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Good morning Sir,
I over heard a preacher saying that the word of God is bitter. The saying got me confused to ask a question if the word is bitter how can I understand it to make it easier for me. – Collins, Nigeria

Answer:
I don’t know the context in which the preacher used his choice of words but whichever we he used it I think something is wrong with that statement if he concluded God’s word to be bitter and that’s all. I think we have to look at it the bible way.

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” 2 Tim 3:16

You see, God’s word is not for rebuking alone but also for teaching, correcting and training in righteousness! If I come up and tell you that God’s word is for rebuke, it is not true! If I tell you it is for teaching alone, I am wrong! God’s word encompasses all facets of life!

In rebuking, God’s word may sound bitter and it ends up being sweet! I don’t think it is correct to tell Christians that God’s word is bitter and just bitter! In Ezekiel 3:3, the Prophet wrote concerning the word of God

“And when I ate it, it tasted as honey…”

So to a believer or unbelievers who will believe, God’s word is good news! It is sweet and it comes with power! But to those who reject it, God’s word is bitter because they will be judged by it and it disagrees with them.

John, while in the island of Patmos also wrote concerning a scroll that was given to him,

“I took the little scroll from the angel’s hand and ate it. It tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour.” Revelation 10:10

From here, John wasn’t talking about the totality of God’s word! He was talking about the particular message that was given to him concerning the nations, it is a word of prophecy against darkness, a word that will cause the tyrant declare war on the Prophets (Revelation 10:11, 11:4-10). It is a word of torment and it is not meant for believers!

The Psalmist also wrote concerning God’s word in Psalm 19:10-11

“They are more desirable than gold, they are sweeter than honey dripping from a honeycomb. For they warn us away from harm and give success to those who obey them”

Even the writer of Proverbs described pleasant words as sweet! And God’s word is pleasant!

God’s word is lamp unto our feet and a light unto our paths! The Psalmist also said that in Psalm 119:105! The lamp is a good thing, the light is a good thing! In this regard too the word of God is sweet as honey!

We are in the New Testament era, in the time of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ! Gospel means Good News and Good News is a sweet news! For a believer the word of God is good news and it is sweet like honey!

The Gospel, and the truths of it, are like honey; they are gathered by laborious ministers just as honey are made available by various bees out of the various flowers of the scriptures. They bring into the hive of the church, and dispose of for general usefulness; these are like honey for healthfulness, for nourishment, and for sweetness to the taste. The gospel contains the doctrines of grace, peace and reconciliation, of pardon, righteousness, eternal life and salvation, this gospel came by Jesus Christ who is the substance of it. The gospel is sweet when eaten and not merely when heard, it is sweet when eaten in faith.

It is bitter to the nominal and notional professors, it bitter to those who say there is no God, it is bitter to the religious people whose religion has clouded them from seeing God’s mercies and goodness. It is bitter to atheist scientists because it opposes all they claim to know! It is bitter to those who claim they are wise because it showcases their foolishness! They only have a superficial taste of it! But to true believers, God’s word is sweet like honey! At a time, it seem I have used God’s word and gospel interchangeably but yes! God’s word is the gospel! All the writings of the old testament was in preparation for the gospel!

To understand God’s word, you must accept Jesus as your personal Lord and saviour which I believe you have done (I attached that for the benefit of other readers) and you need the Holy Spirit to dwell in you! It is the duty of the Holy Spirit to teach you. But he does that only to the willing soul and not to the unwilling soul! Jesus said,

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” John 14:26

You see that? It is the Holy Spirits duty to teach you God’s word personally when you study them! For a Spirit filled believer, the word of God is not just sweet but also easy to understand!

I hope this helped you so much?

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