Sunday, 31 January 2021
Then the voice which I heard from heaven spoke to me again and said, “Go, take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel who stands on the sea and on the earth.” Revelation 10:8
In his vision, John is positionally on the earth. This has been the case, and it continues now. Here, we read, “Then the voice which I heard from heaven spoke to me again.” This is the voice referred to in verse 10:4 that directed John to not write what was uttered in the seven thunders.
As this voice is “from heaven,” then John is on the earth. John’s position within the visions of Revelation has migrated back and forth between heaven and earth. At times it requires careful attention to see when the change from place to place occurs.
With this understanding, John continues. The voice he hears says, “Go, take the little book which is open.” Because the voice notes the book is “open,” it is an important detail. If it was closed, it would mean the contents were closed up and not discernible. This is seen, for example, in Daniel 12:9 –
“Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.”
Daniel wanted to know the details of what he had seen and heard, but he was told that the words were “closed up,” meaning not open for viewing, and “sealed,” meaning they were purposefully protected so that they could not even be accessed. The book in the Angel’s hand however is fully open for any to read and discern.
John finishes the verse with the words from heaven stating that the book is “in the hand of the angel who stands on the sea and on the earth.” The Angel is certainly Christ Jesus. The word of the book is brought forth by Him, it is open, and it is in His hand, meaning within His authority. It is an authority that covers all of the earth (represented by His stance on the sea and on the earth).
John is now given the authority to take it from His hand. The symbolism given now comes directly from the book of Ezekiel where this is recorded –
“Now when I looked, there was a hand stretched out to me; and behold, a scroll of a book was in it. 10 Then He spread it before me; and there was writing on the inside and on the outside, and written on it were lamentations and mourning and woe.” Ezekiel 2:9, 10
The symbolism from Ezekiel will continue in the verses ahead.
Life application: The continued unfolding of the Lord’s great plan of redemption includes the use of His people for specific tasks. Just as He used Ezekiel and John, so He can use you too.
When He stirs up your spirit to act, be ready to do so. He prompts us in various ways so that He may be glorified through our actions. It must be a delight to His heart for Him to see His creatures willfully following His call and directives.
And it is certainly the case that even small things done for the work of the Lord can have great impact. So, don’t look at the big personalities within the church and think, “I wish I could be effective like him.” Someone had to work his camera, or he wouldn’t be in front of it. Someone else probably wrote his sermon. Without his sermon writer, he couldn’t deliver it. And so on.
Every part makes up a whole, and no part is without its usefulness. In the body, there are fingers and hands, feet and toes, eyes and noses, and so on. But every part is a part accepted by JESUS!
Use us according to Your great plan, O Lord. We can know that You will never give us any task that is beyond our abilities because You created us and know our capabilities. Help us to know them as well and to use our time and talents in a manner that will bring You the most glory. You are surely worthy of all that we can do, so use us accordingly, O Lord. Amen.