Entry 22


In the morning Ya‘akov saw that he was with Le’ah, and he said to Lavan, “What kind of thing is this that you’ve done to me? Didn’t I work for you for Rachel? Why have you deceived me?” (Genesis 29:25)

Have you ever faced betrayal, in your life? Have you felt the sting in your heart, as you believe you have been wronged by someone you trusted, even loved? This is not an unusual experience for people today.

Almost everyone alive today has been betrayed at least once by someone we held in high esteem. Perhaps you and I have been the instruments of betrayal; I know I have. What causes this betrayal?

When we trust someone, we place expectations upon them. This is a reasonable thing to do, as trusting is an active process, one in which we step forward and make ourselves vulnerable to the one we trust. This is done in love, as trusting is an act of love.

What, then, causes betrayal of that love and trust? Perhaps the trust and love we have in others is not reciprocal, that is it is not returned. This is a dangerous situation for anyone – when we trust or love someone who does not love us, we unrealistically place expectations on them, which we have no right to do. Such a one-sided phenomenon is almost guaranteed to bring heartache. Such is the case with groupies, who often place great love on the individuals or groups, who have captured their interest. These groupies are usually young and inexperienced, not having had much opportunity to become aware of the world and its dangers.

However, as we grow older and search for life partners, we may place our trust on others who do not feel the same about us. If we do this, without checking how the other feels, we may be stepping into danger.

Sometimes, people feel they are suffocating in relationships, not ready to commit their lives to someone else. Often, we may not be able to commit to a long-term relationship, being too young, too immature to take on such a responsibility. In any case, that may lead us to leave the relationship we have formed. This may cause the other to feel betrayed. How does betrayal inform us about the future?

Jennifer Freyd[1] has introduced the term ‘betrayal trauma’. This condition outlines to us the betrayal, when recognized, may result in the relationship being abandoned; thus, the one betrayed may ignore the betrayal, in order to maintain the relationship, as not being in the relationship would be an even more difficult reality. Such is often seen in marriages, when one spouse is unfaithful and the other ignores the infidelity, realizing the trauma would be greater outside the relationship than within. Often children, who have been physically abused by a caregiver, will rather endure the physical abuse than being forced to leave the relationship.

What does Yahveh, our Beloved God, feel about betrayal? In Genesis 12:3, He shows us His love for Avraham, when He says, I will bless those who bless you, but I will curse anyone who curses you; and by you all the families of the earth will be blessed. These are strong words of commitment. How do we know He will never change His mind? In Malachi 3:6, Yahveh shares His position, when He says, But because I, Adonai, do not change, you sons of Ya‘akov will not be destroyed. There are many instances where Yahveh appears to change His mind, but these are from a human perspective only. In Numbers 23:19, we are given an insight into His character, when we read – God is not a human who lies or a mortal who changes his mind. When he says something, he will do it; when he makes a promise, he will fulfill it.

Beloved, when we place our trust and love in Yahveh, we will never be betrayed. When He makes His promises to us, they will never be rescinded, they will never be changed. On this you can rely.

May the God of Avraham, Isaac and Jacob bless you richly.

[1] Freyd, J.J. Memory repression, dissociative states, and other cognitive control processes involved in adult sequelae of childhood trauma. Invited paper given at the Second Annual Conference on A Psychodynamics – Cognitive Science Interface, Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute, University of California, San Francisco, August 21-22, 1991

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