THE WOUND OF BETRAYAL Psalm 55:12-13

There is no more painful a wound than the one inflicted by a friend or a loved one. It cuts us to the quick.

The website “grammarist.com” describes being “cut to the quick” in this way:

“The idiom cut to the quick refers to cutting through the dead parts of something until reaching the living, sensitive part of that thing. Most people associate the etymology of cut to the quick with cutting to the quick of a fingernail. The quick of a fingernail, also known as the hyponychium, is located beneath the hard nail. It is very sensitive. Related phrases of the idiom cut to the quick are cuts to the quick, cutting to the quick. Synonyms that may be found in a thesaurus are degrade, humiliate, injure, mock….

To cut to the quick means to injure someone emotionally, to hurt someone with words or an action. To cut someone to the quick means to deeply distress them. ”

“The very word “betrayal” implies that there was once close relationship with the offending person. We can’t be betrayed by a stranger or an acquaintance, only by those closest to us. We can usually brush off casual insults by those who mean little to us. But being hurt by a friend goes to the deepest part of us where we feel the pain most intensely.

As we see, David understood this kind of hurt. He goes on to say in this passage,

We took sweet counsel together,
And walked to the house of God in the throng.

David was very close to this friend. They gave each other advice and even walked to church together. We don’t know who this friend was or what the situation was. We just know that David felt great distress over this betrayal.

Charles Spurgeon said, “None are such real enemies as false friends.”

David understood and wrote about this kind of hurt. But no one could have known more about the hurt of a “false friend” than our Lord, having been betrayed by one who was in his closest circle of friends.

Judas. It’s a name synonymous with betrayal. To call someone a “Judas” is to call them a back-stabber and a traitor. No one names their child Judas. Judas was the worst of the worst. While betrayal by a friend comes to us as a shock, Jesus knew that Judas would be the one who would betray Him, and betray Him to His death. How difficult this must have been! To walk with Judas day after day for 3 years, knowing He would be the one to turn on Him in the end. To share meals together and to even laugh together. I’m sure they even “walked to church” together. Yet we see no evidence that Jesus treated Judas as an outsider among the 12, or even that He didn’t love him. Even though He knew all along that Judas was a false friend.

Everyone who has been alive has experienced betrayal at some point. Be it by a friend, a sibling, a child, a parent, or a spouse. Know that Jesus understands your pain. He came to earth wrapped in human flesh and has felt what you are feeling. He can relate to us in our pain. He is the perfect one to listen to us, so talk to Him. Cry to Him. He wants to offer you comfort. The comfort can come in knowing that He will carry us through our trials and our heartbreak. He will help us to carry on, having faith that we can get through it without acts of revenge or retaliation. Jesus had no thoughts of revenge on Judas. He just stood there in silence while His betrayer kissed His cheek. So we too, must leave any revenge or “payback” in God’s hands. As the saying goes, He’s got this. He won’t leave you to suffer alone. So take it to Him.

After experiencing betrayal, things may never be the same again. Likely they won’t be unless there is repentance and remorse by the one who betrayed us. I have seen fractured marriages become healed and whole after the worst of betrayal. But only after there has been humble repentance and the asking of forgiveness. God can heal what is broken. It is possible. But if it doesn’t happen with your loved one, He can still heal YOU. We can come out the other side of betrayal closer to our healer. And more able to help someone else who has also been forsaken by a loved one.

We don’t go through pain for nothing. He can bring purpose to it, if for no other reason, for our own refining to make us more like Him. And anything that makes us more like Him makes it worth going through it.

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