SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- This chapter is the start of an interlude in the series of judgments striking the earth.
- A mighty angel comes down from heaven and shouts something that John isn’t allowed to record.
- The angel gives John a scroll and instructs him to eat it. The scroll could represent the bible, the book of Revelation, or God’s words in general. A very similar scene of someone (a "prophet" who is being asked to speak for God) eating a scroll that represents God's Word has been played out before, in the Old Testament in Ezekiel 3:1-3, and another somewhat similar scene in the Old Testament in Jeremiah 15:16.
- The scroll starts out tasting sweet to John, but then turned sour.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- John isn't allowed to write down what the mighty angel says. We are left to wonder. And the reality is that in the Christian life there is a lot we don't know. The Bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 13:12 that in this life we don't always see things clearly, and will have to wait for the time to come to have many of our questions answered. There is much that is shrouded in mystery, but it's encouraging to know that God knows, and that he is in control of that which is out of our control.
- Ezekiel and Jeremiah and John were all told to eat the word of God. We need to do the same. We need to ingest the Bible into our minds, so we'll better know God and the life he has for us. There are times when it will taste sweet (like when you read about God's love) and there will be times when it will taste sour (like when you read about God's judgment in Revelation) but it is truth and we need to know all of it.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- How can you find answers for the questions you still have and the things you don't know about God and Christianity? And how can you encourage yourself to trust God and have peace about the things you'll never understand in this life?
- How can "eating" God's Word help you to know what you don't currently know? How might it help you grow to a place where you trust God even when you don't know?
- Congratulations on doing a great thing by reading the Bible today! Keep up the habit. There will be days when it seems sweet, and others when it seems sour, but it's all important.