Clouds Parting Revealing the Heavens

A daily devotion for September 14th

Take It and Eat It

Then the voice that I had heard from heaven spoke to me once more: Go, take the scroll that lies open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land. … He said to me, Take the little scroll and eat it. It will turn your stomach sour, but in your mouth it will be as sweet as honey. I took the little scroll from the angel's hand and ate it. It tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour.

Rev 10:8-10

The symbolism of eating the word indicates that the truth written on that scroll becomes personal, individually assimilated. This is what happens when you eat food. It becomes you! Doctors call it metabolism. The food you last ate is now rapidly becoming you. That is the symbolism here. When a prophet eats the scroll, it symbolizes that he is taking it into himself and becoming personally involved with it.

A similar thing happened to Ezekiel. Then I looked, and I saw a hand stretched out to me. In it was a scroll, which he unrolled before me. On both sides of it were written words of lament and mourning and woe. And he said to me, Son of man, eat what is before you, eat this scroll; then go and speak to the house of Israel.… eat this scroll I am giving you and fill your stomach with it. So I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth. (Ezekiel 2:9-3:3) Then Ezekiel was sent to deliver the message to Israel, and later he says: The Spirit then lifted me up, and I went in bitterness and in the anger of my spirit with the strong hand of the Lord upon me. (Ezekiel 3:14)

That is similar to what John is experiencing here. These are promises of God as to exactly how he will work out his purposes on earth, and there is an element that is wonderfully sweet. Yet as the prophet takes this in, eats it and becomes personally involved, it begins to turn sour. He realizes that he has a part of this as well, not only in the final result but in the judgments that lead to it.

Has Scripture ever dealt with you like this? You read a passage that speaks of the believer's destiny, the wonderful promises to come in a time of glory and great happiness, and you feel excited beyond description with what is waiting. Yet as you meditate upon it and read further, you begin to understand that God has plans to change you to get you ready for that bright future. There are certain cherished attitudes, biases and bigotries that you are going to have to lay aside, bad habits that you must give up. It is not going to be easy. You will have to pluck out your eye (Mark 9:47) and cut off your hand (Mark 9:43) in order to obey what God says. That is the pain of self-involvement. There is hurt in obeying the Word of the Lord — but it is all part of the fulfillment of the sweetness of the promises of God.

Father, thank you for your word, which is both sweet and bitter. Thank you that you are committed to transforming me into the image of your Son. Amen.

Life Application

When have you experienced both the sweetness and the bitterness of God's word? Are you responding well to the challenges of how God is changing you?

This Daily Devotion was Inspired by one of Ray's Messages

The End of the Mystery

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