But let’s get our Bibles out and we’re going to turn to the Book of Exodus, the 12th chapter.
I’ve been trying to.
To use my imagination and.
Think of all the people that were headed to Jerusalem.
On that final season of time, before Jesus would have his Last Supper with his disciples, he’d be arrested and beaten and flogged and shamed and crucified, and died and rose from the dead. That was a the most important season in human history.
But what were the people thinking about? Who were making the trek to Jerusalem? We know that there were at least three multitudes of people. John Gospel tells us that.
And they were coming Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover.
Now the Passover is a whole series of messages in and of itself. To explain why that was significant, but I wanted you to see one part of it.
This is the original instructions about the Passover chapter 12 of Exodus at verse one.
The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, this month is to be for you the first month.
The first month of your year.
Tell the whole community of Israel that on the 10th day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household, many households too small for a whole land.
They must share one with their nearest neighbor. Having taken into account the number of people who were there.
Your determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance to what each person will eat. The animals you choose must be year old males without defect.
You may take them from the sheep or the goats. Take care of them until the 14th day of the month, when all the people of the Community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight.
They are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the door frames of the houses where they eat the lambs.
Now look at this next verse.
That same night.
They are to eat the meat roasted over the fire.
Along with bitter herbs.
And bread made without yeast.
Bitter herbs why was that important?
One of the cutest things you’ve ever seen the program, America’s Funniest Home videos.
One of the cutest things that they do is every now and then you’ll see a picture of a parent feeding something bitter to a baby and the looks on their faces.
It’s like oh, what was that? And they they’re not. They’re expecting something and they’re they’re surprised by the bitterness of it.
If you’ve ever gotten something out of the fridge that you thought was OK and took a sip only to find out that it wasn’t what you thought it was, bitterness is is something that we viscerally react to. It’s something we don’t prefer, but why was it added into the Passover?
Well, we’ll read later, or I can just tell you that later in the Bible it’s spelled out why that was to be so.
They were to taste something bitter when they celebrated the Passover to remind them that their lives were bitter. The ******* of Egypt was bitter and that the blood of the lamb was going to be the answer to deliverance from that bitterness that they had experienced.
I can’t think of anything more debilitating than to have a situation that has hurt you or God forbid you have hurt somebody else and left such bitterness that that bitterness affects that person for the rest of their lives.
I remember a true story of a memorial service I did for a veteran that was down in Southern Oregon.
I believe it was Klamath Falls.
He was actually one of the survivors of the Bataan Death March.
And he had a very interesting life and I didn’t know the man, but because I was a chaplain, they asked me if I would do this service, and I was honored to do it.
But I found out and this man will.
He had actually put a proviso in his will that if any of his heirs.
And if the beneficiaries of his will were known to have bought a Japanese car that they were cut out of the will.
Now, if you know anything about the Bataan Death March, she would almost make sense to you because of the incredible cruelty and inhumanity that that holds historical event comprise.
People that couldn’t make it were shot red on the path and kicked off into the ditch like garbage.
And the the guards were cruel, and they bayoneted people in front of the other people. And the people that were injured had to be carried by other people. And it was a horrible thing. But the bitterness never left that man.
Never left it until his will was read one day. Bitterness is, I thought this was an interesting definition from Ken Crockett. He said bitterness is the offspring.
Of an unhealed wound?
Whose parents are on forgiveness and time.
An unhealed wound to his parents are UN forgiveness.
Have you ever found that sometimes you’re holding onto something that hurt you so bad and the person who hurts who’s moved on and you haven’t?
That’s a rotten thing. I want my unforgiveness to count. I want my bitterness to really matter and there’s nothing worse than when that thing is already done, taken care of, but sometimes the bitterness we experience.
Is something that can yield something powerful and we have to go through it for reasons known only to the Lord turn to first Samuel chapter one.
First Samuel chapter one.
This is a story of Hannah.
And her prayer to the Lord in the ancient world.
