Do Not Allow Root of Bitterness to Spring up in You
This topic is being drawn from the book of Hebrews chapter 12 and the fifteenth verse.
The preceding verse is very common among believers and unbelievers alike, they quote it verbatim and sometimes the quote would be in paraphrased format.
“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Heb 12:14)
The knowledge of Agriculture and Biology will help us in understanding and having full grasp of this topic. How do I mean, for some people who have neither been to the rural settings nor engaged in active farming before, the knowledge of Agricultural Science and Biology they had while in schools would help them immensely in this study.
I will try and bring such people and everyone to speed using the knowledge of agricultural science to explain the points here.
Through the studies of these courses (or subjects) we know that plant has different parts, namely: leaves, stems, branches of stems, roots and its branches.
From the studies, we know that all other parts of the plant are above the soil level except roots. Although some roots are aerial in nature according to the studies, but even those aerial roots we are made known that they also grow downwards, the obey the law of gravity, growing downwards.
Those aerial roots are not common, because they are specialized ones, and have been designed by God to make provisions for some changes that have happened to the trees. Such changes are called adaptation by the scientists.
Therefore, if we shall stay to the common plants and their features, we shall discover that plants roots grow downwards and are not above the soil level but beneath the soil levels that is where they would be.
Having seen this, we shall discover that since the root is growing beneath the soil level, the growth and development of the roots cannot be directly measured, because it is hidden it cannot be seen. Any attempt to want to see the roots would involve removing the soils covering those roots and when that happens directly or indirectly the plant would die, because the root is not designed to be removed from the soil, God has designed it that it would be beneath the soil level when commanding it into existence in the book of Genesis.
“And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
“And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.” (Gen 1:11-12)
Those trees and other plants appeared accordingly with their stems above the soil level and their roots beneath the soil level and God after critical examination of this says they were good. So, this was how designed that the roots would be and other parts of the plants.
Intriguingly even though the growth and development of the roots can neither be directly seen nor measured, but it could be discovered by changes we notice in other parts of the trees (or plants) that are above the soil level. In other words, one can know whether the root of a plant is still viable by what is happening to the leaves, the trunks (stems) and their branches and in the case the tree is bringing forth fruits, what is happening to the fruits.
Having said some things about the roots of plants, I will like us to answer a question, which is why does this writer makes mention of growing roots?
Why This Writer Makes Mention of Possibility of the Root Growing (Springing up)
This epistle was supposedly written to the saints by an apostle, some people believe that the author was Paul the apostle while some do not believe that the author was Paul the apostle. Well, whomsoever the author of the book is, he writes this epistle intentionally and it was directed to the Hebrew saints of the need to be strong in their faith and not to look back neither waver.
In the verse we are examining, we shall see some of the reasons why he makes mention of root in this verse.
1. They Were Supposed Believers
The author knows that he was directing his epistle to the Hebrews, Jews who have given their lives to Jesus Christ, thus he writes to warn them that they shouldn’t allow poisonous roots of bitterness to grow in their hearts, because having given their lives to Jesus Christ, they are assumed to have killed the trees of bitterness and envying in their lives, however, for some reasons, this tree may not have been completely killed in some people’s lives, and thus, the need for him to warn them that they need to be careful.
“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;” (Heb 12:15)
Springing in Greek is “φύω”, Romanized form is phuō (phonetic spelling is foo'-o) which means grow, germinate, sprout, produce.
In the heart of someone whom one thought the there couldn’t be bitterness, because of what he or she manifests physically, there may be some roots in the person’s heart that are still lying low, roots that are silent, withstanding some hard conditions but which could spring up later, he thence warned them to look diligently and be sure that of a truth nothing like that is in them again.
2. They Have Pursued Peace With Others
He recalled the previous verse in making mention of this, because in the preceding verse, he enjoined them and all to pursue peace with all men. When and if they have pursued peace with all men, they should check themselves to be sure that the peace that they have pursued there is nothing that would turn it to pieces in them. What could turn such to pieces is if they still have within them an unknown root of bitterness, if they still have in them what they have not paid proper attention to.
