The Bitter Belly


Below is a scripture from the bible that explains how a man would deal with the possibility that his wife might have cheated on him.It is called the Law of Jealousies.


Numbers 5:12-31


Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, if any mans wife go aside, and commit a trespass against him, and a man lie with her carnally, and it be hid from the eyes of her husband, and be kept close, and she be defiled, and there be no witness against her, neither she be taken with the manner; And the spirit of jealousy come upon him, and he be jealous of his wife, and she be defiled: or if the spirit of jealousy come upon him, and he be jealous of his wife, and she be not defiled:Then shall the man bring his wife unto the priest, and he shall bring her offering for her, the tenth part of an ephah of barley meal; and shall pour no oil upon it, nor put frankincense thereon; for it is an offering of jealousy, an offering of memorial, bringing iniquity to remembrance.And the priest shall bring her near, and set her before the Lord:And the priest shall take holy water in an earthen vessel; and of the dust that is in the floor of the tabernacle the priest shall take, and put it into the water:And the priest shall set the woman before the Lord, and uncover the womanís head, and put the offering of memorial in her hands, which is the jealousy offering: and the priest shall have in his hand the bitter water that causeth the curse:And the priest shall charge her by an oath, and say unto the woman, If no man have lain with thee, and if thou hast not gone aside to uncleanness with another instead of thy husband, be thou free this bitter water that causeth the curse:But if thou has gone aside to another instead of thy husband, and if thou be defiled, and some man have lain with thee beside thine husband:Then the priest shall charge the woman with an oath of cursing, and the priest shall say unto the woman, The Lord make thee a curse and an oath among thy people, when the Lord doth make thy thigh to rot, and thy belly to swell;And this water that causeth the curse shall go into thy bowels, to make thy belly to swell, and thy thigh to rot:And the woman shall say, Amen, amen.And the priest shall write these curses in a book, and he shall blot them out with the bitter water:And he shall cause the woman to drink the bitter water that causeth the curse: and the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter.Then the priest shall take the jealousy offering out of the womanís hand, and shall wave the offering before the Lord, and offer it upon the alter:And the priest shall take an handful of the offering, even the memorial thereof, and burn it upon the alter, and afterward shall cause the woman to drink the water.And when he hath made her to drink the water, then it shall come to pass, that, if she be defiled, and have done trespass against her husband, that the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter, and her belly shall swell, and her thigh shall rot: and the woman shall be a curse among her people.And if the woman be not defiled, but be clean; then she shall be free, and shall conceive seed.This is the law of jealousies, when a wife goeth aside to another instead of her husband, and is defiled; Or when the spirit of jealousy cometh upon him, and he be jealous over his wife, and shall set the woman before the Lord, and the priest shall execute upon her all this law.Then shall the man be guiltless from iniquity, and this woman shall bear her iniquity.


It is interesting concerning the Law of Jealousies that the result of the water entering into the woman would be bitterness.If the woman was guilty then the bitter water would cause her belly to swell, if she was innocent then the bitter water would have no effect on her.Regardless if she was guilty or innocent, the bitter water would still become bitter in her.This is because it is the husbandís jealousy, and not his wifeís guilt or innocence, which instigates the action of the priest putting dust in the water making it bitter.The waterís bitterness symbolizes the husbandís jealousy, before the test actually.The husband simply bringing his wife to the priest echoís his jealously.This is why the water is bitter even before it enters into her.The test to find out if she is guilty or innocent is to know if his bitter jealousy is merited (Numbers 5:29-31 Emphasis on V. 31).


In the book of revelation John the apostle of the Lord is getting directions from heaven.Below is the text.


Revelation 10:8-11


And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth.And I went unto the Angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book.And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.And I took the little book out of the angelís hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.††††††


As you can see there are some interesting parallels to these two texts.


Our God is a jealous God.


Exodus 34:14


For thou shalt worship no other god: for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:


The Lord created us to worship and to know Him.The fact that the little book turned bitter in Johnís stomach symbolizes the bitterness and Jealousy God has for his people.We have sinned against him, the entire human race, and the bitterness in Johnís belly symbolizes Godís jealousy over an adulterous and rebellious people.But the taste on Johnís mouth was sweet as honey.This symbolizes Godís perfect judgment.God is perfectly sweet and righteous to judge our sins in his bitterness (Revelation 16:5-7).Notice this verse is from the book of Revelation, when Godís judgment falls upon the world.God is basically saying ďMy judgment is right and good (honey to the mouth) but I am jealous you have gone after other gods to your hurt and have forced me to judge you in my wrath (the bitter belly).


What we can draw from this interpretation is if the husband did not care about his wife then he would never be jealous enough over her to bring her before the priest.God loves us.He loves us so much that He is extremely jealous over us.These scriptures donít really focus on the guilt or innocence of the people involved, although that is important.They focus mainly on the jealousy of the husband and on the jealousy of God.God is showing us that He is extremely impacted by our decisions and that His judgment, while perfect, is brought upon us through His own bitterness in having to judge us.God is bitter He has to judge us.We shouldnít look at a God in heaven who is just looking for ways to judge us.We need to understand that He is bitter He has to do it.That is why in the book of Revelation there are many examples of verses where the angles praise God and even justify God within His terrible judgments (Revelation 11:15-18, 15:3-4, 16:5-7, 19:1-4).The angles are basically encouraging God and backing God as he continually judges the earthís inhabitants.It is our wayward decisions that have caused His judgment, and God is bitter that within our decisions, and not within His own desire, we have brought upon ourselves His judgment.I am sure it wasnít the husbandís first choice to bring his wife before the priest and confess that he was jealous over her.I am sure he never wanted to be brought into that situation.God is the same way.It was not Godís first choice to judge us through His bitter jealousy.I am sure he never wanted to be brought into that situation.Thatís the value of this interpretation.God never wanted to be brought into the situation of ever having to judge us in His bitterness.††††††