The Lord made this covenant with you so that no man, woman, family, or tribe among you would turn away from the Lord our God to worship these gods of other nations, and so that no root among you would bear bitter and poisonous fruit.
The Pharisees were bitter men, envious of Jesus and angry about His pure, sweet teaching. A root of bitterness will corrupt many (Hebrews 12:15). A fountain cannot produce sweet and bitter water at the same time (James 3:11), and a person’s heart is the wellspring of his life.
The secret to life, prosperity, and blessing is a heart that is pure, sweet, and undefiled. How quickly the envy and greed of the world can turn someone’s heart bitter and sour toward individuals or races! Moses warned the Israelites that if they harbored poisonous roots of bitterness in their hearts toward God or one another, their land would become a burning waste of salt and sulfur. The Israelites failed to heed the warning, however, and for forty years were bitter at God, Moses, and one another. Consequently, one by one their corpses fell in the wilderness.
Bitterness is a taste in your mouth—a flavor that colors every experience and relationship. If any bitter roots are lodged in your heart today, ask the Holy Spirit to pull them out. In so doing, you are choosing life, “that you and your descendants might live!” (Deuteronomy 30:19).