Saturday, November 5, 2016

Revelation 10:8-11

Revelation 10:8-11
And the voice that I heard out of the heaven, again while speaking with me, said, “Depart.  Take the book that has been opened in the hand of the angel, the one having placed upon the sea and upon the earth. And I departed to the angel while saying to him to give me the little scroll.  And he said to me, “Take and consume this.  And it will make your stomach bitter. But in your mouth it will be sweet as honey.  And I took the little scroll out of the hand of the angel and I consumed it.  And it was sweet as honey in my mouth and when I ate it my stomach was made bitter.  And he says to me, “It is necessary for you to again prophesy upon the many people and nations and tongues and kings.

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

This is a neat exchange between John and the angel and the voice out of heaven.  John is told to take the scroll by the voice out of heaven.  It is reasonable to assume that this voice is God, giving instructions to John.  Yet, at the same time, John asks to take the scroll.  What is John’s point?  God has the power to command us.  However, God gives us free will to ask, too.  Relationship with God is not being a spiritual robot who receives orders and blindly obeys.  Relationship with God is a give and take where we seek the will of God as God directs us.  In many respects, this is the same as salvation.  God gives salvation to all.  However, all will not choose to receive it.  Salvation comes first from God.  Yet, we receive it.  Just like John and the little scroll.  God tell Him to take it.  Yet John similarly asks to take it.

What role have you played in receiving God’s salvation?  How has God show you that He desires for you to receive salvation?

Second Thought:

The scroll is sweet and bitter.  This is certainly a set of verses inspired by Ezekiel 3:1-3.  From this perspective, there are two possible messages that we can glean.  The first message is very straightforward.  Receiving God’s Word is sweet because it comes from God.  However, acting on God’s Word is difficult because it often calls us to tell difficult truth to people who may not want to receive it.  Following God is sweet because it puts us in line with God.  Following God is bitter because to work is hard and often requires sacrifice.

Where have you seen the sweetness of being with God?  Where have you felt the bitterness that comes with God’s call?

Third Thought:

Remember that yesterday we mentioned that the angel who stands upon the earth and the waters is often interpreted as Christ.  If that is true, then there could be another layer of meaning in this passage.  Jesus’ life was both sweet and bitter.  Jesus came.  He made disciples.  He taught people about God.  He was called by God to irrevocably change our relationship with our Father.  That is sweet.  However, Jesus was rejected.  People didn’t want to hear the message.  He was crucified as an ultimate sign of humanity’s rejection of God.  That is bitter.  It could very well be that John’s tasting of the sweet and bitter scroll is a symbolic reminder of Jesus and what He came to do for us on this earth.

When you think about Jesus and His life on earth, what do you think the sweet moments are?  Why do you think God is willing to endure the bitter moments for our sake?

Passage for Tomorrow: Revelation 11:1-2
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