Revelation 10

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Read Revelation 10

The Angel and the Little Scroll

10 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.’” 10 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. 11 Then I was told, “You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages and kings.”

Go Deeper

Today’s reading finds us in a brief pause between the sounding of the sixth and seventh trumpet. Instead of the angel blasting the final trumpet, God once again extends mercy by delaying his final judgment. It reminds us of 2 Peter 3:9 when we are told why God is (at times) slow moving: “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” God’s heart is for His people and He shows us, even in the final moments of the final days, more mercy and more patience than any of us deserve.

During this break between trumpets, something profound happens. But, perhaps what is most interesting is what doesn’t happen. We read a marvelous description of a mighty angel who thunders a message from Heaven. However, instead of recording what that message says, John is instructed not to write it down. And yet, this interaction is included in the Bible. Why? If John was commanded not to tell us what the message was, why tell us about it in the first place? 

Maybe this moment is for our good. Maybe this exchange reminds us that there are things in this life (and especially in the final days) that we will not know this side of Heaven. No matter what we think, we do not actually know everything. We do not see fully. Like God says in Isaiah 55:8-9: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways.. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” God is God and we are not. 

It’s tempting with a book like Revelation to read it under a microscope, trying to over-analyze every detail so that we can anticipate, prepare for and control the future. We do this in our daily lives as well; we want to know what God knows. And, it frustrates us when we don’t because then we can’t control the outcome like we want to. However, this chapter reminds us that we serve a big God. We cannot understand all of God’s ways, know His timing, or predict His actions because He is God. It’s humbling to remember that He is in control for a reason. While we may not understand all of His ways, we can trust them because we can trust Him.

Questions

  1. John was instructed to eat the book of prophecy and then share those words with others, illustrating an important principle that God’s Word has to get in you before you can properly share it. How much Scripture is in you? How can you ingest more of His word into your life so that you can share it with others?
  2. When John eats the book of prophecy it tastes sweet to his lips, but sour in his stomach. Why do you think that is? Who would his prophetic word taste sweet to and who would receive it as bitter news?
  3. In light of today’s reading, is there an area of your life that you have been seeking control rather than submitting and surrendering to God? Repent of your sin and release control of this worry to God’s capable hands. You can trust Him!

By the Way

Ezekiel the prophet was also commanded to eat a scroll (a prophetic word for the people of Israel) and he also said that it tasted sweet in his mouth in Ezekiel 3:1-3:

“And he said to me, “Son of man, eat what is before you, eat this scroll; then go and speak to the people of Israel.” So I opened my mouth, and he gave me the scroll to eat. Then he said to me, “Son of man, eat this scroll I am giving you and fill your stomach with it.” So I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth.”

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4 thoughts on “Revelation 10”

  1. Ella Snodgrass

    Innate within every human heart is the desire for control. We want to “be in the know.” However, our finite minds are incapable of fully understanding infinite God. Some things he withholds for our good. Everything we need to live fully for him has been revealed, and we must receive it and run with it. God is completely good, and completely trustworthy. Instead of getting caught up in speculation of the end times, let’s live full throttle (enthusiastically) for him and bring others to know the One who “called us out of darkness into his glorious light.”

  2. CONTROL
    I want it so very much!!! I have to repent over this minutely!! Oh, my goodness it is such a THING.

    God thank You for me bringing to You all thoughts captive. Help me to look to You for my control. Thank You that I know that I know that You are soverign over all things. God “Your word is like a lamp that guides my steps, a light that shows the path I should take”. I desire to know more about Your word so that You can be my control in the minutes of every hour today in Jesus name amen
    WOOHOO!!!!!

  3. Helpful commentaries. Would have been difficult to have had a meaningful takeaway. Thank you.

    Yes, sometimes we are called to do nothing . . . don’t write it down, don’t take a photo, don’t post it on social media, etc. The opposite of Nike’s slogan, “Just don’t do it!

  4. Krystal Willis

    I’ve always wanted to “know” what’s going on, even if it was harmful for me to do so. It’s this desire for control that so many of us have – if I know what’s going on, I can prepare and modify how I react. But God’s reminder that we are not meant to know everything ahead of time is just what I needed.

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