Have you ever tasted a new food, found pleasure in its texture while hitting your taste buds with a delight? Did this same morsel of delight, when swallowed and digested, turn your mouth into a burning fire and your stomach into a raging sea of acid? I have just described some of my experience with some of my favorite foods! Some of my kids and grandkids love Sweet and Sour candy. This candy hits your senses with sweetness and then turns sour and bitter to taste when fully taken into your system. Not a fan, personally, with that candy!
Jesus’ revelation through another powerful angel to John in today’s passage renews John’s calling for telling others how to be saved. He tells him to stop taking notes, stop writing for a moment and take a book from the angel’s hand. Then The Voice of heaven tells John to do something very symbolic and necessary for us today…”Take the Book”. John answers with obedience, affirming the “call” and tells the angel, “Give me the little book.” The Voice then instructs, “Take it, then eat it.”
I am reminded of Jesus’ words at the Last Passover Meal with His disciples as recorded in the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke..”This bread is my Body, take and eat it.” (ALL of it in some translations!)
The little book is the Message of the saving grace of Jesus Christ. It includes the prophecies of Who is and is to come. The angel has one foot in the sea and one foot on land seems to represent “the whole world in His hands” or His sovereignty over all the earth, sky and sea and everyone in it.
John is told to eat the book. Take in the message of the Lord, Jesus Christ. Remember God is the Word and the Word was God. The Word, at first reading is so sweet and soothing to our taste buds as new believers. Then we swallow it and begin to digest it’s meaning and we become trouble with the Truth. Our hearts become broken with those things that break God’s heart. We see that we must tell others of God’s Truth, knowing there will be those who will not accept it. Our stomachs turn sour with the task before us. Bittersweet.
This bittersweet “little book” has power to transform us. But it takes work from taking it in, to digesting it, and growing from it. We are called to “tell” and our stomachs churn at the thought. But we go with Power from the Voice who leads us on. We must “take and eat” and then tell what lies ahead for those who believe and stand firm…and those who will not. Bittersweet.
Revelation 10, The Message
1-4 I saw another powerful Angel coming down out of Heaven wrapped in a cloud. There was a rainbow over his head, his face was sun-radiant, his legs pillars of fire. He had a small book open in his hand. He placed his right foot on the sea and his left foot on land, then called out thunderously, a lion roar. When he called out, the Seven Thunders called back. When the Seven Thunders spoke, I started to write it all down, but a voice out of Heaven stopped me, saying, “Seal with silence the Seven Thunders; don’t write a word.”
5-7 Then the Angel I saw astride sea and land lifted his right hand to Heaven and swore by the One Living Forever and Ever, who created Heaven and everything in it, earth and everything in it, sea and everything in it, that time was up—that when the seventh Angel blew his trumpet, which he was about to do, the Mystery of God, all the plans he had revealed to his servants, the prophets, would be completed.
8-11 The voice out of Heaven spoke to me again: “Go, take the book held open in the hand of the Angel astride sea and earth.” I went up to the Angel and said, “Give me the little book.” He said, “Take it, then eat it. It will taste sweet like honey, but turn sour in your stomach.” I took the little book from the Angel’s hand and it was sweet honey in my mouth, but when I swallowed, my stomach curdled. Then I was told, “You must go back and prophesy again over many peoples and nations and languages and kings.”
What do we learn?
–God’s Message, His Word, is not for our own curiosity, gratification and pleasure but for digesting, learning, and communicating Truth to the world.
–We must humbly believe that all Jesus reveals will happen…WILL happen…at just the right time…declaring the omniscience, power, and faithfulness of God.
–Every knee will bow…
Dear Heavenly Father, You have revealed much to our tender senses and our hearts. We pray for all the lost people around us and around the world. We pray for greater understanding but for now, boldness and clarity to speak of what we do know…You are the One and Only who saves us! Thank you, Lord for your revealed Word. Help us to speak in adoration of You in all circumstances, declaring Your glory in our very lives we live.
In Jesus Name, Amen