Rev. 10:9 So I went to the angel and told him to give me the little scroll; and he said to me, “Take it, and eat; it will be bitter to your stomach, but sweet as honey in your mouth.”
Rev. 10:10 So 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.
Just as Ezekiel had eaten the prophetic words which were sweet in his mouth but became bitter in his stomach, so the same happened now in Revelation. Being privileged to see into the future and to know what it is that God is going to do may seem sweet at the moment but it becomes bitter when it all begins to sink in. The reality of the results of peoples’ behavior turns our stomachs and we are left with a bittersweet taste in our mouths.
The bittersweet taste that is left is because of God’s love which is to flow through us. We may become frustrated with the actions of those in the world who are not seeking the face of God and wonder how they ought to be dealt with. I think about these days in which the face of evil seems to be showing itself over and over again. How often do we think that the destruction of this evil would be a good thing and that first initial thought is sweet in our mouth, but the more we think about it, the more God’s love compels us to imagine the lostness of those individuals. The eternal destruction which they face becomes bitter to us for we love them and desire for them to know the Creator.
Jesus told us to love our enemies and to pray for them. What would happen if all of Christianity would sense the bittersweetness of the moment and would unite together in prayer for those who are bent on our destruction? Could God’s love really transform the world?
When we are presented with the bittersweetness of the Gospel we should be moved to action. We love the word and it is sweet in our mouths. We love our Jesus and the salvation we receive through him is so sweet. But we must be sensitive to the bitter, for there are those who will be lost if they do not know him. My prayer is that we do not become insensitive to the bitter, but allow it to turn our stomachs and lead us into kingdom service.
Bittersweetness — it’s a part of God’s plan to reach the world with his love.
Lord, may I listen and respond with sensitivity to you and your kingdom’s calling. Amen.