Years ago, during one of my junior church sessions, I was teaching the children about the bitter herbs used in the Passover. We did a little object lesson explaining the function of the taste buds on the tongue. The children tasted something sweet–candy, something salty–pretzels, something sour–sour patch candy, and then came the bitter. I played a bit of a trick on them, asking for a volunteer to taste something bitter, using a small unsweetened piece of baking chocolate. They were shocked; they were expecting the sweet taste of creamy chocolate, but what they tasted was something terribly bitter and nasty.
In Acts chapter eight, a man named Simon was experiencing some bitter taste in his life. He had witnessed the power of the Holy Spirit through the lives of Phillip, Peter, and other disciples, and Simon desired that power for himself. He “offered them money” seeking to purchase what was a “gift of God.” Peter strongly rebuked him, accusing him of living with “the gall of bitterness” and trapped in the “bond of iniquity.”
Gall is bile, the yellowish-green fluid secreted by the liver with the purpose of aiding our digestive system. This digestive fluid is extremely bitter, so much so that ancient people groups considered the gall of reptiles to be source of their venom. The thought of that word gall could also be likened to a poisonous plant that quickly infects any healthy plant around it.
Although gall in our physical bodies is necessary and serves a vital role, when present in our spiritual vessels, it is not only unpleasant, but ruinous to our character. Allowing that gall of bitterness to root and grow will most certainly enslave us, leaving us in the bonds of sin. What are you allowing to fester in your life? In the Old Testament, gall was always associated with idolatry. Have you allowed other gods, such as money, position, entertainment, to take the throne of your life? Or have you allowed one sin to enslave you, one bad attitude, one unforgiving spirit, or one lustful habit. Do selfish concerns take priority over Christ? If left untreated, the gall of that sin will poison all areas of our lives and the lives of those in our circle of influence. Let’s remove it through confession; abandon that bitterness at the foot of the cross; become “sweet” again through God’s grace. Let’s not let a nasty taste sour our Christian walk.
Hebrews 12:15 “…lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.
Help me to keep my life clean before You, avoiding the bonds of sin that will enslave me. When the roots of bitterness find root in my spirit, please purge it out before it spreads. I want my heart always to be pure in Your sight.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-193-656bd8a09d047' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=193&origin=grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-193-656bd8a09d047' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-193-656bd8a09d047' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>