All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their leader. About four hundred men were with him.
1 Samuel 22:2
The last group this verse talks about is those who were discontented; or literally bitter souled. That’s quite a picture of these people, yet God wanted to use them for His purpose.
When I think about bitter souled people I have to ask myself; do I really want them in my church? Then I studied out this phrase in the Old Testament. I made some interesting observations.
It was only used of 4 specific people in Old Testament. A woman named Hannah, who desperately wanted child. Job, who desperately wanted his life restored. King Hezekiah, who wanted healing. There was also the prophet Ezekiel…
The Spirit then lifted me up and took me away, and I went in bitterness and in the anger of my spirit, with the strong hand of the LORD upon me.
God placed a powerful Word in this prophet. The problem was that no one listened.
In reading about these individuals I found that bitterness can be used of God. But it depends upon the source of that bitterness. It must spring from a godly desire that we have in our heart. But it’s a desire that hasn’t been met yet. This takes place in us when we know that what we’re looking for is God’s will, but it didn’t happen the way we thought it should have.
All these great men and women of God; Hannah, Job, Hezekiah, and Ezekiel were discontent with the way things were. They knew that God was going to do something; they were just impatient in the waiting.
In that sense, God is calling for all the discontent believers. Bitterness in your soul is the sign that there needs to be a change. But how does it take place? We must cry out to God.
In each example of Scripture, God worked it out. Hannah received a son, Samuel, who anointed kings. Job was restored and his friends were blessed through his prayers. Hezekiah was healed. Ezekiel was miraculously brought to those who would listen to his message.
What has to happen for bitterness to bring glory to God?
See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.
Simply put; don’t let bitterness take root in your life. Use the bitterness to give you the drive to see things change. Let it bring you to your knees to cry out to God.
No one wants you to be satisfied with things as they are. But God wants you to do something with that discontent.
Bitterness can do one of two things. It can drive you into God’s presence; then you’ll see the power of God. Or it will give you an excuse to drop out.
The Lord wants these drop outs to get back on their feet for Christ. They know the need. They felt the hurt. Now by the power of God they can do something about it.
It’s time to call God’s people to gather back together.
Question: What is your godly discontentment?
© Nick Zaccardi 2016