Sweet and Sour
Lord, sometimes I do struggle to understand Your Word. Please help me with what I need to understand.
Read REVELATION 10:1-11
 Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven. He was robed in a cloud, with a rainbow above his head; his face was like the sun, and his legs were like fiery pillars.  He was holding a little scroll, which lay open in his hand. He planted his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land,  and he gave a loud shout like the roar of a lion. When he shouted, the voices of the seven thunders spoke.  And when the seven thunders spoke, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven say, “Seal up what the seven thunders have said and do not write it down.”  Then the angel I had seen standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven.  And he swore by him who lives for ever and ever, who created the heavens and all that is in them, the earth and all that is in it, and the sea and all that is in it, and said, “There will be no more delay!  But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.”  Then the voice that I had heard from heaven spoke to me once more: “Go, take the scroll that lies open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.”  So I went to the angel and asked him to give me the little scroll. He said to me, “Take it and eat it. It will turn your stomach sour, but in your mouth it will be as sweet as honey.”  I took the little scroll from the angel’s hand and ate it. It tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour.  Then I was told, “You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages and kings.” Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat do you make of the different “tastes” of this scroll?
Angels are back in style. There are angel cards, angel guides, shops selling angel merchandise, websites explaining their roles, and films in which they are leading protagonists. Our views on the world are molded through images, media and what we hear others say. So it is with angels. The popular image of angels is probably that they are human-sized, shiny white, possess wings and a harp, and are, in the main, fairly innocuous. If this is so, then yesterday’s passage would, perhaps, be surprising as angels appeared to be leading a host of armies that killed thousands.
As for today, well, this is certainly no ordinary angel. He is huge, straddling land and sea as he demonstrates God’s rule over all. He roars like a lion and is surrounded by rainbows and clouds. The show of strength, however, is not designed to draw attention to the messenger, but to the message. It is a reminder of God’s sovereignty (7b), for time is short (6b). The scroll John receives is God’s Word, sweet-tasting to those who believe, but a sour flavor for those who reject him. John’s duty is to preach this Word, however unpalatable it might be. So it is with us.
What responsibility do you have to share God’s message of love and salvation? How do you exercise that responsibility?
Sovereign Lord, Your Word is sweet to me. Help me share that same sweetness with others, too.
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