Heb 12:15 ESV ‘See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled;’
It is clear from this verse that if I have the root of bitterness it is because I have failed to get the grace that is available to me. The grace of God is able to take care of any root of bitterness. In Luke 17:6 Jesus taught us that if we had just a little bit of faith we could say to this tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you. It is fairly easy for men to cut down a tree, but quite another thing to take out all the roots. So faith is what gives us access to the grace of God and that grace is enough to cast out not just the tree but the root also into the sea where it will never grow. I can’t blame anyone else or any experience if the root of bitterness is growing in my heart… It is I, who has failed to obtain the grace of God to deal with it.
It is also clear in this verse many will be defiled by that root. Who will be defiled? Those closest to me, those that I love the most. It is good to think of Jesus, that though he lived in this world and was around people who had the root of bitterness in their hearts, he was never defiled. He was living close to the fountain of pure living water and drinking deeply from it, so he was never defiled by the root of bitterness. What was flowing out from him was stronger than the influence of the root of bitterness.
In Job 10:1, we read that Job spoke ‘in the bitterness of my soul.’ It is easy to understand why Job would be bitter when we think of all that he had suffered in that experience… the loss of his children, the loss of his things, and the loss of his health. Difficult experiences can be fertile ground for the root of bitterness. I remember a time in my own experience when things were difficult and the root began to take root in my own heart. I spoke with some of my best friends. At one point, one turned to me and said, ‘That is enough. It won’t help you to speak of it and it won’t help us to listen to it.’ It was hard at the time, but I’m thankful that he had the courage to speak up. Job didn’t have such friends, they provoked him to speak more and more. At the end (42:3) he had to confess that he had spoken of things that he didn’t understand and things that were beyond him. The root of bitterness will cause us to speak of things that we don’t understand and to meddle in things that really belong to God, they are above us. He did the only thing he could do at that point and that was to repent (42:6).
Another fertile soil for the root of bitterness is unforgiveness. But again Jesus gave us an example on the cross with the people that put him there… they hadn’t repented, and they hadn’t shown any shame for what they had done to him, but he forgave them. He was free in his own heart and spirit. It is failing to obtain the grace of God when we don’t forgive.
Hannah in 1 Samuel 1: was in bitterness of soul. Again it isn’t hard to understand why! She had a rival that constantly reminded her of the children that she didn’t have that God had promised under that first covenant. The high priest misunderstood her. But where did she go? She didn’t go to the high priest or her husband, but she went to God. When she left the presence of God that day she didn’t have any bitterness – even her face was changed! She had reached the throne of grace and the King of that throne – the root was cast out.
The purpose of this www.thefellowshipoftruth.com is to provide information about a non-denominational network of home-based churches that can be found in nearly every country of the world. We are imperfect people trying hard to fulfil the plan that God has laid out for each one of us. We do our best to follow the teachings of the Bible at home, work and in the place of worship. The format and structure are Bible based and very similar to what we read about the early church in Acts and I Corinthians (Acts 1:13 and I Cor 16:19.) Each week we meet in homes for fellowship and worship on Sunday mornings and Bible studies on Wednesday nights. From time to time, we also have larger Gospel services where multiple home-based churches meet together. These meetings serve to strengthen the faith of the believers, and also, help to explain our beliefs to those who are being introduced to our faith for the first time.