12 If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were rising against me, I could hide. 13 But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend, 14 with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship at the house of God, as we walked about among the worshipers.
Betrayal is the ever growing decay that is planted deep within your heart by someone you called “friend”. Through events and platforms built upon gossip that turn into malice and retaliation, the one you called friend is now a foe. You sit quietly for days as the lies take flight through the cracks in the walls working quickly to enter your safe space – through your spiritual hedge as you find yourself weakening the walls yourself through fear, insecurity, and anxiety. The lies creep into your mind like a wicked web of confusion; you are saddened and ultimately heartbroken. Yet, there it is – a beacon of light – just a flitter. It lands in your spirit and awakens your soul. What is it? It’s a prayer! No, it’s the prayer of many warriors standing in agreement for truth and justice. You rebuke the lies and call upon the warrior angels for strength. You now realize – you are in a full out spiritual battle!
The Spiritual Foe = Evil Spirit of Betrayal
The Spiritual Warrior = The Holy Spirit as Intercessor
The stinging pain of betrayal will take your breath away. David in this Psalm eloquently describes the heartache one feels when betrayed by someone close. David’s counselor, Ahithophel, rebelled against David and broke his heart greatly. Why? These men were not strangers or enemies. They were companions and close friends. Even more, they worshiped the Lord together, which is an intimate act in itself. There is great comfort in empathizing with these great stories and messages in God’s Word.
Yet, I would be greatly remiss if I did not provide the most perfect example of forgiveness when faced with utter betrayal; this example could only be our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Here in Matthew 26, we see the perfect example of forgiveness in the face of betrayal by human hands:
50 Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend.” Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. 51 With that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. 52 “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. 53 Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?”
I will forever be astonished by Jesus’ initial reply, “Do what you came for, friend.” How many of us would greet our betrayer with the descriptor of “friend”? Be careful before answering this because we are called to live as Christ did! We are even called to love our enemies as written in Matthew 5:43-48
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
We are learning, each and every day, that no matter the pain, sorrow, betrayal, heartache, and abuse that one may relinquish upon us, we are still called to forgive, pray, and love. This is what I call a challenge! The world instructs us, even as children, to “get even.” However, our loving Savior makes it clear that He alone is the only One who is worthy of revenge.
Question: Have you been betrayed by a close friend? How did you respond? Do you need to forgive someone today? Release the hurt!