Exodus 1:14 – “They made their lives bitter with harsh labor in brick and mortar and with all kinds of work in the fields; in all their harsh labor the Egyptians worked them ruthlessly.”
“Bitterness starts out small. An offense burrows its way into our hearts. We replay it in our minds, creating deep ruts that will be hard to build back up. We retell our hurts to any available listener, including each sordid detail. We enlist support, pushing us further into our resentment. We hear the offending person’s name and cringe. We decipher the offense as intentional and our offender as full of spite. We look for other reasons, both real or imagined, to dislike our villain. With each new piece of information, we form another layer of bitterness. We fool ourselves into thinking no one will know, but anger and resentment have a way of seeping into everything. Resentment is like a beach ball we try to submerge in the water. No matter how valiant our efforts, it pops up with all its vitality, splashing everyone around.” [Peterson, Anne, “How to Deal with Bitterness.” Christianity Today. March 15, 2011]
Bitter and harsh labor: this wording connotes the state of the Israelites and their need of rescue. Bitter (marah) is a common biblical word used when considering a life devoid of God’s rescue and blessing. That’s the effect of sin and oppression, bitterness mounts up. When you get bitter, there is no sense of God. It’s hard to think about God’s blessings in your life. It’s hard to think about God’s rescue. You also get tempted to make the wrong decisions about your faith, your family, your call in life. We really need to be aware of what bitterness does.
Prayer Response: Lord, would you open my spiritual eyes to see things for what they are. To see how bitterness can creep in and mount up and interfere with making the right decisions, thinking biblically and ultimately worshiping you with the whole of my life. Holy Spirit come and help, rescue me from bitterness of life that is transformed to worship you, serve you and love others.
Song of Worship: as we join in this song, let’s lift up our eyes to God. Away from the bitterness of life, unto lifting our eyes, our lives singing “you are the giver of life!” “You Alone Can Rescue” by Matt Redman