WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
APRIL 05, 2023
TOPIC: DON’T BE A BETRAYER
BY T. O. BANSO
“Woe to you, O destroyer, you who have not been destroyed! Woe to you, O traitor, you who have not been betrayed! When you stop destroying, you will be destroyed; when you stop betraying,
you will be betrayed” (Isaiah 33:1 New International Version).
Unarguably, the greatest betrayal ever was the betrayal of Jesus by Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples. The Jewish religious institution had not been comfortable with Jesus and His ministry and they had been plotting to kill Him.
For instance, in Matthew 12:10-13 after Jesus had healed a man with a withered hand on the Sabbath, the Bible says, “Then the Pharisees went out and plotted against Him, how they might destroy Him” (verse 14 New King James Version).
In Matthew 22:1-14, Jesus told a parable of a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son. Immediately after this parable, the Bible says the Pharisees went and plotted how they might entangle Him in His talk (verse 15). They intended to implicate Him and kill Him.
Matthew 26 also talks about the plot to kill Jesus. “Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, that He said to His disciples, ‘You know that after two days is the Passover, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.’ Then the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders of the people assembled at the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, and plotted to take Jesus by trickery and kill Him. But they said, ‘Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar among the people’” (Matthew 26:1-5 New King James Version).
Jesus was not ignorant of the plot to kill Him. For example, Matthew 12:14-15 says, “Then the Pharisees went out and plotted against Him, how they might destroy Him. But when Jesus knew it, He withdrew from there. And great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them all” (New King James Version).
The Gospel of Mark also records a similar thing: “Then the Pharisees went out and immediately plotted with the Herodians against Him, how they might destroy Him. But Jesus withdrew with His disciples to the sea. And a great multitude from Galilee followed Him, and from Judea and Jerusalem and Idumea and beyond the Jordan; and those from Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they heard how many things He was doing, came to Him” (Mark 3:6-8 New King James Version).
Jesus also told His disciples of His impending betrayal by one of them (Matthew 26:21-23; Mark 14:18; John 13:21). He was referring to Judas Iscariot. The Pharisees and other Jewish leaders who had been plotting how to kill Jesus had not been successful. But they had a breakthrough when Judas Iscariot went to the camp of the enemies of Jesus, promising to betray Him for money. “Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, ‘What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?’ And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver’” (Matthew 26:14-15 New King James Version)
The Gospel of Mark also talks about Judas going to the chief priests to betray Jesus. “Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Him to them. And when they heard it, they were glad, and promised to give him money. So he sought how he might conveniently betray Him” (Mark 14:10-11 New King James Version).
Similarly, Luke 22:4-5 says, “So he went his way and conferred with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray Him to them. And they were glad, and agreed to give him money” (New King James Version). From the time Judas collected the money from the Chief Priests, he sought an opportunity to betray Him (Matthew 26:16). Also, Luke 22:6 says, “So he promised and sought opportunity to betray Him to them in the absence of the multitude” (New King James Version).
Jesus knew from the beginning which of His disciples would betray Him (John 6:64b). When His disciples asked Him who among them would betray Him, He said it was the person He would give a piece of bread when He had dipped it in the dish or bowl. He dipped the bread and gave it to Judas Iscariot. He even told him to do quickly what he was going to do (John 13:24-27). Eventually, Judas led a great multitude with swords and clubs from the chief priests and elders of the people to the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus was and they arrested Him.
Judas made the arrest of Jesus possible. As Jesus said earlier, “He who eats bread with Me has lifted up his heel against Me” (John 13:18 New King James Version). These words were from Psalm 41:9: “Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me” (New King James Version). Although Judas fulfilled the scripture by betraying Jesus, his name is not mentioned anywhere in the Old Testament that he would betray Jesus.
