Summary: this meeagse talks about anger and bitterness and the need to get rid of it.
Text. Eph 4:30-32.
Intro: E Stanley Jones, Readers Digest Dec 1981.
A rattlesnake, if cornered will sometimes become so angry it will bite itself. That is exactly what the harboring of hate and resentment against others is-a biting of oneself. We think that we are harming others in holding these spites, hates, but the deeper harm is to ourselves.
This Morning we are going to look into the at three passages in the Word and the place that anger and bitterness played in the lives of some people.
1. Ruth 1:20-21
In Ruth 1 begins the wonderful story of loss and redemption in the life of 1 woman named Ruth. Chapter 1 begins by telling us there was a famine in the land, and a man named Elimelech took his wife and 2 sons out of Israel to a land with food. while there, his 2 sons married. Life was good. It was good until about the 10th year. Her husband dies, her 2 sons died. We don’t really know the reason and I suppose it really doesn’t matter -this woman, we know her as Naomi, had lost 3 important people in her life. Death had claimed those she loved.
Naomi was blessed in some ways because she had 2 daughter’s In law Unfortunately in Naomi’s day to own land, or to have a job a person must have been of the male gender and having 2 more woman in her life really didn’t help much. Her entire life fell apart. She was in a foreign country, her family was dead , and now the time had come to return home. She returns home with Ruth the 1 daughter law who pledged to be by her side. The whole town welcomed them and was stirred by there return. What did Naomi say?
1. Naomi says her life is very bitter.
2. She blames God for her circumstances
3. She feels there is no goodness, only misfortune in her life.
ILL: Someone has said. A neighbour of mine was bit by a stray rabid dog. I went to see how he was and found him writing furiously.
I told him rabies could be cured and he didn’t Have to worry about a will.
He said, Will, What will?
I’m making a list of people I’m going to bite. Anger and Bitterness will do just that cause us to bite the ones we have not forgiven.
2. 1 Samuel 1:10-15.
Our second Bible character focuses on a woman whose name is Hannah.
1Samuel 1 records that she is a woman caught in a tough situation. She is one of 2 wives in a relationship with a man who by all accounts is a good and godly man. He is a wonderful supportive husband. Verse 2 tells us that the other wife had children year after year and was a virtual baby factory and yet Hannah had no children. Not only that but the rival wife would taunt her and irritate her. This situation went on year after year after year. Hannah was trapped. Children surrounded her, yet none of them was her own. She had to deal with this other woman on a daily basis. The situation did not improve as time went on. One year, while the family worshipped, Hannah must have just hit rock bottom and she began to pray to the Lord. What did she pray?
(read 1samuel 1:10-15).
1. Hannah was bitter down to her soul.
2. She is angry about her situation
3. She feels that god can save her if she is willing.
3. 1Sam 18-19 and 18:6-11.
Chapters 18 and 19 of 1 sam give us the beginning of the end of the 1rst king of Israel. His name was Saul. And he was chosen as the 1rst king. Though he is never cast in a good light. King Saul allowed a young man named David to fight the philistines and gave him task after task, which he did well. David prospered in everything he attempted to do. The situation was becoming unbearable for Saul. This man David was becoming popular and a hero. What did Saul do? Read 1 Sam 18:6-11.
1. Saul became so angry that it turned to bitterness.
2. Other negative emotions started to torment Saul.
3. Saul took action to Kill David.
A. Bitterness and Anger.
We are all familiar with emotions, but they are sometimes difficult to define.
Emotions deal with that feeling part of life and are also connecting with the thinking part of life. (since thinking some thoughts produce positive or negative emotions). Canadian and American people are both very feeling oriented. Wouldn’t you agree? Have you ever seen the diet Cole commercial that says “If it feels good do it”. Many times it is feelings that lead us into certain jobs or even marriages. Feelings change. And so do our jobs. And to day marriage partners change as well. We come to church only when we feel like it, we pray only when we feel we need to, Many times our lives are driven and controlled by our emotions and their effects on our lives.