I want to refer you back to yesterday’s blog post when reading today’s Scripture passage. Remember Deuteronomy 29:29 ‘The secret things belong to the Lord our God’ and if you don’t own a commentary on Revelation then now is a good time to get one.
John has a vision of an angel coming down from heaven. While we cannot be sure who the angel is, there is a hint that it could be Jesus Himself. He refers to a ‘mighty angel’ and ‘wrapped in a cloud’ (verse 1) which seems to indicated that His glory is being shielded. It talks about a ‘rainbow over his head’ (verse 1), which might be symbolic of the covenant that God has made with His people. It refers to Him speaking ‘like a lion roaring’ and Revelation 5:5 refers to Jesus as the Lion of Judah. He swears an oath in God’s name (verse 6) and God does that throughout Scripture as there is no higher name by which God can swear than by His own name.
Then from verse 8 onwards, John is instructed to eat the little scroll and that while at first it will taste sweet in his mouth, once he digests it, it will become bitter. This probably refers to the vision of the future that John is seeing and writing about here in Revelation. At first it must have been amazing for John to see these things. He gets a foretaste of the future. As I read some of the descriptions in Revelation, a chill runs down my spine as I picture all the people gathering and worshipping around the throne. John must have felt that in a much more magnified way as he watched these visions unfold before him. However, when he stopped and reflected on them, he would have remembered not only the glorious worship but also the great judgment and wrath that would be pored out. That wrath and judgment would have felt bitter to John just as the angel said it would.
John might have been tempted not to write them down and not to talk about his vision but the angel tells him in verse 11 ‘You must prophesy about many peoples and nations and languages and kings’. The angel must have known that John might be tempted not to write down these prophesies and he is reminding him not to succumb to that temptation. We have the book of Revelation because of that instruction to John by the angel.
Prayer: Thank You for Scripture and for faithful men who You used and inspired to give us Your Word. Please help us to be diligent in studying Your Word even when it seems difficult to understand. Open our eyes to see the truths it contains. AMEN.