Revelation 10.8-11 – Bittersweet

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.”

Often in our lives we have experiences that can be both bad and good, don’t we. They are often described as bittersweet. Living here in Bahrain, seeing friends that quickly become family leave for pastures new is probably the hardest thing, and these experiences are certainly bittersweet. Bitter in that we will miss their friendship and fellowship, but sweet in that we know they are moving on with the Lord to an exciting new chapter in their lives, following God’s call (and often the demands of an employer) and faithfully going where He is leading.

Here, John is given something bittersweet, he says, 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.

For those of us who have made a commitment to live for Jesus, who have given control of our lives over to Him as Lord and Saviour, who are living the Christian life (whatever your preferred phrasing may be on the matterI), the Word of God is sweet as honey, Psalm 119.103 confirms this.

God’s Word feeds us, fills us, and fires us up, it calms us, consoles us, and counsels us. Simply, it is good for us because we know the central tenet is that God loves us and sent His son (AWANA Cubbies badge, please!), and that if we truly trust and believe this He will save us unto eternal life.

However, the other side of the coin is bitter. For those that don’t accept the crux of Christianity, for those that refuse to accept the fact that God so loved the world that He gave His only son and that whoever believes in Him shall never die, for those who make themselves enemies of God, the Word of God is bitter because it convicts them of their sin, and gives them a message they do not want to hear.

It is not our job, or even within our capability, to change the heart of man, only the Holy Spirit can do that. But, through reasoned conversation, through evidence, examples, and facts, through a changed life and a testimony we can present people with an introduction to the Saviour, to Jesus Christ, and He will take it from there.

Then, what was bitter will become oh so sweet to those we have shared with.

So, who can you share with today?

Published by James Travis

Pastor of Saar Fellowship in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Married to Robyn and Dad to our two boys.

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