Betrayal brings a sickening feeling to mind, body, and soul. When those who were warm become cold we panic. When everything seems to be fine and then we are handed our walking papers our hearts sink. How do we handle the stress of betrayal? What are we supposed to do? Whether it is friendships that falter, marriages that fail, or jobs that are ripped from our grip betrayal shakes us to the core. Paranoia establishes itself as you begin to fantasize about who the next betrayer will be. You start to over analyze the smallest decisions in an attempt to maintain a mental and emotional balance.
John and his wife had been married for a number of years and had raised their family. The perfect couple by community standards ended in divorce because of an infidelity that resulted in a child from earlier in the marriage. An entire family, church, and community rocked because of betrayal.
Billy had been brought in to lead the organization. This young, bright leader brought to the table fresh ideas that would enhance the morale and economy. After a few years he was fired by the same people who hired him citing that he just wasn’t the right leader. In actuality, Billy was introducing new players into the decision-making process and the power base had been threatened. A man’s psyche and family lay in ruins because of dissension and betrayal.
Moses had been given the job of leading this miserable lot of people by the very hand of God. The people had been given their freedom from the hand of Pharaoh’s taskmasters. God proved His might by parting the Red Sea sealing off the Egyptian army inside the walls of water. For the multitude the voice of God was the voice of Moses. The hand of God was the hand of Moses. He personified God for them in the midst of good and difficult times. He had given his life to leading them. What went wrong?
1 Then the whole community broke into loud cries, and the people wept that night. 2 All the Israelites complained about Moses and Aaron, and the whole community told them, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt, or if only we had died in this wilderness! 3 Why is the Lord bringing us into this land to die by the sword? Our wives and little children will become plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?”
4 So they said to one another, “Let’s appoint a leader and go back to Egypt.”
5 Then Moses and Aaron fell down with their faces [to the ground] in front of the whole assembly of the Israelite community.
There are thousands of stories among us that speak to this issue of betrayal and dissension. How do we handle betrayal from those closest to us or held most dear? How should we respond in these moments? The resolve necessary to walk away with the fewest scars comes from God. Peek into the next few moments in Moses’ life and we find a few truths to take with us.
1. Feel the Weight – Moses and Aaron fell down before the people. It is impossible to not feel the emotional weight of such an occasion. Feel the weight. Emote. Allow grief to run its course.
2. Stay Close to God – It is easy to interpret Moses’ falling down before the people as a posture of worship before God. No matter how much you have been hurt, God is the ultimate balm for the wounds of the soul. Good grief affords faith the proper room to breathe and relieve us of the pain and stress.
3. Have Integrity – when given the opportunity to respond about your situation be kind. Moses sticks up for those who were calling for his head and position. When God, an outside source, wishes to inflict damage Moses responds with logic and kindness.
4. Let God Fight the Battle – our sincere response of kindness and integrity is honorable before God. We must accept the sovereignty of God as supreme in its judicial process. However, we must not groan or glory in His decision.
8 Mankind, He has told you what is good
and what it is the Lord requires of you:
to act justly,
to love faithfulness,
and to walk humbly with your God.
We cannot control every facet of life. We do have considerable control and responsibility over what we say and do in response to betrayal. In the hurt, bow down with your face to ground before God and wait for Him to reveal His majesty and glory.