by Rev Jason Phua
Bible Readings: Revelation 10:1-11; Psalm 138:1-8
READ (Verse chosen for reflection)
Revelation 10:9 “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.”
What does it mean when John was commanded by the angel to eat the scroll and that it will make “your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey”? This scenario reminded of a similar one in Ezekiel 3 where the prophet was also commanded to eat a scroll and then “speak to the house of Israel”. Hence, eating of scrolls seems to be a symbolic act for the prophets to “eat” the Word of God and then proclaim it to the people. “Eating” here does not just mean the reading of God’s Word, but rather a full “digestion” of what God has said – which can mean deep understanding, conviction and obedience.
Given what Ezekiel and John had to say to the people, it was only right that they truly understand and be convicted of what was going to be proclaimed. What they have been told to say were difficult messages; yet they chose to obey because the faithful prophets understood the sins of their people and were convicted of the need for repentance. Such a process of proclaiming God’s Word can also be applied to all of us. Whether we preach, teach or share the Gospel, we need to “eat” what we are suppose to preach, teach and share. We need to be diligent to understand and be convicted of what God’s Word is saying to us even as we seek to proclaim to others. So even if a particular message is going to be “bitter to the stomach”; let it be so and let us just obey. Otherwise, it will just be all “talk” and no “walk”.
Lord, help us to put in the effort to understand and meditate upon Your Holy Word even before we proclaim it unto others. This is so we do not misrepresent what Your Word says and lead others to the wrong path. Amen.