Intro: The Bible is filled with many announcements of God’s purpose and many promises of his faithfulness. God wants his creation to know his intentions and plans about salvation, as well as judgment. Such is the case in our passage from the Book of Revelation today. The Apostle John has a vision in which the angel of the Lord is sent to make an announcement, but it is a bitter-sweet message for humanity—the final judgment of God is coming upon the earth. All of creation—sea, land, and sky—will experience the result of this judgment. Where the previous seal and trumpet judgments of God were limited, this judgment will be complete (Rev chs. 6-9).
In our passage, the Apostle John is instructed to eat the scroll of judgment. It reminds me of a vision Ezekiel had when he was also told to eat the scroll of judgment against the nation of Israel (3:1). We must always remember God’s judgment brings destruction to sin and selfishness, because God exalts the rule of Truth. He places (symbolic of eating) his Word in willing human vessels to issue his warning. For believers who “eat” and “live” the truth it will be a sweet and encouraging announcement. However, it is clear believers will also experience a burden/sour stomach for unbelievers facing the righteous judgement of God. That is why it is so important we witness the Truth of Christ with our lives, because God does not want anyone to perish (John 3:16-17). For those who reject God and his Word, it will be the final warning for repentance—turning to God for salvation.
Believers do not need to worry about tomorrow or about the future, because God has already revealed to us how we are to live in all circumstances. No fear; only faith in his love for us. We are to be people of the Word; to live revealing the Truth of God’s love with our lives in such a way that others want to know our loving and gracious God, too. It is not our place to make others eat the Truth we believe (symbolic of the scroll); however, our lives ought to reveal what produces the righteous fruit of God’s love and what does not. There should be a mark of excellence and integrity on God’s children; righteous influence should permeate believers because we are carriers of our divine Maker and Master. It saddens me when people make life solely about their rights for temporal pleasures and power, because God has made humanity for so much more—to enjoy divine fellowship as we carry his anointing and glory. God’s Word tells us how this is done and the Spirit leads the Way! Put your faith in God’s protective provision found in Christ.
Revelation 10:1-11 The Angel and the Small Scroll
1 Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven, surrounded by a cloud, with a rainbow over his head. His face shone like the sun, and his feet were like pillars of fire. 2 And in his hand was a small scroll that had been opened. He stood with his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land. 3 And he gave a great shout like the roar of a lion. And when he shouted, the seven thunders answered.
4 When the seven thunders spoke, I was about to write. But I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Keep secret what the seven thunders said, and do not write it down.”
5 Then the angel I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand toward heaven. 6 He swore an oath in the name of the one who lives forever and ever, who created the heavens and everything in them, the earth and everything in it, and the sea and everything in it. He said, “There will be no more delay. 7 When the seventh angel blows his trumpet, God’s mysterious plan will be fulfilled. It will happen just as he announced it to his servants the prophets.”
8 Then the voice from heaven spoke to me again: “Go and take the open scroll from the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.”
9 So I went to the angel and told him to give me the small scroll. “Yes, take it and eat it,” he said. “It will be sweet as honey in your mouth, but it will turn sour in your stomach!” 10 So I took the small scroll from the hand of the angel, and I ate it! It was sweet in my mouth, but when I swallowed it, it turned sour in my stomach.
11 Then I was told, “You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages, and kings.”
Prayer: Lord, help us, as your children, to speak the Truth in love in order to influence others toward your protective salvation. We are desperate for your love and work of grace in our lives. Please empower us to stay strong and faithful amidst the raging tides of a rebellious and angry culture in which many hate your Word. May we joyfully live the Truth for your honor and glory. In Jesus’ name. Amen.