“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:” (Heb 12:14)
If they have really followed peace and holiness with all, but they failed to discover and remove from their hearts this bitterness root, then all they have followed would be empty and they would sure not see God because bitterness is evil and evil and good cannot associate, darkness and light cannot be together.
3. Have Been diligent in Their Look
If they have diligently been looking, not to fail the grace of God, then they need to observe further to be assured that there is nothing like root of bitterness in them. It will amount to nothing if one says he is diligently looking but fails to see the root like this in his heart which has been there for quite a while.
“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;” (Heb 12:15)
The writer makes mention of possibility of a root of bitterness still hiding in a person’s life despite severing some visible parts of the tree of bitterness through their professions, through their pursuance, by which they would think the tree has been completely annihilated but in the oblivion that the roots are still dormant, lying in the soil.
4. The Probability of Some Dormant Roots of Bitterness
Sometimes like farmers who are working on farms, they may have cut off some parts of the roots a tree and would think that all has been severed and destroyed, but unknown to them that there are still some portions of the roots inside the soil.
There was a portion of land at behind a building that I was living in about five years ago, and I thought within me that the land cannot lie fallow like that I will plant some things on the land. I asked from some people who know the history of the land and they tell me that for about a decade the land has been deserted when the people farming in the area relocated to another place, that I can go ahead and plant whatever I want on the land.
After clearing the land, making the ridges and planted things on the land. some few weeks after, I discovered that I found some plants that I do not planted on the land springing up. Then I know that those plants’ roots have been inside the land dormant for years, and now that they have conducive atmosphere to germinate, where weeds wouldn’t crowd them out, they germinated and were thriving.
In the same vein is the picture this author is painting for the Hebrew saints (and by extension us) whom he directed his epistle to that they may though think they have severed everything that would stop them from being at peace with people, they may thought they have made everything right with their neighbors and are living in holiness, but he said they should try and search more, harder, for the probability of some hidden roots of bitterness in their lives that may raise its ugly heads by showing forth through their stems, branches, leaves and fruits later and they should on discovering something like this decisively deal with it by destroying them all.
Some Notes On (Plants’) Roots: 1. Location:
Roots as earlier stated are hidden in the soil, that is the position Elohim desires for them to be since the time he has commanded them out into existence.
W. Arnot while talking on this verse says, sometimes the land may be cleared, but the roots would still be there.
This aptly describes what patriarch Job was talking about in the fourteenth chapter of his book that though the land may be cleared by farmer, but in as much as there is still some remnants of the root inside the soil, it would spring up again.
“For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease.
“Though the root thereof wax old in the earth, and the stock thereof die in the ground;
“Yet through the scent of water it will bud, and bring forth boughs like a plant.” (Job 14:7-9)
All bible students would recall that when God was talking to the greatest ruler in the times past the person called Nebuchadnezzar what he said was that the root should be left un-severed, for assuming the root has been severed he wouldn’t be able to return to the throne again but since his root wasn’t severed, he was able to regain his position back after the punishment for his pride.
“Thus were the visions of mine head in my bed; I saw, and behold a tree in the midst of the earth, and the height thereof was great.
“The tree grew, and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth:
“The leaves thereof were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all: the beasts of the field had shadow under it, and the fowls of the heaven dwelt in the boughs thereof, and all flesh was fed of it.
“I saw in the visions of my head upon my bed, and, behold, a watcher and an holy one came down from heaven;
“He cried aloud, and said thus, Hew down the tree, and cut off his branches, shake off his leaves, and scatter his fruit: let the beasts get away from under it, and the fowls from his branches:
“Nevertheless leave the stump of his roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth:
“All this came upon the king Nebuchadnezzar.
“At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon.
“The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?
“While the word was in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee.
“And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.
“At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour and brightness returned unto me; and my counsellors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me.
“Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.” (Dan 4: 10-15; 28-32 & 36-37)
From this we shall know that the location of this root is humans’ hearts. The root that this author is talking about is not something that we can see, it is not a visible thing, but it is hidden within our hearts.
God has designed for the position of the root to be within the soil and except it is properly rooted out, one could be sure that the root would grow again after the drought is over.
When roots absorb water and other nutrients from the soil, there would be release of hormones like Auxin, Gibberellins, Cytokinin and Abscisic acid (which is the one responsible for it to still be viable after the stress it has passed through) at the apex of the roots deep within the soil, and this would facilitate mitosis within the cells of the roots which would result in elongation and other growth of the roots.
As this process keeps going on within the soil, there would be signals sent to the surface level and stems would gradually be shooting out.
There are about four different types of roots and they are fibrous, aerial, storage and tap roots. The tap root type will grow deep down such that when a farmer thinks he has uprooted all the roots he may be mistaken as the root may still be within the soil.
While in the case of adventitious roots, though it does not grow deep down into the soil but this kind of plant could not be easily killed by a farmer because the minutest part of it that remains in the soil would self-propagate by itself until it becomes massive plant.
4. To Annihilate a Plant, Deliberate Attempt Must be Taken to Remove the Roots
No one can claim that he or she has successfully killed a plant except the person has make a deliberate attempt to annihilate the roots. W. Arnot says of this that that is why many schemes drawn out at ensuring that people stopped sinning failed because the root of sin in humans’ lives has not been annihilated.
All those proposed schemes by several people religious leaders inclusive to stop sin address the physical things, they address the fruits, the tree’s branches and stems, the leaves but never the roots. That is why those schemes never worked because people will come forth with another scheme that would counter and silence those schemes.
The disposition to sin and continue in sin lives in humans’ hearts and that is why Jesus came into the world to address the heart, because the physical addresses he promulgated for the children of Israel over the years have failed it did not work.
One of the greatest Prophets in Israel would say of this that the hearts of men are wicked.
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jer 17:9)
Jesus himself while talking along this line says that it is out of hearts that sin emanates out not out of the body.
“For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,
“Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:
“All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.” (Mar 7:22-23)
In the book of Genesis when the serpent would overtake the woman, it was her heart that it appealed to, it approached the heart but not the body, the physical because it knows that approaching the physical it would fail and for all we know it may have been approaching it physically before but failing thereby, but when it gets chance to approach its inner person, it overcame her and we all become partakers till date.
“And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
“For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” (Gen 3:4-5)
Before Cain stumbled and fell root of bitterness has been in him, this Elohim saw, and he addressed him that he needs to make deliberate attempt at ensuring that the root be destroyed but he wouldn’t budged until he fell.
“And the LORD said unto Cain, why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?
“If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.” (Gen 4:6-7)
Therefore, if anyone would overcome sin, it is his or her heart that must be addressed the issues of sin in the person’s heart must be addressed, the roots of sin in the person’s heart must be deliberately and conscientiously removed and destroyed before the person completes overcome sin.
Have you conscientiously deal with the root of bitterness in your life?
5. The Soil for the Root’s Growth
Our hearts are the soil inside of which the root grows deep down.
Jesus says when talking about the parable of the sower in the gospel according to Saint Matthew 13 that the heart of man is the soil on which the seeds the sower sown falls on.
“When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side” (Mat 13:19)
As our hearts receive good seeds so does it receive bad seeds, but the onus is on us to choose the ones which will grow on it, after choosing the ones that will grow on it, its roots will grow deep down within the heart.
When we are not born again, the seed that is growing in our hearts is the seed of evil which has been passed on to us by our fore parents Adam and Eve. In this evil seed is bitterness.
However, when we claimed to be saved, and have dealt with appearances of sin in our lives, there is still tendencies that there could be root of bitterness in us. It is this root of bitterness that we need to watch out for and ensure that it is dealt with.
