Unbelievable! Did you hear about that guy who suspected his wife had betrayed him by committing adultery? He brought her to the priest. There was no proof. The husband was simply jealous and suspicious. Nevertheless, the woman was required to unbind her hair and let it drop to the floor—and so forth and so on. The priest had some specially prepared water-stuff that the wife was required to drink. If she was truly guilty, the water would turn bitter, her body would swell, and her thighs rot. Furthermore, she would be a curse among her people. If innocent, she would be unharmed and get pregnant. He’p us ’n’ bless us! All this is in Numbers 5:11–31.
When a person betrays another, there is always a price to pay! Do you remember Delilah? Of course you do! Everybody knows Delilah. We love to highlight the bad girls in history’s memory. Even Tom Jones remembered her. We remember her as seductive, dainty, and personality plus. After all, she was so hot she attracted the most sought-after man in the kingdom—Samson! He was a Nazirite, didn’t drink old or new wine (I don’t know the difference), strong, and a bodybuilder.
He had never cut his hair. But his girlfriend was a double-crosser, a deceiver, a traitor, a betrayer. She betrayed Samson for money. The Philistines cut his hair and punched his eyes out. We know that Samson repented and received his strength back. But because of all this, Samson, blind as a bat, knocked down the pillars of the temple and three thousand Philistines were killed. We don’t know what happened to Delilah, but I rather doubt she lived happily ever after. All this because of betrayal. What about Joseph … the kid with a multicolored coat? His brothers were so jealous they dumped him in a pit and sold him to some nomads. He wound up in jail (put yourself in this situation) and started having dreams. I don’t know about you, but I would probably have nightmares. In the meantime, the big shot’s wife put the moves on him. He refused. Truth was, the king blamed Joseph for not satisfying his wife.
Oh my, this goes on and on. Soon Joseph became the right-hand man of the king. In the meantime, Joseph’s dad and brothers were starving to death over there where there was supposed to be milk and honey. So his dad sent his brothers to Egypt, not knowing that Joseph was chief of staff. It so happens all of his brothers and their families had bad things happen to them. All because of betrayal! Something strange happens to us when we betray someone. And something happens to us if we are betrayed.
You’ve heard that old saying, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned!” Absolutely true. There is something generated by the hypothalamus in the brain called oxytocin when someone betrays another, and violently when someone is betrayed. We think we can get away with deception, betrayal, and breaking trust. Don’t count on it. When you are betrayed, or someone betrays you, it is a violation of trust. A handshake won’t do anymore. A simple “forgive me” for hitting you over the head isn’t enough. “Forgive me” for cheating you out of a thousand dollars won’t do. Arrogantly taking you for a chump—breaking trust—produces oxytocin in me and in you.
Attempting to ruin your name ain’t a-gonna git it! It creates revenge, confusion, guilt, anger, and abject brokenness. Back to the beginning. The Old Testament priest (under Moses’s direction) may have been on to something. Just hope no one will blame you for their rotting thighs or getting pregnant!