Tuesday, 2 February 2021
Then I took the little book out of the angel’s hand and ate it, and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth. But when I had eaten it, my stomach became bitter. Revelation 10:10
The order is the opposite of what the previous verse provided –
– it will make your stomach bitter, but it will be as sweet as honey in your mouth.
– it was as sweet as honey in my mouth. But when I had eaten it, my stomach became bitter.
The Angel knew the outcome of what John would experience and focused on the result. John, however, wrote the events as they occurred. Having noted this, John’s words begin with, “Then I took the little book out of the angel’s hand and ate it.” It is the same thought, expressed in the previous verse, that was also earlier expressed by both Ezekiel and Jeremiah –
“So I opened my mouth, and He caused me to eat that scroll.” Ezekiel 3:2
“Your words were found, and I ate them.” Jeremiah 15:16
For John, it turned out just as the Angel said it would, “and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth.” The Bible is a book of hope. It details the redemption of mankind, and it provides the gospel narrative. It tells us what God did in order to save us, and it tells us how to appropriate that salvation.
Further, Jesus really is coming back for His people. Because of these things, the Bible – the word of God – is a book of hope, wonderment, and joy. It is all revealed in what God has done, is doing, and will bring to completion for the people of the world. The messianic age will be marvelous to behold. And after that time, we have all of eternity to look forward to as well.
There will be no more pain or suffering. All things will be made new and we will walk in the light of the Lord. These things really will come to pass, and reading about them and conveying them to others is “as sweet as honey” to our souls. However, something else happened to John after eating the book. As he says, “But when I had eaten it, my stomach became bitter.”
When we know something bad is coming in our lives, our stomachs churn and we have all kinds of physical problems associated with that. The bitterness we feel inside can only be resolved by passing through those times of trial and getting to the other side. This is the case with the message John has been tasked to convey, and it should be the case for each of us as we continue reading on in Revelation.
The world really will come to a time of decision, rejection of God, judgment, and destruction. How can the love of God be complete in our hearts when we know that each person who dies apart from Christ will be eternally separated from God and sent to a place of eternal torment? This should be a great and bitter thought of all for each of us. However, one thing we cannot do in the process is to waffle on our convictions.
Life application: Like Ezekiel of the past, we need to stand firm and proclaim God’s word in its entirety –
“But the house of Israel will not listen to you, because they will not listen to Me; for all the house of Israel are impudent and hard-hearted. 8 Behold, I have made your face strong against their faces, and your forehead strong against their foreheads. 9 Like adamant stone, harder than flint, I have made your forehead; do not be afraid of them, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they are a rebellious house.” Ezekiel 3:7-9
John finished Chapter 9 with mournful words after the great battle that killed “a third of mankind” –
“But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk. 21 And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.” Revelation 9:20, 21
The bitterness of conveying what the rejection of God means is something that John faced, and it is something we must face as well. Many will be lost because they have rejected the fount of true life. But some will be saved. Let us be sure to continue to tell what God has done. Let us continue to tell the precious gospel message concerning JESUS.
It is true Lord, the thought of your coming judgment is a difficult concept to stomach, especially when we understand Your mercy provided in the cross of Jesus. But it is this very cross that demands Your justice on all who reject the offer, the glorious offer, of grace and peace that was given there. Truly You are just when You judge, O God. Amen.