Overcoming The Problem of Bitterness. Ecc7, 1 Kings 11.


April 7, 2021

We are are now ready to complete our twenty second “Defense Mechanism” as well as entire subject this week Wednesday evening and Friday evening and then we will begin our brand new subject on Sunday morning  on the Doctrine of the Rapture.

 

/(22)  The final Defense Mechanism is found in the sexual desires for lust after the opposite sex of the male and female believer.\

 

This is the life and desire for any person, male or female, who desires sex with any man or woman who is a member of the opposite sex of male verses female.

 

Let’s begin with our main passage in ECC 7:23 where Solomon said;  I tested all this with wisdom, and I said, “I will be wise,” but it was far from me.

 

ECC 7:24   What has been is remote or distant and exceedingly mysterious. Who can discover it?

 

ECC 7:25   I directed my mind to know, to investigate, and to seek wisdom and an explanation, and to know the evil of folly and the foolishness of madness.

 

 

 

 

ECC 7:26   And I discovered more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets, whose hands are chains. One who is pleasing to God will escape from her, but the sinner will be captured by her.

 

ECC 7:27   “Behold, I have discovered this,” says the Preacher, “adding one thing to another to find an explanation,

 

ECC 7:28   which I am still seeking but have not found. I have found one man among a thousand, but I have not found a woman among all these.

 

ECC 7:29   “Behold, I have found only this, that God made men upright, but they have sought out many devices.”

 

/Now, in Ecc 7, verses 23-29, wisdom reveals the fact that intimate relationships are compelling but often not satisfying at all for the believer.\

 

Notice what Solomon says in ECC 7:26  And I discovered more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets, whose hands are chains. One who is pleasing to God will escape from her, but the sinner will be captured by her.

 

Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines.

 

/For we read in 1KI 11:3  And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines, and his wives turned his heart away.\

 

/1KI 11:4   For it came about when Solomon was old, his wives turned his heart away after other gods; and his heart was not wholly devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been.\

 

 

 

/Little did people know that that Solomon disobeyed the Lord because the Lord had said to all the Israeli kings in DEU 17:14   “When you enter the land which the Lord your God gives you, and you possess it and live in it, and you say, ‘I will set a king over me like all the nations who are around me,’\

 

/DEU 17:15   you shall surely set a king over you whom the Lord your God chooses, one from among your countrymen you shall set as king over yourselves; you may not put a foreigner over yourselves who is not your countryman.\

 

 

 

/DEU 17:16   “Moreover, he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor shall he cause the people to return to Egypt [the world or the cosmic system] to multiply horses [the Israeli military], since the Lord has said to you, ‘You shall never again return that way [that is the ways of the world].’\

 

/Then notice the corrected translation next in DEU 17:17  “Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away; nor shall he greatly increase silver and gold for himself.\

 

/So, you can see why Solomon thought he was a sexual athlete and none of that caused him to gain any sense of wisdom.\

 

Solomon found out many things.

 

One of those main areas that he learned a lot about was bitterness.

 

/He learned that bitterness and jealousy often go together.\

 

Now, every believer who does not have a personal relationship with God is a walking bomb[i].

 

He is ready to explode at any moment.

 

And the trigger or the button to push is bitterness.

 

/When you allow bitterness to cause the bomb to explode within you, you hurt your own life.\

 

We call this self-induced misery.

 

If you harbor bitterness you have a very serious spiritual problem.

 

/A problem which is not correctable apart from personal love for God and impersonal love for all mankind.\

 

/Every believer who harbors bitterness or jealousy becomes a walking bombshell waiting to explode.\

 

And when this happens, your spirititual life is ready to explode.

 

/Once the believer uses his own volition to allow bitterness, anger and jealousy to control him, he shatters his own life.\

Let’s look at the subject of Bitterness.

 

/Point 1. By way of definition and description the Greek noun pikria for bitterness refers to animosity, jealousy, hostility, and is actually a part of anger and harshness.\

 

What does it mean to become bitter?

