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Removing a Root of Bitterness
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Removing a Root of Bitterness

Posted by: Jerry Lindsey on Fri, Nov 17, 2017

DIGGING OUT THE ROOT OF BITTERNESS

Removing a Root of Bitterness... 

DIGGING OUT THE ROOT OF BITTERNESS

Acts 8:14-25 For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity. The bitterest grief; extreme affliction. ... In the Acts it is used to signify “the sinfulness of sin,” which leads to the bitterest grief. 1. “I perceive thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity. And if we were to present “gall of bitterness” along these lines, then it would be “bitter gall” and we’d be talking about a nasty, and perhaps poisonous, drink. If one were “in the gall of bitterness,” then one might be said to be full of some really bad, “toxic” ideas. The bitterest grief; extreme affliction. ... In the Acts it is used to signify “the sinfulness of sin,” which leads to the bitterest grief. Bitterness” meets us, as expressing extreme moral depravity, moral corruption; wickedness in Romans 3:14, Ephesians 4:31, Hebrews 12:15. The latter phrase implies that the iniquity of Simon bound him as with the iron chains of a habit from which he could not free himself. Perceive - That is, by the act which he had done. His offer had shown a state of mind that was wholly inconsistent with true religion. One single sin "may" as certainly show that there is no true piety (the quality of being religious or reverent) as many acts of iniquity. It may be so decided, so malignant, as utterly inconsistent with just views as at once to determine what the character is. The sin of Simon was of this character. Peter here does not appear to have claimed the power of judging the "heart"; but he judged, as all other people would, by the act. In the gall - This word denotes properly "bile," or "that bitter, yellowish-green fluid that is secreted in the liver." Hence, it means anything very bitter; and also any bad passion of the mind, as anger, malice, etc. We speak of "bitterness" of mind, etc. Of bitterness and means "excessive bitterness." The Hypocrisy of Simon Detected The Holy Ghost was as yet fallen upon none of these coverts, in the extraordinary powers conveyed by the descent of the Spirit upon the day of Pentecost. We may take encouragement from this example, in praying to God to give the renewing graces of the Holy Ghost to all for whose spiritual welfare we are concerned; for that includes all blessings. No man can give the Holy Spirit by the laying on of his hands; but we should use our best endeavours to instruct those for whom we pray. Simon Magus was ambitious to have the honour of an apostle, but cared not at all to have the spirit and disposition of a Christian. He was more desirous to gain honour to himself, than to do good to others. Peter shows him his crime. He esteemed the wealth of this world, as if it would answer for things relating to the other life, and would purchase the pardon of sin, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and eternal life. This was such a condemning error as could by no means consist with a state of grace. Our hearts are what they are in the sight of God, who cannot be deceived. And if they are not right in his sight, our religion is vain, and will stand us in no stead. A proud and covetous heart cannot be right with God. It is possible for a man to continue under the power of sin, yet to put on a form of godliness. When tempted with money to do evil, see what a perishing thing money is, and scorn it. Think not that Christianity is a trade to live by in this world. There is much wickedness in the thought of the heart, its false notions, and corrupt affections, and wicked projects, which must be repented of, or we are undone. But it shall be forgiven, upon our repentance. The doubt here is of the sincerity of Simon's repentance, not of his pardon, if his repentance was sincere. Grant us, Lord, another sort of faith than that which made Simon wonder only, and did not sanctify his heart. May we abhor all thoughts of making religion serve the purposes of pride or ambition? And keep us from that subtle poison of spiritual pride, which seeks glory to itself even from humility. May we seek only the honour which cometh from God. There is no way to avoid them offenses would come. (Luke 17:1 Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come!) So the question is how do we deal with them and not allow bitterness to set in. I have had many experiences in my life where I could have allowed a root of bitterness to take hold in my heart. In fact, at times I had to really struggle with bitterness that was trying to creep into my life. Because of what people have said or done to me, I have had many opportunities to get bitter and allow that bitterness to jade my relationship with other and more importantly with God. So here are a few things I have learned about this destructive force called the root bitterness. 2 Samuel 17:23 And when Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his ass, and arose, and gat him home to his house, to his city, and put his household in order, and hanged himself, and died, and was buried in the sepulchre of his father. Ahithophel's Counsel Overthrown (17:1-21)Here was a wonderful effect of Divine Providence blinding Absalom's mind and influencing his heart, that he could not rest in Ahithophel's counsel, and that he should desire Hushai's advice. But there is no contending with that God who can arm a man against himself, and destroy him by his own mistakes and passions. Ahithophel's former counsel was followed, for God intended to correct David; but his latter counsel was not followed, for God meant not to destroy him. He can overrule all counsels. Whatever wisdom or help any man employs or affords, the success is from God alone, who will not let his people perish. He Hangs Himself, Absalom Pursues David (17:22-29) Ahithophel hanged himself for vexation that his counsel was not followed. That will break a proud man's heart which will not break a humble man's sleep. He thought himself in danger, concluding, that, because his counsel was not followed, Absalom's cause would fail; and to prevent a possible public execution, he does justice upon himself. Thus the breath is stopped, and the head laid low, from which nothing could be expected but mischief. Absalom chased his father. But observe how God sometimes makes up to his people that comfort from strangers, which they are disappointed of in their own families. Our King needs not our help; but he assures us, that what we do for the least of his brethren, who are sick, poor, and destitute, shall be accepted and recompensed as if done to himself Some weeds, will never die unless you dig out their roots and utterly destroy them. You can cut them off at the surface time after time, but they just keep coming back. However, when the root is exposed and removed from the soil, the plant is gone. It takes work to dig out roots, but it is worth the effort, since it protects the other plants in the garden. Resentful, Difficult to accept: painful or very hard to accept, Hostile: expressing intense hostility Very cold: penetratingly and unpleasantly cold. Resentful. It has the idea of brooding anger over that which has happened in your life. This anger produces a bad spirit within a person. It is a spirit of hostility and coldness toward God or others. Bitterness can come about as the result of what others do to us or say about us. Sometimes, bitterness can result from the events of life themselves, as we blame God or others for our troubles. Bitterness will affect every relationship within your life, but it will affect your relationship with the Lord most of all. The Bible talks about this “root of bitterness” that is a possibility in our lives. Hebrews 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled Deuteronomy 29:18 (KJV) Lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth away this day from the LORD our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations; lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood; These verses refer to that “root of bitterness”. It is called a root because it begins hidden within the soil of your heart. From there, its roots will entwine themselves around your heart and mind, until they choke the life out of you emotionally and spiritually. If allowed to grow unchecked, this “root of bitterness” will spring up into a plant that will cast a shadow over everything you are and do. A “root of bitterness” in your life will literally come to dominate your very existence. We are presented with a man who was in the strangle hold of a massive “root of bitterness”. Because he allowed a root of bitterness to flourish in his life. His was a sad fate, but thankfully, there are lessons that we can learn from his tragedy that will help us to avoid the same fate. Digging Out the Root of Bitterness. What we can learn here will give us much help in fighting the battle with bitterness we all face from time to time. Ahithophel is: Brother of ruin or folly.

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