken heart and torn emotions...

Return to bible verses list of problems

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