Intimacy with Jesus: Being Bitter with God
“You have said, ‘It is futile to serve God. What do we gain by carrying out his requirements and going about like mourners before the Lord Almighty?
From this verse we see that it is clear the people of God had grown bitter towards God, not to mention, bitter to the concept of intimacy with Christ their Everlasting Rock. Paul recognized the decent of bitterness of the soul towards the Lord-God and said, “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened … God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts,” (Romans 1:21, 24, KJV). Bitterness with the Lord Jesus is an ugly thing, to say the least. It leads us to do and say things we should never do and say- then, eventually God just hands us over to our bitterness whether for a season or much longer with some- right to their very last breath. It is a brutal concept to consider.
Still, while it is still called today, there is hope for Intimacy with Jesus- the greatest adventure anyone could ever experience in a thousand life-times- if only for one day! God can and does forgive bitterness of the soul. There are people who have experienced horrific atrocities both at the hands of the ones who were supposed to love and watch over them and at the hands of their enemies. Be not naive on this point- they are bitter because God “allowed” some horrific thing into their lives. Then there are those- like those in the text I opened with in the book of Malachi- where the people really had not been dealt with the heavy hand of God. Rather, they mistook what they considered silence on the matters of their obedience as the absence and even worse- the indifference of God. Reader, do you think that God is indifferent to you? You can’t have intimacy with Jesus if He is indifferent. No, He is surely not indifferent friend!
The context of that verse is the tell-all: “You have spoken arrogantly against me,” says the Lord. “Yet you ask, ‘What have we said against you?’“You have said, ‘It is futile to serve God. What do we gain by carrying out his requirements and going about like mourners before the Lord Almighty? But now we call the arrogant blessed. Certainly evildoers prosper, and even when they put God to the test, they get away with it.’” (Malachi 3:13:15) Now that’s bitterness with God. When we get bitter we have a tendency to do just what we were told not to do and that is stare at all the things our “neighbour” has in terms of things and relationships and position. Here- those who didn’t even care one iota about God seemed to prosper. Those who claimed that they did seemed to just get more bitter about the matter. So concerned was the writer of the book of Hebrews about the matter of Bitterness and how it kept his flock from “fixing your eyes on Jesus” that he said and warned: “See to it that no one falls short of God’s grace; that no root of resentment springs up and causes trouble, and by it many be defiled;” Reader, choose life- Intimacy with Jesus- not death- bitterness that defiles many. It’s oh so worth it!