6. Nature of the Roots
It should be known that a root will produce a tree of its kind and not otherwise. That is why it is possible for different kinds of fruits to be sown on a soil and each seed will produce a tree and fruits after its kind.
As the hearts of man is the soil inside of which this root grows, we should know that it is because of the genetic composition of the roots that is why it could produce bitterness, for some other kinds of roots in our lives too would produce trees and fruits according to its kind.
Some may think it is because the humans’ hearts are polluted that is why it is producing root of bitterness, but that is not so, it is the root that has in it bitterness, that is why it is producing bitterness.
Talking Briefly on Bitterness
Urban dictionary defines bitterness as feeling deep anger and resentment; it is an emotion which encompasses both anger and hate, often people who are bitter appear to the world as just going around pissed off at everyone and everything.
The Greek word for bitterness is “πικρία”, Romanized form is pikria (phonetic spelling is pik-ree'-ah) which means acridity, sharp pungent. While acrid is defined as sharp and harsh or unpleasant in taste or odor: irritating.
Causes of Bitterness
Despite pursuance of peace of people with all people as the apostle said in this epistle, yet some may misconstrue it and hit the person who is following peace with them below the belt. Beneath are some of the causes of bitterness.
1. Hurt by Someone
As the illustration above, when someone is following peace with his partner, his neighbor but the if the person misconstrues what the man is doing and hit him at where he supposed not to, this could lead to bitterness in the heart of the person. Take as instance someone who has been in relationship with his partner and that partner jilted him, anger and hatred would feel the heart of the person towards his partner that he may be seeking for means to hurt the person.
2. Indirect Hurt
This could happen when someone is defending the course of someone else. Take the case of Absalom King David’s son as an example, he became bitter towards Amnon his brother because of what he did to Tamar his sister,
“And Absalom her brother said unto her, Hath Amnon thy brother been with thee? but hold now thy peace, my sister: he is thy brother; regard not this thing. So Tamar remained desolate in her brother Absalom's house.
“And Absalom spake unto his brother Amnon neither good nor bad: for Absalom hated Amnon, because he had forced his sister Tamar.
“And it came to pass after two full years, that Absalom had sheepshearers in Baalhazor, which is beside Ephraim: and Absalom invited all the king's sons.
“And Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David's brother, answered and said, let not my lord suppose that they have slain all the young men the king's sons; for Amnon only is dead: for by the appointment of Absalom this hath been determined from the day that he forced his sister Tamar.” (2 Sa 13:20, 22, 23 & 32)
We can see here what brought about bitterness in the heart of Absalom unto Amnon his brother, it was not because of what he did to him directly but what he did unto his sister.
When one envies others progress one could develop bitterness towards the person. If we can flash back our minds to the story of King Saul and David, we shall discover that the King’s bitterness develops out of envying for the young lad.
“And it came to pass as they came, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of musick.
“And the women answered one another as they played, and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.
“And Saul was very wroth, and the saying displeased him; and he said, they have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed but thousands: and what can he have more but the kingdom?
“And Saul eyed David from that day and forward.” (1 Sa 18:6-9)
After David killed Goliath and the story of what happened at the battle front gets to the town, the women sang to praise David and King Saul misconstrued the song and as from thence he developed hatred and envying for the young lad and was seeking to kill him.
4. Hurt Through Imagination
A person can be hurt through imagination. A person whose spouse or friend sent a text to and he fails to read in between the lines very well may mis-interpret the text and have bitter mind towards his partner. Therefore, it is always admonished that after reading a message or text on the line one should not act negatively to what one has read, for one may have mis-interpret the contents of the text and the person may not mean what he was thinking about the text.
5. Failure to Pay Good with Good
There are wicked people on the earth, those who cast stumbling blocks along the paths of those who have it in mind to do good for others. They cast stumbling block along the paths of those people because they do not repay good with good, and such people would think if the world is like this, why do I need to keep on doing good? Take as instance someone who says he wants to pay his rent and that his friend should borrow him money that he would pay the person back the following week, but after getting the money he failed to pay the person back but instead started casting aspersions along the path of the person.
