Reading: Revelation 10
5Then the angel I had seen standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven. 6And he swore by him who lives for ever and ever, who created the heavens and all that is in them, the earth and all that is in it, and the sea and all that is in it, and said, "There will be no more delay! 7But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants the prophets."
8Then 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."
9So I went to the angel and asked him to give me the little scroll. He said to me, "Take it and eat it. It will turn your stomach sour, but 'in your mouth it will be as sweet as honey.'" 10I 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. 11Then I was told, "You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages and kings." (Rev. 10:5-11)
Reflecting and Thinking
Between the sixth and seventh trumpets (remember the "6+interlude+1" pattern, and that the trumpets were introduced by the opening of the seventh seal), we again have an interlude. Early in chapter 10, we are prepared for the seventh trumpet to introduce seven thunders, but the message of the seven thunders is sealed and not revealed.
Chapter 11 and the sounding of the seventh trumpet (11:15-18) would be a fitting conclusion to the book were it not for the fact that in the interlude between the sixth trumpet and the seventh trumpet, John receives a second scroll and instructions that he must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages and kings. The contents of the second scroll will be revealed in chapters 12-18. The outline and presentation of the contents of the second scroll will very closely parallel the patterns we have identified in the first scroll.
This interlude is preparatory for the seventh trumpet and the conclusion of the seventh seal of the first scroll (10:7). The interlude continues in the next chapter, and we will share more comments about the significance of this interlude later.
The mystery of God (10:7) was announced by the prophets. It is about to be accomplished. In the Bible, mystery often refers to something previously unknown but now revealed, as in this case. God is in control and working toward his purpose. How do you feel about the truth that God is at work and in control? Do you think the first-century readers "got it"? Why or why not? What is the significance that the second scroll is already laying open? What is the significance that John eats the scroll, experiencing both sour and sweet? What applications can you make to our lives today?
Dear God, we await the ultimate accomplishment of your will in this world. We struggle and hurt, and seek understanding. We eagerly await your return and deliverance from this world. In the meantime, we want to be faithful witnesses for you. Strengthen us, we pray in Jesus' name, Amen.