 

It means;

 

/a.} To be caustic or sarcastic.

b} To have pain in the mind.\

 

/c} Bitterness is an expression of Misery and Disappointment.

d} Bitterness is severity of temper, biting sarcasm, painful inward affliction.\

 

/e.} Deep distress of mind.

f.} It defiles others as well as self.\

 

 

The main verse for bitterness is ECC 7:26 where Solomon said And I discovered more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets, whose hands are chains. One who is pleasing to God will escape from her, but the sinner will be captured by her.

 

/The basic word for bitterness is the adjective used as a noun marah (maw-raw’); to be angry, bitter, discontented.\

 

/Marah means angry discontentment, angry frustration, Pikraino is another word which means inward pressure.\

 

 

/It means to poison with a painful and piercing and unpleasant irritation or something which is “sharply painful mentally.”\

 

/Bitterness results in hatred, cruelty, antagonism, implacability, vindictiveness, vengefulness, and inordinate ambition and inordinate competition.\

 

/Point 2.  Causes of bitterness are very interesting in the Bible.\

 

 

 

 

/For example; in the administration of divine discipline to Israel, especially to the southern kingdom of Judah, it became quite apparent that they were a bitter people.\

 

Bitterness was the reaction and demonstrated the weakness and the failure of the people.

 

What happened first bitterness or the downfall and the destruction of the nation?

 

Actually bitterness occurred first.

 

The people were bitter therefore their spiritual lives were destroyed.

 

/And the destruction of the spiritual life resulted in very few spiritual champions and therefore the nation was brought into captivity.\

 

Bitter people cannot have peace on any scale of values or in any type of relationships in life.

 

/In 2Ki 14:26  For the Lord saw the affliction of Israel, which was very bitter.\

 

The Jews brought upon themselves their own destruction which was very bitter and it was because of their own bitterness.

/Vs 26 goes on to say….for there was neither slave nor free, nor was there any helper for Israel.\

 

They brought it upon themselves.

 

/”Bitter people” are self-destructive…just as a bitter person is a walking bomb waiting to explode.\

 

/Suffering causes bitterness to people who do not understand principles and who do not give number 1 priority to their relationship with God; Deu 32:24.\

 

/Deu 32:24   They shall be wasted by famine, and consumed by plague and their destruction will be bitterness.\

Bitterness was the cause of their destruction.

 

The economic disasters merely indicate a result of bitterness,

 

/Ridicule is a source of bitterness says Lam 3:14.\

 

/Lam 3:14  I have been a laughing stock to all the people.\

 

The message that Jeremiah was given, they ridiculed!

 

Why?

Because they were bitter.

Then he says…..they ridiculed me in songs.

 

They even even made up songs about Jeremiah and his message,

 

/And they said about Jeremiah in Lam 3:15,  he has filled our lives [HEART] with bitterness.\

 

In other words, the people rejected his message and therefore they were bitter toward him.

 

It is inevitable that when the truth is taught, there is going to be the reaction of bitterness.

/The greatest source of bitterness is arrogance because arrogant people are bitter.\

 

Arrogance is simply the other side of the coin,

If you’re arrogant, you’re bitter!

 

Arrogance is preoccupation with self.

 

And people who are preoccupied with themselves inevitably become bitter and jealous.

 

In Act 8:23,  Peter is speaking to Simon the sorcerer.

 

And he says in Act 8:23  For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bondage of iniquity.

 

/The 20 century transalation . Says….for I see that you have fallen into the bitterness of envy...or jealousy.\

 

/Or the Phillips translation says, “You are a man bitter with jealousy.”\

 

Simon the sorcerer passed himself off as a spiritual giant and a person who could do good things for individuals.

 

 

And Simon the sorcerer saw that Peter’s ministry was prospering and Peter said I can see that you are filled with bitterness and jealousy.

 

Why was Simon in bitterness and jealously?

Because people were leaving him and going to the apostles.

 

/Point 3. Bitterness results from being rejected.\

 

/a.  When someone leaves you be careful that you do not become bitter because being rejected is a strong reason for bitterness in the lives of most believers.\

 

/b.  Degeneracy is a source of bitterness. Rom 3:14  Their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.\

 

/c.  Eph.4:31 tells us that involvement in the cosmic system is source of bitterness.\

 

/d.  Pro 14:10 tells us where bitterness lives and resides; Pro 14:10  The heart or the right lobe, brain function, knows its own bitterness, and a stranger does not share its joy.\

 

Bitterness is so obvious that even strangers can see it in those who are bitter.