This man will undoubtedly not be happy, and it will take special grace of God to render such services to someone else again.
Such was what Nabal did unto David. When David was running here and there with his team from the King Saul, they pitched a tent close to Nabal and were protecting them. After a while they left the place for another place, however at the new place where they were, they ran out of food and David sent his servants to Nabal to give them little food, but instead of Nabal to remember what those people have done for him and his servants in the past, he abused them and wouldn’t give them anything, he repaid evil with good.
“And David heard in the wilderness that Nabal did shear his sheep.
“And David sent out ten young men, and David said unto the young men, Get you up to Carmel, and go to Nabal, and greet him in my name:
“And thus shall ye say to him that liveth in prosperity, Peace be both to thee, and peace be to thine house, and peace be unto all that thou hast.
“And now I have heard that thou hast shearers: now thy shepherds which were with us, we hurt them not, neither was there ought missing unto them, all the while they were in Carmel.
“Ask thy young men, and they will shew thee. Wherefore let the young men find favour in thine eyes: for we come in a good day: give, I pray thee, whatsoever cometh to thine hand unto thy servants, and to thy son David.
“And when David's young men came, they spake to Nabal according to all those words in the name of David, and ceased.
“And Nabal answered David's servants, and said, Who is David? and who is the son of Jesse? there be many servants now a days that break away every man from his master.
“Shall I then take my bread, and my water, and my flesh that I have killed for my shearers, and give it unto men, whom I know not whence they be?
“So David's young men turned their way, and went again, and came and told him all those sayings.
“And David said unto his men, Gird ye on every man his sword. And they girded on every man his sword; and David also girded on his sword: and there went up after David about four hundred men; and two hundred abode by the stuff.” (1 Sa 25:4-13)
This pained David greatly when his servants returned to him with the reply of Nabal and he wanted to go and avenge by himself until he was stopped by Nabal’s wife.
The bible says anyone that repays good with evil good will not leave the person’s house forever.
“Whoso rewardeth evil for good, evil shall not depart from his house.” (Pro 17:13)
6. Speaking the Truth
Some people are allergic to hearing the truth, thus when anyone speaks the truth to them, they would hate the person and would have in them bitterness thinking of when they would attack the person back.
That was what happened to John the Baptist, when he spoke the truth to Herod of the woman he married, they developed bitterness towards the man until they kill him. (Mat 14:1-12)
Some rich people and those who are in position of authority today do not want to hear the truth and anyone who speaks the truth to them would become their enemies and they would be seeking for the lives of those people.
Are you allergic to the truth?
7. When Someone Sees You as a Threat
When someone sees another person as a threat to the position he is occupying or the position he wants to get to, such a one would be embittered towards the person and may seek to kill the person.
Consider the case of Saul and David again, King Saul saw David as a threat to the kingdom getting to his children after he is dead, thus he seeks for his life to be eliminated.
“And Jonathan answered Saul, David earnestly asked leave of me to go to Bethlehem:
“And he said, Let me go, I pray thee; for our family hath a sacrifice in the city; and my brother, he hath commanded me to be there: and now, if I have found favour in thine eyes, let me get away, I pray thee, and see my brethren. Therefore he cometh not unto the king's table.
“Then Saul's anger was kindled against Jonathan, and he said unto him, Thou son of the perverse rebellious woman, do not I know that thou hast chosen the son of Jesse to thine own confusion, and unto the confusion of thy mother's nakedness?
“For as long as the son of Jesse liveth upon the ground, thou shalt not be established, nor thy kingdom. Wherefore now send and fetch him unto me, for he shall surely die.” (1 Sa 20:28-31)
How Such Root of Bitterness Could Spring up
Herein we want to see what can bring about the “spring up of the root of bitterness” that the Apostle is talking about in this verse. Earlier I said that springing in Greek is “φύω”, Romanized form is phuō (phonetic spelling is foo'-o) which means grow, germinate, sprout, produce. Therefore, this section is designed at making us see how such root of bitterness could spring up in the hearts of believers.
