Skip to main content

Feeling a little betrayed?

I have been doing a lot of reading in Genesis about the accounts of the life of Joseph. As we can be entertaining the emotions of betrayal, Joseph knew those feelings all to well. They were very real to him. Betrayal hurts no matter who is causing it. It could be a friend or a family member. It could be a co-worker you come in contact with daily. Either circumstance that touches our life hurts because of the trusted bond we have formed. You just don't expect to be betrayed by someone who says they love you.

Betrayal is one of those emotional hurts that you don't really know what to do with. You fall to your knees in prayer. You ask the Lord to show you if you have done anything to cause this. You pray you wake the next morning and find it was all just a dream, but as you wipe your eyes you see all to well the truth. Today is day two of betrayal. What do you do when the truth is missing?

I look at Joseph. His mother is, the beautiful, Rachel. He is not just a younger brother, but big brother to Benjamin. In chapter 37 we see how Joseph begins to share his dreams with his brothers. Maybe something he should have kept to himself. It might not have been the greatest idea to share with a group of brothers who already look at you differently. But, none the less, he did. Maybe he had no evil intent at all. Maybe he just wanted to share all that was happening. I don't think Joseph quite understood it all just yet. Could he have been looking for support? Encouragement? Maybe wisdom? Sadly, he was looking in the wrong place. It hurts when those very people we trust with our life turn from us. It hurts when things are said and done in which we have no control. There are times where we just have to stand and allow the things around us to happen. What do we do? We saturate the floors of heaven with our prayers.

Here we find, Joseph, listening to his father. Obeying his father. He is going out into the pasture land in search of his brothers. Okay, my question for Jacob would be, "Were you blind?" Did he not see what was going on in his own home? Did he see and just trust all would work itself out? So often we close our eyes to what we don't want to see. He sent his young son into the hands of his brothers. Brothers who were not looking at Joseph with love. They called him a dreamer. (Gen. 37:19) Did they envy, Joseph? Did jealousy get the best of them? I keep wondering in what ways was Joseph different from his brothers. His character was different. He carried himself with virtue. Sure, he may have been immature at this time, but just think if he had the support and love of a family around him?

Do you think he knew? Was he nervous going out into the fields? Did he even have a clue or was all their anger just hidden? We can be very good at hiding our real feelings. We tend to keep everything in until we are ready to explode. Praise the Lord. We have a God who listens to our every concern. We have a God who sets us straight and shines light upon the truth. Joseph obeyed his father. The father who had sewn together a beautiful coat. A coat made only for Joseph. I am sure that set these brothers off on a course of anger. It seems they resented Joseph and all he stood for. I see a communication gap here. No one is sharing how they really feel. Imagine if they did. Imagine if we did. In the situations around us things could be quite different if we could only be truthful. Think of others, not just ourselves and live with integrity.

Oh, big brother, Reuben, is near. Reuben is standing firm in the fact that he tells his brothers they cannot kill him. You know, my mom always use to say, "I would rather someone give me a black eye instead of hurt me with words. That black eye will wear off, but those words will cut deep forever, leaving behind a scar." Sticks and stones is just a fable. There is no truth to this saying. Reuben wasn't allowing his brothers to kill Joseph, but they stripped him of everything as they threw him in the well.

"Then they took him and cast him into a pit. And the pit was empty; there was no water in it." Genesis 37:24 I see this verse as being very important. I think it shows just how alone Joseph was. This pit was empty of everything. Joseph was thirsting for love and acceptance, but there was none here to be found. Ever been in that pit with him? It is painful. It is lonely. You scream at the top of your lungs. You want out. Can you see the pain on his face? I am sure, Joseph, had feelings that his brothers were angry at him, but to do this? Why? Did they really think, "Out of sight, out of mind?" It doesn't end there. They take his coat to their father, covered in blood. They didn't just want to hurt, Joseph. They too wanted, Jacob, to feel hurt.

