BITTERNESS

PROVERBS 14:10 – THE HEART KNOWETH HIS OWN BITTERNESS; AND A STRANGER DOTH NOT INTERMEDDLE WITH HIS JOY.

BITTERNESS IS DEFINED AS ANGER, DISCONTENTMENT, HEAVINESS, CHAFE. CHAFE MEANS ANNOYED, IRRITATED.

EPHESIANS 4:31,32 – LET ALL BITTERNESS, AND WRATH, AND ANGER, AND CLAMOR, AND EVIL SPEAKING, BE PUT AWAY FROM YOU, WITH ALL MALICE: AND BE YE KIND ONE TO ANOTHER, TENDERHEARTED, FORGIVING ONE ANOTHER, EVEN AS GOD FOR CHRIST’S SAKE HATH FORGIVEN YOU.

SO IT SEEMS, IN THESE VERSES, BITTERNESS HAS SOMETHING TO DO WITH UNFORGIVENESS.

IT IS STANGE TO ME THAT A WOMAN LIKE HANNAH COULD BE STRUGGLING WITH BITTERNESS:

I SAMUEL 1:10 – AND SHE WAS IN BITTERNESS OF SOUL, AND PRAYED UNTO THE LORD, AND WEPT SORE.

IF YOU RUN A WORD SEARCH, YOU WILL FIND THIS BITTERNESS IN HANNAH WAS THE SAME KIND OF BITTERNESS SCORNED IN EPHESIANS 4:31.

TO FIND OUT WHY HANNAH WAS BITTER, WE HAVE TO READ I SAMUEL 1:2-8 – AND HE (ELKANAH)  HAD TWO WIVES; THE NAME OF THE ONE WAS HANNAH, AND THE NAME OF THE OTHER WAS PENINNAH: AND PENINNAH HAD CHILDREN BUT HANNAH HAD NO CHILDREN. 

AND THIS MAN WENT UP OUT OF HIS CITY YEARLY TO WORSHIP AND TO SACRIFICE UNTO THE LORD OF HOSTS IN SHILOH.

AND WHEN THE TIME WAS THAT  ELKANAH, OFFERED (WENT TO WORSHIP), HE GAVE PENINNAH HIS WIFE, AND TO ALL HER SONS AND DAUGHTERS, PORTIONS:

BUT TO HANNAH HE GAVE A WORTHY PORTION (WE COULD SAY A DOUBLE PORTION); FOR HE LOVED HANNAH: BUT THE LORD HAD SHUT UP HER WOMB.

AND HER ADVERSARY ALSO PROVOKED HER SORE (TORMENTED HER), FOR TO MAKE HER FRET, BECAUSE THE LORD HAD SHUT UP HER WOMB.

AND SHE DID SO YEAR BY YEAR, WHEN SHE WENT UP TO THE HOUSE OF THE LORD, SO SHE (PENINNAH PROVOKED HER); THEREFORE SHE WEPT AND DID NOT EAT.

THEN ELKANAH HER HUSBAND SAID TO HER, HANNAH, WHY WEEPEST THOU? AND WHY EATEST THOU NOT? AND WHY IS THY HEART GRIEVED? AM I NOT BETTER TO THEE THAN TEN SONS?

NEITHER OUR JOYS NOR OUR SORROWS CAN BE WHOLLY SHARED WITH ANOTHER; NO PERSON STANDS IN SUCH INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP WITH US, OR CAN PUT THEMSELVES SO ENTIRELY IN OUR PLACE, AS WE FEEL WHAT WE FEEL.

THERE ARE MANY DARK SPOTS, MANY GRIEFS, OF WHICH OUR BEST FRIENDS KNOW NOTHING; THE SKELETON IS LOCKED IN THE CUPBOARD, SO-TO-SPEAK, AND NO ONE HAS THE KEY BUT WE ALONE.

BUT WE CAN TURN WTH CONFIDENCE TO JESUS WHO KNOWS US BEST, WHO WEPT HUMAN TEARS, AND BORE OUR SORROWS, AND WAS IN ALL POINTS TEMPTED LIKE AS WE ARE.

HE HAS TAKEN HIS HUMAN EXPERIENCE WITH HIM TO HEVEN. AND WHEN WE TAKE OUR FEELINGS AND HURTS TO THE LORD, AND BEGIN TO FORGIVE AND SURRENDER THAT THING THAT HAS WORKED ITSELF FROM UNFORGIVENESS TO BITTERNESS OF HEART, WHOLLY TO THE LORD, WE FIND JOY THAT, ALSO, NO ONE ELSE CAN SHARE.

HE IS NOT A STRANGER TO “GRIEF TURNED TO JOY.”

THERE IS A SAYING, “NO ONE KNOWS WHERE THE SHOE PINCHES SO WELL AS HE THAT WEARS IT;” AND ANOTHER, “TO EVERYONE, HIS OWN CROSS SEEMS HEAVIEST.”

WHEN A PERSON’S MIND IS SENSITIVE IT IS EASILY DEPRESSED BY GRIEF; BUT WHEN IT IS ELATED BY JOY, IT SHOULD RECEIVE IT’S PLEASURE AND RELIEF WITHOUT ARROGANCE AND RUDENESS.

IN CHAPTER I OF Ist SAMUEL, WE FIND HANNAH PRAYING, AND VOWING TO TH LORD IF HE WOULD GIVE HER A SON, SHE WOULD GIVE THE CHILD TO THE LORD ALL HIS LIFE. SHE WAS PRAYING, WITH ONLY HER LIPS MOVING, BUT HER VOICE WAS NOT HEARD.

ELI, WHO THOUGHT SHE WAS INTOXICATED, TOLD HER TO QUIT DRINKING, BUT SHE ANSWERED THAT SHE HAD NEVER DRANK WINE NOR STRONG DRINK; THAT SHE WAS SORROWFUL IN SPIRIT.

SHE TOLD HIM SHE WAS NOT A WICKED WOMAN, BUT THAT SHE WAS POURING OUT HER SOUL BEFORE THE LORD.

ELI RESPONDE BY SAYING, “GO IN PEACE, AND MAY THE LORD OF ISRAEL GRANT YOUR PETITION WHICH YOU HAVE ASKED OF HIM.”

VERSE 20 – HANNAH BECAME PREGNANT AND IN DUE TIME BORE A SON AND NAMED HIM SAMUEL (HEARD OF THE LORD), BECAUSE, SHE SAID, I HAVE ASKED HIM OF THE LORD.

WHEN BITTERNESS SETS IN, IT IS SEEN AS A VIOLATION TO THE WAYS OF GOD, FOR GOD HAD A PLAN AND PURPOSE. 

WHEN IN HER TROUBLE, HANNAH WAS LED TO PRAY FERVENTLY, AND HER PRAYER WAS ANSWERED: GRIEF AND SORROW AND BITTERNESS GAVE PLACE TO REJOICING. THE FAMILY WAS BENEFITTED; AND THE PEOPLE OF GOD WERE GREATLY BLESSED. 

SO IN HIS WONDERFUL WORKING, GOD “TURNED THE CURSE INTO BLESSING”!!

    *Part II coming soon.

 

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