 

Why?

 

/Because, as we have already seen, bitterness produces a complaining attitude and no one likes to be around a complainer.\

 

/e.  Bitterness then is found in the believer who is a walking bombshell who has exploded within and has times of outward explosion as well.\

 

 

 

 

 

Look at JER 2:19  “Your own wickedness will correct you, And your apostasies will reprove you; Know therefore and see that it is evil and bitter For you to forsake the Lord your God, And the dread of Me is not in you,” declares the Lord God of hosts.

 

Bitterness results from backsliding and disrespect toward God – says this verse.

 

/In Jer 4:18   Bitterness reaches into the frame of reference, the memory center, the conscience,etc.\

 

 

 

Jer 4:18  “Your ways and your deeds Have brought these things to you. This is your evil. How bitter! How it has touched your heart!”

 

Look at Exo 15:22  Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness and found no water.

 

Exo 15:23  Aand when they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter; therefore it was named Marah.

 

Exo 15:24  So the people grumbled at Moses, saying, what shall we drink?

Exo 15:25 then he cried out to the lord, and the lord showed him a tree; and he threw it into the waters, and the waters became sweet. There he made for them a statute and regulation, and there he tested them

 

/Now Marah means bitterness because there were springs of water all over the place, but they could not drink the waters of Marah,\

 

Why?

 

/f.  Because the waters were bitter and that’s why they called it Marah.\

 

And this is another test.

/They flunked the “too much water test, the Red Sea. Now they are going to flunk the “wrong kind of water” TEST,….they had plenty of water but the wrong kind OF WATER.\

 

And so the waters of bitterness come into the picture.

 

/Remember that the tree represents to us promises from God, doctrinal rationales, and it represents a divine command.\

 

/The tree is also a picture of the branch, Jesus Christ.\

 

/When they threw in the branches, their complaining made the waters bitter.\

/f.  And just as the tree was cast into the bitter water, making it sweet, so TLJC heals the bitterness in those who invite His presence.\

 

/g.  In the administration of divine discipline to Israel, especially to the southern kingdom of Judah, it became quite apparent that they were a bitter people.\

 

Bitterness was the reaction and demonstrated the weakness and the failure of the people.

 

The people were bitter therefore their spiritual lives were destroyed.

 

And the destruction of the spiritual life resulted in very few spiritual champions and therefore the nation was brought into captivity.

 

In 2Ki 14:26 For the Lord saw the affliction of Israel, which was very bitter; for there was neither slave nor free, nor was there any helper for Israel.

 

/Point 4.  The results of bitterness.\

 

/a. “Bitter people” are self destructive just as a bitter person is a walking bomb waiting to explode.\

 

 

/b. Suffering causes bitterness to people who do not understand the spiritual principles behind the suffering; Deu 32:24.\

 

/Deu 32:24  ‘They shall be wasted by famine, and consumed by plague And bitter destruction; And the teeth of beasts I will send upon them, With the venom of crawling things of the dust.\

 

Bitterness results in the destruction of doctrinal people.

 

/c.  Coveting and competing is a source of bitterness in Act 8:23 “For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bondage of iniquity.”\

Simon the sorcerer passed himself off as a spiritual giant and a person who could do good things for individuals.

 

/And Simon the sorcerer saw that Peter’s ministry was prospering and Peter said I can see that you are filled with bitterness and jealousy.\

 

/Why was Simon in bitterness and jealous?\

 

/Because people were leaving him and going to the apostles.\

 

When someone leaves you, be careful that you do not become bitter.

 

/Point 5. Bitterness Destroys Marriages, Col 3:19.\

 

/Being rejected is a strong reason for bitterness in the lives of most believers, especially in marriage; Col 3:19.\

 

/Col 3:19   Husbands, love your wives, and do not be embittered against them.\

 

/d.  Degeneracy is a source of bitterness days in Christian marriage Rom 3:14where their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.\

 

/This is when one or two believer get involved the cosmic system and live in Eph 4:31-32.\

 

They get were bitter people because they let these two passages reign within the marriage.