Women who were barren or unable to conceive children were actually deemed to be being judged by God or cursed by God. So for a society in which families were huge for obvious reasons.
If you couldn’t conceive, there was always this question about whether or not the Lord was displeased with you, and so Hannah is going to the temple to pray she had another rival wife who made her life bitter. Her name was peninnah.
And so Hannah is now at the temple, and she’s praying. Chapter one of first Samuel, starting at verse 9.
One day they’d finished eating and drinking in Shiloh.
Hannah stood up.
Now Eli the priest was sitting on a chair by the door post of the Lord’s Temple. Now listen to this part.
In bitterness of soul.
And she made a vow.
Now, did I miss something?
Say it loud.
In bitterness of soul, she did in fact weep, and she was moved to tears.
But she prayed.
I think the problem comes when we experience the bitterness of soul, but we don’t pray.
And we Stew in our own juices. We just sit there and let that have its effect on us and we surrender to something that is really destructive and that is we start to assume something about the Lord that isn’t true. Would you turn to job?
Right just before the Book of Psalms.
Job Chapter 7 I’m going to read a few verses from Job’s Story.
I see you had a pretty bitter experience.
Does not man have hard service on Earth are not as days like those of a hired hand like a slave longing for the evening shadows.
Or a hired man waiting eagerly for his wages.
And so I’ve been allotted months of futility.
And nights of misery have been assigned to me.
When I lie down, I think how long before I get up. Oh my goodness, I cannot tell you how many senior Saints that I’ve met.
That’s one of the things that’s so frustrating is they’re their sleep is thrown off when you get older and you don’t sleep like a real relaxing night and.
The night drags on and I toss until dawn.
My body is clothed with worms, and scabs. My skin is festering. Remember, Jobe had that ailment. Whatever it was that left him in that condition.
My days are swifter than a Weaver shuttle, and they come to an end without hope.
Remember, oh God, that my life is bitter breath. My eyes will never see happiness again. The well that sounds like depression, doesn’t it?
The eye that now sees me will see me no longer and you will look for me, but I will be no more.
And as a cloud vanishes and is gone, so he will go. So is he will go down to the grave and does not return. He will never come to his house again. His place will know him no longer therefore.
This is what he says. Therefore that’s his experience. So what do you do with that?
Therefore, I will not keep silent. I will speak out of the anguish of my spirit, I will complain.
In the bitterness of my soul.
I will speak and I will complain. I think sometimes I hope I don’t do this. I really do I, I’ve worked it not doing it.
I like to think when I preach and I open this Bible, I tell you the truth and the truth is there are nights of misery allotted for people. There are things that are very bitter that would leave you to want to complain.
And I want to tell you this is going to sound really, almost heretical. Complain to God, go ahead.
Martin Luther said. And when you pray, don’t lie to God.
I think sometimes you have to get to the point. I’ll never forget this one in Edmonton, the first church we ever pastored.
I had reached a point I had done everything I thought humanly possible to see some sort of breakthrough in that small congregation that was almost ready to close the doors when we got there, applied everything that I thought I learned in seminary, I examined my heart, I prayed and I remember. One time I I I had a prayer thing. Had anybody walked in?
I think they would have thought, Oh my goodness.
I was so hoping nobody was going to walk in because I was in the tiny little sanctuary and I had an office that was about.
8 feet square.
And I came out this one Wednesday. I think it was a Wednesday in the morning and I was praying and I started praying all these very pretty prayers.
That’s what I would call them. They were very flowery. They were very biblically nice sounding. And finally I just got mad and I.
Said doggone it, Lord.
And I started ranting. I had a rant. I walked back and forth in front of the sanctuary. OK, I’ve done what I’m supposed to do.
I’m trying to read and preach your word. I’ve LED people in worship. Judy worked her fingers to the bone on the piano, where we’re doing doing all that stuff, right? We play, we, we, we’ve prayed I I.