Betrayal & Neglect

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About a year ago, I had the privilege to speak at Teen Reach Adventure Camp with Willow Creek Community Church in Lake Geneva. This camp is geared towards kids who are in the Foster Care system who have grown up in very difficult situations. It was fitting that we analyzed and discussed the narrative of Joseph from Genesis 37-41, excluding Genesis 38. During this time, the topic of betrayal was addressed. Specifically, how the world constantly betrays us.

In Genesis 37 we see that Joseph, son of Jacob, is highly favored by his father. This stirs up a serious jealousy in the eyes of Joseph’s brothers. Especially when they see their father giving Joseph a robe of many colors. They about had it with their brother. This followed with Joseph having multiple dreams that indicated his brothers’ wheat bowing down to his wheat. This dream was followed by another which he told to his brothers and father. In this dream, Joseph said that the sun, moon, and eleven stars bowed down to him. This aggravated and offended his brothers to the point that they just left and couldn’t handle the situation anymore. They again were jealous of their brother. So Joseph was asked by his father to go and check up on his brothers, who were pasturing their flock in the field. As Joseph finally approached his brothers they plotted to kill him. But instead of killing him, they decided to sell him into slavery because they could actually get something out of it. They were successful in doing so and were delighted in the fact that they got rid of their brother, and made money off of him. Joseph goes from favored and loved to being betrayed and abandoned.

Have you ever felt betrayed? Whether it was someone who has betrayed you, or something in this world that has betrayed you? I know it happens to many, if not everyone. We have all experienced something in our life that made us feel neglected, despised, rebuked, hated, or unworthy. And it makes us ask, “Do we deserve it?” “How should we respond?” “Why me?” What better example do we have than Jesus Christ Himself?

Our Savior, Jesus Christ, was betrayed numerous times. We see Him being neglected over and over again throughout scripture. Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus (Luke 22:48). His very own disciple that He chose to walk His life with betrayed Him. Jesus was despised and neglected by the people because He said He was the king of the Jews when asked by Pontius Pilate (Mark 15:2). This ultimately led to His crucifixion on the cross at Calvary, where Jesus offered up His life at a young age so that we may live eternally. Christ is the ultimate fulfillment of us being betrayed in this world.

When we feel like we have been abandoned or betrayed by someone or something, let us remember what Christ went through to accomplish His purpose for our life. He experienced ultimate betrayal from this world and took it all upon Himself so that we may live. Let us rest in this free gift of Salvation offered to us in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:8; Romans 5:15-17). We will never experience betrayal from the Son of God who binds us to Himself and allows us to taste and see who He is for us. This world and the people of it may betray us, but the Son of God, Jesus Christ, will never leave us or forsake us no matter what we are going through (Hebrews 13:5). Trust in Him and He will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:6). Jesus was betrayed and neglected so that we may have eternal life. Let us participate in this amazing gift of Himself.

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