Oh, we can be filled with such anger and all we want to do is hurt. The thing is, we don't just hurt the one intended for the pain, but we in turn hurt everyone involved. How selfish is that? How arrogant for us to carry on in such a way as to want to bring hurt to another. Usually, this isn't because of anything the other person has done. It is feelings we are carrying within. It isn't about the other person, but all about us.

You might be thinking, "Well, where was God in all this?" He was right there in that pit with Joseph. Although Joseph was only able to see right there in the midst of that pit, God foresaw ahead. He knew the plans he had for Joseph, just as He knows the plans He has for us. Nothing touched Joseph that God did not allow. This pit brought Joseph into more pain and more struggle, but throughout all this betrayal of family and friends, Joseph came through. He shined for God. He was the young man God has chosen for great things. Joseph had to take his eyes off the pit in order to see the greater things. You and I  must take our eyes off the situation at hand and trust the Lord with all around us. Everything we love and cherish, we must give to the Lord and entrust Him with all.

He sees past the pit of despair and loneliness. He sees past the betrayal. When hurt touches our life we have a choice. We can continue to hurt or we can simply give that hurt to God and allow Him to move through it. We have a choice to either hurt back those who have betrayed us or we can forgive and pray for healing. What will it be for you?

Joseph's life doesn't end in this pit. He is sold into slavery. He is given great blessings, but again he is betrayed over and over again. The amazing thing is, Joseph never gave up and rolled over. He carried on. He moved forward each and every day. He didn't allow his emotions to bring him to a brokenness he couldn't recover from. The Holy Spirit moved greatly through this young man touching others along the way. Those brothers? They knew what they had done. They had never forgotten. I imagine in the spur of the moment when they decided to bring harm to their own flesh and blood they didn't even think of all that would follow. What did they think the youngest brother, Benjamin, would think? Where was the brother he loved and adored? Jacob was now broken. His pain was as deep and wide as a river.  I imagine as these brothers were alone there wasn't much else that they thought about. Sure, together they might have acted tough, but within their heart was a well of their own betrayal they had to live with.

The beauty of this story? God had a plan. This family was brought back together. Forgiveness was found and love remained. This is a story of hope. When all we can see is despair, God sees more. He sees an opportunity for greatness. If we can only take our eyes off our pain, off the one who has brought betrayal to our front door, we will be able to see that God is at work. We may not be able to see all He is doing in those around us, but we can open our eyes to all He is doing within our own heart.

"For I know the thoughts I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11

"For You have been a shelter for me, a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in Your tabernacle forever; I will trust in the shelter of Your wings." Psalm 61:3-4

"Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!" Psalm 34:8

"Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all." Psalm 34:19


Kelley said…
Great post! I love your point about Joseph being betrayed over and over again and still not repaying betrayal with betrayal himself, even though he could have many times. I hadn't thought of it in terms of betrayal as much as jealousy.

But when you think about it, there's lots of betrayal in this family--Jacob was betrayed by his father-in-law because he worked seven years to marry Rachel and had to marry Leah first. Interesting thoughts regarding breaking generational curses there, too, because Joseph broke that curse by not acting in the same way he'd no doubt seen played out time and time again in his family.

I read a book several years ago titled The Red Tent, by Anita Diamont told from Dinah's perspective. It's not a Christian novel, and there are some aspects that some might find objectionable (just a warning), and it is fiction, but overall it was a fascinating read because it really delved into the culture and the relationships in this family from the perspectives of the women involved.
Robin Prater said…
Kelley, thank you so much for your sweet words. You are a blessing. This story is one of those that we can read over and over again, each time gaining a new perspective. There are so many lessons here for us to learn from.

I too have read a book about Joseph. "God Meant It For Good", by R.T. Kendall. Awesome awesome book!!

Thank you for sharing with me:)
Love and hugs, Rob
Cherie Hill said…
I truly needed this today. I need to know that God is in the pit with me . . . I need to know that He has a plan and it is for my good and His glory!

