When it comes to betrayal and Bible, the first person who generally comes to mind is Judas Iscariot. He’s the one who betrayed Lord Jesus in exchange for money. But God did not have to come to Earth as a human being in order to be betrayed. He’s actually been betrayed many times throughout the Bible. Now, I’ve talked about how God conquered betrayal in this linked post, but, consider this post a sequel which will focus more on another aspect of betrayal.
A Wicked People
The people of Israel shown in the book of Exodus and the way they behave are generally thought to represent human nature. And the scary thing about human nature is that the human nature depicted in Exodus is generally not positive.
One observation that’s enough to summarize the fabric of people in Exodus is the following verse.
Jeremiah 17:9 (King James Version)
9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
The interesting thing noted in the above verse is not that the human heart is wicked. No, no, no… Rather, it’s the idea that the heart is desperately wicked. What this means is that the human heart by nature is doomed to be wicked, it has no choice but to be evil.
And so, that is why after God brought Egypt to its knees in order to rescue Israel from its slavery, they started participating in idol worship.
Exodus 32:1 (King James Version)
And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.
Betrayed Many Times
God was so angered with Israel that He told Moses that He should start over again by destroying them.
Exodus 32:9-11 (World English Bible)
9 Yahweh said to Moses, “I have seen these people, and behold, they are a stiff-necked people.
10 Now therefore leave me alone, that my wrath may burn hot against them, and that I may consume them; and I will make of you a great nation.”
11 Moses begged Yahweh his God, and said, “Yahweh, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, that you have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand?
God used this opportunity to express His anger against Israel to the point of destroying them but He knew Moses would plea for Israel. Thus, even though God said He would destroy Israel, He also knew Moses would ask Him to not destroy Israel. This means that He was only expressing His rage at Israel’s betrayal.
Exodus 32:12-13 (World English Bible)
12 Why should the Egyptians talk, saying, ‘He brought them out for evil, to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the surface of the earth?’ Turn from your fierce wrath, and turn away from this evil against your people.
13 Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, to whom you swore by your own self, and said to them, ‘I will multiply your offspring as the stars of the sky, and all this land that I have spoken of I will give to your offspring, and they shall inherit it forever.’”
14 So Yahweh turned away from the evil which he said he would do to his people.
However, God was betrayed many times and this was not going to be the last. Israel kept on complaining about God and were never truly appreciative of what He did for them.
Now, up until this point, it’s often misunderstood that God is just angered by Israel’s betrayal. Although true, this is not the only aspect of betrayal experienced by God. He also seems to be hurt by Israel’s betrayal.
Let it be clear, however, that whenever I say God was “hurt” by Israel’s betrayal, it means that He was disappointed in the love reciprocated towards Him despite His care for Israel. This perspective is made clear by the book of Hosea.
In the Book of Hosea, God tells Prophet Hosea to marry a prostitute in order to prophetically depict God’s relationship with Israel. And this is where God really shows Israel the emotional side of how their betrayal has affected Him.
Hosea 1:2-3 (World English Bible)
2 When Yahweh spoke at first by Hosea, Yahweh said to Hosea, “Go, take for yourself a wife of prostitution and children of unfaithfulness; for the land commits great adultery, forsaking Yahweh.” 3 So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim; and she conceived, and bore him a son.
Redeeming Love Continued
Furthermore, Gomer betrays Hosea and has affairs with other men. But, see the comparison God makes between Gomer and Israel in the following passage.
Hosea 3:1-3 (World English Bible)
Yahweh said to me, “Go again, love a woman loved by another, and an adulteress, even as Yahweh loves the children of Israel, though they turn to other gods, and love cakes of raisins.” 2 So I bought her for myself for fifteen pieces of silver and a homer and a half of barley. 3 I said to her, “You shall stay with me many days. You shall not play the prostitute, and you shall not be with any other man. I will also be so toward you.”
This passage shows God is hurt by idol worship as a husband is hurt by adultery. And even then, God still loves those who betray Him as He tells Hosea to bring Gomer back.
Now, as of the time this post is being published, a movie has been released called Redeeming Love. It claims to be a retelling of Hosea, but, according to the summary I read, it can’t be. This is because the movie is about a helpless girl who is forced to sell her body.
But, that is not what the book of Hosea is about, it’s about a man who loves His wife despite her willingly betraying him. It’s about God loving a people who willingly betray Him by worshipping other false gods.
Now, you may have been betrayed many times by other people. But you must know that God has been betrayed many times more than you. Even today, God blesses people and they forget Him once they’ve received His blessings.
Yet, the real question is if you have betrayed God? I know I have. I’ve done terrible deeds which prove the wickedness of the human heart. I didn’t love Him first, but He loved me first.
1 John 4:10 (World English Bible)
10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son as the atoning sacrifice for our sins.
And yet, He forgave me and He is always there for me even when I’m at fault. Moreover, I reciprocate His love as I love Him for how good He has been to me. Therefore, if you’ve betrayed God whether it be by idolizing money or other gods, the one true God, Lord Jesus Christ awaits your return to His loving embrace.