Bitterness is a feeling of resentment and anger that is typically brought on by unfairness in suffering or unfavorable circumstances.
Jealousy is a strong feeling of possessiveness, often caused by the possibility that something that belongs, or ought to belong, to one is about to be taken away. The term can be used in a positive sense (e.g., God’s jealousy), referring to a strong attachment to something that is rightfully one’s. It can also be used in a negative sense (e.g., human jealousy) to mean a self-destructive human emotion similar to envy.
The causes of bitterness
Adverse personal circumstances Job 10:1 See also Ge 27:34; Ru 1:20 “Mara” means “bitter”; 1Sa 30:6; 2Sa 13:36; 2Ki 4:27; Ps 55:4-14; Pr 17:25; Jer 6:26
External circumstances Eze 3:14 Because of the exiles’ hardness of heart. Also see: Job 21:25; 27:2; La 3:1-20; Eze 21:6
Human failure Mt 26:75 Lk 22:61-62 Also see: Ezr 10:1; Jer 2:19; 4:18; La 1:4
Bitterness is evidence of a sinful heart
Ac 8:23 Also see: Ro 3:10-18
Bitterness is to be avoided
Heb 12:15 Also see: Eph 4:31; Jas 3:14
The remedy for bitterness
Forgiveness Ge 33:1-11; Lk 15:25-32; Eph 4:31-32
The causes of bitterness will pass away Ps 37:1-2
Examples of bitterness in people’s lives
Ru 1:19-21; 2Sa 13:22; Est 5:9; Lk 15:30
God’s jealousy of his people
God’s jealousy demands an exclusive response from his people Ex 20:4-6 Also see: Ex 34:14; Dt 32:16,21
God was pictured as a jealous husband with an unfaithful wife Eze 16:1-63
God is jealously protective of his people Joel 2:18 Also see: Isa 26:11; Zec 1:14-15; 8:2
God’s possessiveness expresses itself in judgment on his people’s unfaithfulness Dt 4:24 Also see: Dt 6:15; 29:20; Jos 24:19; 1Ki 14:22; Eze 23:25; 36:6; Na 1:2; Zep 1:18; 3:8
Human jealousy is potentially destructive
Human jealousy arises from sin Mk 7:21-23 Mt 15:19-20
Human jealousy can be destructive Pr 14:30 Also see: Job 5:2; Pr 27:4; Ecc 9:5-6
Human jealousy is criticised by Scripture Gal 5:19-21 Also see: Ps 37:1-2; Pr 23:17; Ro 13:13; 1Co 13:4-7; Tit 3:3-5; Jas 3:14-16
Examples of jealousy
In the OT Ge 4:3-5 Cain and Abel; Ge 27:41 Esau and Jacob; Ge 30:1 Rachel and Leah
Joseph’s brothers: Ge 37:4; Ac 7:9
1Sa 18:6-9 Saul and David; Isa 11:13 Ephraim and Judah
In the early church Ac 5:17; 13:45; 17:5; 1Co 3:3; 2Co 12:20
Say this prayer: Father in heaven, I believe you raised Jesus from the dead.
Lord Jesus, thank you for dying on the cross for my sin. Please forgive me of all my sins. Come into my heart and life. I receive You as my Lord and Savior. Please, help me live for you and tell others about you for the rest of my life. Fill me with the Holy Spirit. In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.