 

Eph 4:31  Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.

 

EPH 4:32   And be kind to one another, tender‑hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

 

 

Pro 14:10 tells us where bitterness lives and resides in their marriage and because of that the heart knows its own bitterness and even a stranger does not share its joy.\

 

Bitterness is so obvious that even strangers can see it in those who are bitter, let alone those outside of the marriage.

 

Bitterness is so bad among believers that even strangers avoid them.

 

Why?

 

 

/Because as we have already seen, bitterness produces a complaining attitude……and no one likes to be around a complainer.\

 

/This is why the solution to the marriage that is failing is found in Jam 3:13  Who among you is wise, or filled with doctrine, let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom.\

 

In other words, let his behavior be motivated from the wisdom within.

James is actually saying let the doctrine within motivate the outward behavior.

 

JAM 3:14    but if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart….right lobe Stop being arrogant and lie against the truth.

 

Don’t lie against doctrine,

 

Don’t live in a lie.

 

/And selfish ambition  ie…factions, party spirits, cliques, in your heart are where all of these things originate within the marriage.\

 

/And then I like how the NAS puts it, Do not be arrogant and lie against the truth.\

 

If you have any bitterness, jealousy or party spirits in you lie against the truth and even deny the truth.

 

In vs 15,  we are told by God where this thinking or wisdom comes from.

 

JAM 3:15  The wisdom of jealousy, bitterness, selfish ambition and arrogance is not from above but is earthly, natural, demonic.

 

Jam 3:16  For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.

 

 

JAM 3:17  But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.

 

/This wisdom is of the earth.

It is from the unspiritual natural nature,

And it comes from evil spirits.\

 

The next time you get bitter, jealous, or arrogant, remember that.

 

Jam 3:16  for where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing,

 

/One of the main functions of breaking down a marriage is complaining; Phi 2:14.\

 

/In Job 9:17, where job was complaining, he was bitter and he was complaining as bitter people love to complain because God was multiplying his wounds without a cause.\

 

In Job 9:18   God will not allow me to get my breath, but saturates us with bitterness.

 

This is the attitude that bitterness eventually develops,

 

/An attitude which says,….it’s all God’s fault.

Why did God let this happen to me?\

 

/When a person says, why did God let this happen to me, that person is in a state of bitterness.\

 

Bitterness is irrational!

 

Jealousy is irrational, in fact jealousy is insanity,

 

/Bitterness will lead a person to the sin unto death, in fact it accompanies the sin unto death.\

 

/Job 21:25,  Job finally woke up and said….while another dies with a bitter soul, never tasting anything good.\

 

Death is considered to be an experience with bitterness for the unbeliever or carnal believer.

 

Bitterness produces complaining,

 

/Job again said in Job 7:11…..Therefore, I will not restrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit, I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.\

 

Complaining people have a source, it’s a sinful source, it becomes an evil source.

All people who habitually complain are bitter people.

 

/Complaining is simply an outward effect of an inward sin.\

 

/In Job 10:1,  Job said,  “I am sick of life; I will give full vent to my complaint; I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.”\

 

/Before a woman marries a man, she must be able to answer one critical question, “Will I submit to the authority of this man for the rest of my life?”\

 

The woman cannot answer this question in the attraction stage of romance.

Other important questions include:
/Does he demonstrate impersonal love toward all?\

/Is he manly, and yet still gentle?\
/Is he thoughtful, courteous?\
/What is his attitude in general and people in general?\
/If you say “yes” to the wrong man who is an emotional child, who is arrogant, jealous, your life and marriage will be intolerable slavery.\

 

/You cannot change the past, but as long as you are alive you can change the future.\

 

/The consequences of past sins and failures are in God’s hands, but the future belongs to you under the principle of logistical grace.  It isn’t what we do that counts, but what God does that counts.\

 

/The sins of marriage and divorce are no different than the sins of any other category of living.  Therefore, if you discover that you are living in adultery, rebound once, forget it, and keep moving in your current marriage.\

 

We will continue tomorrow evening.