“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;” (Heb 12:15)
1. Previously Hurt Believer
A believer who has been hurt by someone from any of the above points or from whatever means, before he believes may say everything is alright, that he is not nursing animosity against the person, but except such a one searches his heart diligently, except such a one be careful, there may still be the root of such bitterness in the person, whereas he would be thinking it is not there again, perhaps because it is long that he sees the person last, but when he comes across the person he will discover that he cannot relate well with the person.
2. The Thinking That Prayer Has Squared Out Everything
Sometimes the person who is hurt may get hurt after he has been saved. But instead of the person to square it out with the erring partner some people will resort to prayers and think prayers will square everything out. This is not what Jesus enjoins us to do, what he says was that,
“Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;
“Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.” (Mat 5:23-24)
The Greek word for brother here is, “ἀδελφός” Romanized form is adelphos (phonetic spelling is ad-el-fos') which means near, much like.
To my own thinking it means someone very close to the person, someone of the same genetic composition say one’s siblings, and spiritually I will say a believer like the person. When you remember that the person has grieved you or it is you that grieved him, Jesus here in says, stop thine prayer and go and resolve the issues with him first.
Altar in this verse is Greek word written as “θυσιαστήριον”, Romanized form is thusiastērion (pronounced as thoo-see-as-tay'-ree-on) which means a place of sacrifice.
We shall recall that the grace has not fully began when Jesus was ministering, thus, he was using the mosaic days to explain things to his disciples, followers and others who came to him for counselling. Thus, here in he was equally using Mosaic means to tell them about prayer, that if anyone discovers that he has bitterness towards his brother at the time he wants to pray he should stop the prayer and go and resolve the issue with his brother.
But today, we won’t do this, what we do is trying to pray about the thing. This is not right and after praying we shall think all is well but lo and behold when we come across the person again, that is when we shall discover that all is not well, that is when we shall discover that we cannot interact freely with the person.
The apostle is herein telling them that those who thought that prayers have resolved everything should take that off their hearts and go and resolve the issue with the person. If the person has left the place where you can get across to him, try and get his phone number phone him to square things out with him and then you would know that the root of bitterness is not in you again.
3. Could Have Been Silent
This root of bitterness could have been silent when brother is in the company of other brethren. It would be silent because those people are assisting him to grow but immediately those people live him the brother would discover that the root of bitterness spring up in him again.
Let me re-explain this like this, consider a student among his colleagues, you know they would be guiding themselves and even when they are given a combined assignment to do, none would fail because they would read together and present the papers together, but when they stand alone, then individuals capabilities would be known.
That is how it is with brother living amid other brethren, the root of bitterness in the brother would enter dormancy stage and this brother may think that such is not in him again until those suppressors be removed and then the bitterness would start growing in him again.
Effects of this root springing up
There are effects to everything one does in life and this too is without an exemption, there are effects which would be noticed in our lives if we allow this root of bitterness to spring up in our lives, the effects are:
1. Trouble You
If anyone of the brethren who claims to have been redeemed by Jesus blood allows this root of bitterness to spring up in his or her life, such a one would be troubled.
Trouble in Greek is “ἐνοχλέω”, romanized form is enochleō (pronounced as en-okh-leh'-o) which means crowd in.
This invariably means that the person wouldn’t have rest of mind because of the bitterness that has grown in him and which has started producing fruits.
If we remember the story of Absalom, King David’s son who developed root of bitterness in him for his brother, Amnon, all through the time that he was seeing his brother he was troubled and that was why he couldn’t speak well with him until what was in his heart was executed.
“And Absalom spake unto his brother Amnon neither good nor bad: for Absalom hated Amnon, because he had forced his sister Tamar.” (2 Sa 13:22)
The root of bitterness’ growth and development within human’s heart would make the person lose his or her peace.
