Bitterness Erodes Influence & Authority
In Hebrews 12:15 bitterness is described as a defiling root. It behaves like a weed. A landscaper may cut the top off of a weed, but unless he or she uses a chemical to kill the root, that weed will grow back and spread to other areas of the lawn. The defiling root of bitterness springs up in one’s life and spreads to all other areas: “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of GOD; lest any root of bitterness, springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.” (KJV) To understand how bitterness erodes influence and authority the LORD has highlighted the life of Saul.
Saul’s Personality Profile Saul was to be GOD’S answer to the people of Israel’s request that the prophet Samuel give them a king so that they could be like all the other nations. They were tired of living under GOD’S authority (1 Kings 8); problem! Saul was like all of us, a person with hang-ups and problems. Although he was handsome (1 Samuel 9:2) he had a low level position in his father’s household; he was a keeper of jackasses (1 Samuel 9:3). Saul struggled with low self-esteem (1 Samuel 9:21). After Samuel announced to Saul that he would be king, he overslept the next day instead of being excited and alert (1 Samuel 9:26). So far, Saul isn’t a very impressive individual.
Prophet Samuel anointed Saul using a vial not a horn. This indicated that he only had a measure of the anointing. A limited outpouring of the anointing by Samuel was another prophetic sign that problems would come during the reign of Saul (1 Samuel 10:1). Saul had a spirit of fear that made him hide when he was about to be presented to the people (1 Samuel 10:21 &22). Saul didn’t like confrontation because he was a people-pleaser. When Samuel wanted to kill a group of men that opposed his ascension and disrespected him, Saul dissuaded him (1 Samuel 10:27; 11:12 &13). Saul’s people pleasing ways caused him to be presumptuous and he took Samuel’s role and offered a sacrifice (1 Samuel 13:5-12). At this point, Samuel prophesied to him that he would lose the kingdom (1 Samuel 13:13 &14). Saul endangered his son Jonathan’s life by making a foolish vow in the midst of battle with the Philistines (1 Samuel 14:24). Saul rarely worshipped GOD (1 Samuel 14:35). Saul disobeyed the command of the LORD to completely annihilate the Amalekites (1 Samuel 15). By 1 Samuel 16:14 the Spirit of the LORD had left Saul and an evil spirit was tormenting him. This created an opening for his successor David to enter his life as a harpist whose music was recommended as a remedy for him (1 Samuel 16:18). YIKES! What a guy!
David’s Ascension David was a worshipper who had an intimate relationship with the LORD. He was bold, courageous, and full of faith. David took on Goliath, the giant champion of the Philistines, and killed him afterward removing his head from his shoulders (1 Samuel 17). David distinguished himself as a mighty warrior who excelled in battles. One day while the women of Israel sang songs about the wars of Israel, they ascribed to Saul thousands, but to David tens of thousands (1 Samuel 18:6 &7). Saul began to despise David from that day forward as he began to rise in favor, influence, and notoriety.
Saul’s Bitterness Eroded His Influence and Authority David was everything good that Saul wasn’t, and Saul knew it. Look back at his profile. Saul was struggling with many of the issues that are common to most of us. We don’t read about Saul getting therapy or deliverance ministry. This means that he never got healed and whole. The more Saul compared himself to David anger, envy, resentment, and bitterness grew in Saul’s heart and mind. Through the open doors Saul’s negative emotions created in his soul and spirit, evil spirits entered and oppressed him.
Saul was already having emotional problems and one day he lost control of himself and he threw a javelin at David (1 Samuel 18:8-12). This news was noised abroad and it further undermined Saul’s reputation. He was already known for making foolish decisions, disobeying GOD, and people pleasing. Now the people of Israel heard that Saul was homicidal and his target was their hero David! GOD’S Spirit had left him and it was widely known that Samuel had prophesied the end of Saul’s reign. Saul cursed Jonathan for being David’s friend and he threw a javelin at him (1 Samuel 20:27-33)!
Little by little Saul’s bitterness eroded his reputation, influence, and authority. Saul’s bitterness negatively affected his relationship with his son. In 1 Samuel 28 we read about Saul visiting a witch and consulting with a familiar spirit because GOD was not speaking to him. Witchcraft was outlawed in Israel because it violated GOD’S Law. This was the lowest point in Saul’s life! Shortly thereafter, Saul was dead (1 Samuel 31).
In Conclusion Take a page from Saul’s life history. Bitterness must be eradicated from our lives especially if we are people of influence and authority. If we refuse to get cleansed, healed, and delivered bitterness will eventually destroy everything we have worked for and cherish—our family, our ministry, our career, and our reputation. Receiving deliverance ministry is the wisdom of GOD for this season. I believe He has sent this word to many of you in order to prevent the destruction that is about to break out in your lives. “MARA…NO MORE!” is here to help. Reach out.
DECLARE: “LORD JESUS, thank You for this word. I declare that bitterness will no longer undermine my influence and authority. I receive from You the strength and perseverance I need to pursue my healing, cleansing, and deliverance from this defiling sin. Amen.”