Judas later regretted his action. He returned the money he had collected but his co-conspirators didn’t listen to him. They had achieved their objective. And in the first instance, they didn’t induce him; he went to them to betray Jesus. “Then Judas, His betrayer, seeing that He had been condemned, was remorseful and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, ‘I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.’ And they said, ‘What is that to us? You see to it!’ Then he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed, and went and hanged himself. But the chief priests took the silver pieces and said, ‘It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, because they are the price of blood’” (Matthew 27:3-6 New King James Version).
In the Bible, Joseph’s brothers betrayed him by selling him into slavery because of his dreams. Nevertheless, his dream came to pass. All of them, years later, bowed to him in Egypt. He had become the Prime Minister. After the death of their father, they had to beg for their lives; they were afraid that he would seek revenge.
Genesis 50:16-20 says, “So they sent messengers to Joseph, saying, ‘Before your father died he commanded, saying, ‘Thus you shall say to Joseph: ‘I beg you, please forgive the trespass of your brothers and their sin; for they did evil to you.’ Now, please, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of your father.’ And Joseph wept when they spoke to him. Then his brothers also went and fell down before his face, and they said, ‘Behold, we are your servants.’ Joseph said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive’” (New King James Version).
Also in the Bible, Amnon, the first son of David, betrayed his half-sister, Tamar, by raping her when she asked that she be allowed to take care of him when he pretended to be sick (2 Samuel 13:6-18). But two years later, he reaped the fruit of the betrayal. Absalom, the brother of Tamar from the same mother, got him killed in revenge for raping her sister (verses 22-29).
Beware of betrayal. Betrayal does not pay. Absalom betrayed his father by revolting against him and seizing the throne from him. David had to flee Jerusalem. But Absalom was later killed and the rebellion was put down (2 Samuel 18:9-17). Absalom reaped the fruit of betrayal. David wept and mourned for him (verse 33). But he couldn’t bring him back to life.
We also see how Delilah betrayed Samson to the Philistines after he had told her the secret of his great strength. The lords of the Philistines gave her money. She lulled Samson to sleep on her knees, and called a man to shave off the seven locks of his head, began to torment him, and his strength left him. Then she called the Philistines and they captured Samson because his strength had left him. They put out his eyes, brought him down to Gaza, bound him with bronze fetters, and he became a grinder in the prison before he eventually died with the Philistines when he pulled down their temple (Judges 16:16-30).
Don’t be a betrayer. Be loyal to those you have relationships with. The end of a betrayer is not good. Judas went to commit suicide (Matthew 27:5; Acts 1:18). Amnon and Absalom were killed. Joseph’s brothers were at his mercy but he refused to seek revenge. In your relationships with others, don’t betray them. In your family, office, business, etc., don’t betray anyone. Betrayal, in any human endeavour, whether in ministry, business, or politics has consequences. You cannot betray others and hope to reap a good harvest.
Betrayal has consequences. Isaiah 33:1 says, “Woe to you, O destroyer, you who have not been destroyed! Woe to you, O traitor, you who have not been betrayed! When you stop destroying, you will be destroyed; when you stop betraying, you will be betrayed” (New International Version). Avoid treachery. Don’t be a traitor. Betrayers should not be surprised when they are also betrayed. Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap (Galatians 6:7).
We see the same principle of sowing and reaping in Revelation 13:10a: “He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword” (New King James Version). As Jesus says in Matthew 26:52, all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Betrayers and everyone else should learn from these scriptures even though they are not directly talking about betrayal. Don’t sow a bad seed for yourself. Learn from the betrayers in the Bible or cases of betrayal you may have heard of outside the Bible.
Don’t betray anyone; don’t support any betrayer; don’t let anyone recruit you to betray others. Be loyal in your relationships. If people have betrayed you, don’t be bitter or seek revenge, no matter how painful it is. Hand over the matter to God. Your betrayers will reap what they have sown.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: I shall not be a betrayer in Jesus’ name. Holy Spirit, help me to be loyal to everyone I have a relationship with and not be the reason for anyone’s fall, failure, or setback in life. Others will not remember me for evil but for good. Father, I hand over every betrayal to You. I shall not be bitter or seek revenge in Jesus’ name.
(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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