Popular posts from this blog

The Illusionist's Apprentice by Kristy Cambron

I want to begin this review sharing two reviews I was blessed to do. The Butterfly and The Violinand A Sparrow in Terezin. For me these two novels were masterpieces. Works of such exquisite beauty. They showed that Kristy Cambron is gifted with the pen, a master storyteller. They remain two of my all-time top favorites. 
It was for this reason I was thrilled to be receiving a copy of The Illusionist's Apprentice. Once again Cambron shows us a masterpiece of bringing a story to readers that speaks of faith and our Lord. Although throughout the novel these aspects are not boldly proclaimed, but are masterfully weaved throughout the story. 
Magic and illusion are not the same. I love how she brings this truth. Love that the main character was an apprentice to the master of illusion. She takes the use of being an apprentice and walks that road with integrity and hope. When we choose to walk with Christ we are His apprentices. We are to walk as the main character, Wren Lockhart walked…

The One True Love of Alice-Ann by Eva Marie Everson

Oh, just where do I begin? This is the stuff in which great novels are made. I made my way through this richly beautiful novel turning page after page with such deep emotion and thought. I couldn't turn the pages quick enough, but I didn't want it to end to soon. It's one of those novels you could continue reading as long as there were pages. No page just made of fluff, words with no meaning on the page. Every single line in this novel created a story that will last in my heart forever. 
Ms. Everson, I am so happy stories of the war were shared with you. Oh, to have your Sunday school teacher share with you, "You can't choose who you fall in love with, but you can choose who you marry", is a blessing that has now enchanted your readers. What a story you have weaved together. History penned with such depth, detail, and a story that captures the heart. 
This lovely story begins in 1941. The war has started. Picture a family gathered around the Zenith to hear t…

The" I Am" Makes Us Think About What "i am"

In Genesis 1:26-27 it shares something valuable to each of us about who we are in God. We are created in His image. What I love about this verse below is that is says, "make man in OUR image". What's OUR? The trinity, God, the Holy Spirit, and Christ Jesus. Ponder that. I mean really go deep. We are make in THEIR image. 
"Then God said, "Let US make man in OUR image, according to OUR likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him, male and female He created them."
We are His workmanship. He knew us before we were ever born. He weaved us together within the womb, but even before then He planned our life perfectly for us. That's so much to ponder isn't it? 
"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared…

The Glassblower by Petra Durst-Benning

I came across this selection on Amazon. I had seen so many reviews that it intrigued me. I had never read anything from this German author. The cover caught my attention as did the description of this novel. 
It's a part of a trilogy. I am getting ready to open up book 2, The American Lady. I cannot wait to begin. I tell you this book marveled me. I wasn't quite sure what to expect. What a journey into another time and place. 
We travel to Germany where this novel is set. The year is 1890 and we find ourselves in Lauscha, Germany. The author did a fantastic job at the perfect description of not only the area, but circumstance, and heart of the characters. Her writing style flows so easily that the pages almost turn themselves. 
The characters are easy to love. Three sisters who are now wondering, after their father had passed from this earth,  how they will now provide for themselves. It isn't going to be easy, but these sisters show us how to prevail over challenges that…

Unexpected Blessings

The last words my dad spoke to me from his hospital bed were, "Rob, take care of your mom." Those are words I have never forgotten. I have not only honored them for my dad, but for my mom. I too am commanded by my Father to honor my mother and father.
"Honor your father and mother so that you may have a long life in the land that the Lord your God is giving you." Exodus 20:12
My mom gave her life in caring for me. On my first birthday, my very first Christmas, was spent in the ICU as I was very sick with pneumonia. A little later I would burn myself with spilled coffee. A few years later I would tumble down many stairs and once again spent time in the hospital. 
I remember all the times I was sick and could feel my mom's hand brush against my forehead as she checked for fever. All the times she must have stayed up all night as I was sick. 
When I was little she would pour me a bowl of Raisin Bran. I loved it. Only I didn't like the raisins. She would take t…