Lessons from King David: The Damage Caused by a Bitter Soul

Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled.  Hebrews 12:14-15

Bitterness is a small seed that, if not properly rectified, can grow into a weed that spreads and will take over everything, destroying everything in its path.  It is a rot to the soul that can be eliminated if we recognize bitterness for what it is and know how to deal with it in a Godly manner.

We must recognize that bitterness is our problem, not the problem of the person who may offend us.  We can know that we harbor bitterness when we remember the smallest details of a perceived sin against us, or when we review the events over and over again.  It may start when we are resentful that an apology doesn’t come, or when we think we have been sinned against, even if the other person doesn’t realize it.

All in all, bitterness is the refusal to forgive, whether an apology is offered or not!  We must reject such feelings, because the Bible teaches us to “pursue peace with all men,” knowing that “many be defiled” by choosing to keep bitterness in their heart.

There was a well-trusted advisor in King David’s court by the name of Ahithophel.  In fact, when he gave advice, he was so trustworthy that it seemed that “he had inquired at the oracle of God” (2 Samuel 16:23).  When Absalom started a rebellion against David, remarkably, Ahithophel joined Absalom.  Ahithophel’s treachery hurt David so much because it was not a distant enemy who turned against him, but a man my equal, my companion and my familiar friend” (Psalm 55:12-13).  What would cause such a seemingly great man to turn against the man anointed by God to be king of Israel?  Ahithophel had a son by the name of Eliam (2 Samuel 23:24) who had a daughter.  Eliam’s daughter was Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11:3), the same woman whom David defiled in adultery and then tried to cover up his sin by having her husband killed.  Ahithophel chose to hold bitterness in his heart against David for what he did to his granddaughter and her family.

To get rid of bitterness, we have to recognize it as our problem and not the problem of someone else.  We must realize that it is sin, confess bitterness as our sin, and then receive God’s forgiveness for it.  If it is not exterminated from our soul, then bitterness can cause serious problems, just as it did with Ahithophel.


1 Response to “Lessons from King David: The Damage Caused by a Bitter Soul”

  1. April 15, 2013 at 9:09 pm

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