I’m Supposed to Eat a Scroll?

After a week of celebrating the re-release of my Legacy Bible study, we are back here to finish our look at Revelation 10. At first glance, this would seem to be a fairly straight-forward passage, but there is an important truth that we must mine from it….a life-altering truth. If you missed the other posts from Revelation 10, you can go here and here to read them.

 

Let’s read Revelation 10:8-11. I’m giving it to you from the ESV (English Standard Version). 

8 Then the voice that I had heard from heaven spoke to me again, saying, “Go, take the scroll that is open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.”

9 So I went to the angel and told him to give me the little scroll. And he said to me, “Take and eat it; it will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey.”

10 And I took the little scroll from the hand of the angel and ate it. It was sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it my stomach was made bitter.

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

 

John once again hears the big voice from heaven, and this time it tells him to go to the angel that stands on the land and the sea. We saw this guy in the first post and mused about whether he is simply an angel or whether he is Jesus. John is instructed to take the open scroll that the angel holds. When he does, he is told to eat the scroll. Awkward!!

 

I'm supposed to eat a scroll?

 

 

Press hold on that for just a moment. We will be right back.

The voice from heaven tells John that when he eats the scroll it will taste as sweet as honey. Well, yay! Who can argue with that! Ah, but then he is also told the scroll will make his tummy sour and bitter. Pass the Pepto Bismol!

Sure enough, that is exactly what happened. Now, let’s go back to the eating the scroll business. Why in the world would John need to eat the scroll?

Well, there is precedent for this in the Word of God. In Ezekiel 3 the prophet Ezekiel is told by God to eat a scroll, then go prophesy to the nation of Israel. When he eats the scroll he finds that it is sweet as honey. The words he is told to prophesy seem to come from the ingested scroll.

In Revelation, we find a very similar circumstance. John eats the scroll. It tastes sweet going down, but bitter when it hits bottom. Then John is told that he must prophesy more.

Two things I want us to ponder. The first is the importance of making the Word personal. Both Ezekiel and John had to ingest the scroll. It had to become part of them rather than something they only held in their hands. God’s Word, Scripture, must become part of the Christian. We must take it in and allow it to penetrate every area of our lives, whether it is good news or bad. Only then can we have intimate fellowship with Christ. Only then can we effectively do the work He has for us to do during our time on earth.

The good news and the bad news from this scroll situation was likely the same news. God was about to unleash judgment and there was no turning back. This is what the saints around the throne had asked for in Revelation 6:10. How long, O Lord, until you judge? The time had arrived, yet it would not be good news for untold millions who had rejected Christ.

The second thing I want us to see is how this must have affected John. He is 90-ish years old and likely assumes he will never leave Patmos, yet here we find God’s angel telling John that there is more work for him to do; work that will necessitate him being places other than the rocky island of Patmos. Was John encouraged to know that he might see his beloved fellow Christians again? Probably. Even when John thought his life was over on an island in the middle of nowhere, it really was not over until God said it was over. So, if you are in a circumstance that seems to be a dead-end road, be encouraged. It isn’t over till God says it is over and there is always hope on the horizon.

Next week we begin our journey into Revelation 11. I hope you will join me back here then.

Want to catch up on our Revelation study? Every single post in this series is linked in order HERE.

SDG/FCA!

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links

 

I enjoy the teaching and preaching of Dr. David Jeremiah. Since we have been visiting with an angel, I’m linking to a book that he wrote on the topic. If you cannot get the link to Dr. Jeremiah’s book via your email, please go here to read the post on my website.

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  • Shirley Lawrence

    Eating a scroll does sound gross till one delves into the meaning. God’s Word is bitter/sweet. His one and only Son died with the weight of our sins, but resurrected as we will be. His perfect love consumes us. He will rescue us from this evil age in the end times. That is encouraging and gives us hope. What lies ahead is very scary. Much scarier than what is going on in the world now. The final judgement is bitter indeed.

    I get concerned with the teaching/preaching in the church and on the air. On one side are those that just teach the love of Jesus and of God’s love for us. On the other side are those that teach the hell, fire, and brimstone. All the doom and gloom. They should teach/preach both. Perhaps to teach all to eat the scroll that is sweet as honey but the bitter truth that turns sour in the stomach.

    A word jumps out here to me as John is told to prophecy “ABOUT” peoples, nations etc. That one word changes my thinking from John is going to prophecy “TO” which I thought before. Sounds like he is to retell what has
    happened in the past perhaps as a warning. I guess we’ll see as we more on.

    • I am grateful for your thoughts here, Shirley. They add much to our study. Thank you for taking the time to offer them to us.