2. Become Defiled
Anyone who allows for this kind of root to develop in him, the person would become polluted. As we know that anyone who (or anything that) is polluted would not be fit for the master’s use, thence the person wouldn’t be fit for the master’s use again. We know that God says the people of Israel should not offer unto him an animal that has blemish, or which is blind in one eye.
“And if there be any blemish therein, as if it be lame, or blind, or have any ill blemish, thou shalt not sacrifice it unto the LORD thy God.” (Deu 15:21)
This is showing that those things have blemish on them, and they would not be accepted as offerings.
When we also have blemishes on us, like allowing for the growth of this root of bitterness in us, we would not be fit for the master’s use again.
How to Remove the Root of Bitterness
This poisonous root shouldn’t be allowed in our lives to thrive having known its consequences that they are negative and would not support our spiritual growth. To therefore remove them, the followings could be done.
1. Look Diligently
This means that we need to be careful. Jesus says, “watch and pray,” (Mat 26:41a) a man while explaining this says,
Anyone who is praying to God but who cannot watch should stop praying, because watching goes along with prayers.
Watch in Greek word here is “γρηγορεύω”, Romanized form is grēgoreuō (pronounced as gray-gor-yoo'-o) which means be vigilant, keep awake. While the Greek word for “Looking diligently” is “ἐπισκοπέω”, Romanized form is episkopeō (phonetic spelling is ep-ee-skop-eh'-o) which means beware.
Beware and be careful are synonymous words in English language. Therefore, if anyone would remove such root from him or her the person must be careful in all things.
2. Search Your Inner-Person Deeply
Like a farmer who wants to remove some rotten crops among the good ones search deeply for those, so shall you search your inner person deeply for any iota of such roots within you.
And in case you find something akin to that, you pray that God gets them out of your life because it may not be within your reach to remove them. You also will do what the bible says, try and see the person and resolve the differences if the person is nearby, but if not, then get the person’s phone and contact him to make amendments.
3. Let God Reveal it
Adrian Rogers says, we should let God reveal such to us. In Genesis chapter four it was God who revealed the root unto Cain, that he should be mindful of the thoughts within him lest he fell. God can also reveal it to us when we allow him to do so.
4. Let Grace Reveal it
The grace of God has appeared unto all flesh and wants us to shun all ungodliness. When we allow for greater grace of God within us, this grace will reveal such root deeply sited within our hearts unto us.
“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;” (Tit 2:11-12)
To sum all up,
Root of bitterness is like a cancer in any believer’s life which shouldn’t be allowed to thrive. Adrian Rogers says, “bitterness blows out the candle of joy and leaves the soul darkness”. To avoid being in spiritual darkness, we need to diligently search through our hearts and allow God to remove any form of root of bitterness either thinner and shallow or thicker and deeper by his grace. We should work with him to allow for this to happen in our lives, through his grace.
5. The Stem of The Plant May Produce another Plant
Some plants truly may have been severed, rooted out, but with their stems still left at some portions of the farmland, and when such stems are left at those places, immediately they touched the soil they would germinate again, springing forth roots that would become tubers. Example of such plant is cassava plant. Despite rooting out the plant, if the stems are left all over the place on the farmland, the farmer shouldn’t be surprised that in a short while, the stems of the plant would start springing up again.
The author by the spirit of the living God is talking again along that line that though you claim to have rooted them out, but there are still some stems of those plants lying here and there around, and if that be the case, they would sprout out again, and their leaves would be seen all over the places. He calls them to be watchful along that line too, lest their supposed labor be in vain.
Greek word for “Looking diligently” is “ἐπισκοπέω”, Romanized form is episkopeō (phonetic spelling is ep-ee-skop-eh'-o) which means beware.
Having seen some reasons why he wrote that they should be watchful lest any root of bitterness springs up in them, let us see some things about roots for more understanding of the gravity of this message to believers all over the world.
© 2020 OLUSEGUN