The book of Revelation may be one of the most difficult books in the Bible to understand. It’s the prophecy given to John on the Island of Patmos about the destruction of the world, the judgement on mankind, and the return of Christ to take believers to heaven to live with Him forever. The symbolism and imagery – although complex – is magnificent! Chapter 10 is full of that.
In verses 1-2, John sees another angel coming down from heaven, but this one isn’t like the previous ones we have read about. This angel is wrapped in a cloud – a symbol of judgement (Jeremiah 4:13, Ezekiel 30:3, Revelation 1:7). The angel has come to declare judgement on the earth.
The angel also is described with a rainbow over his head. The rainbow shows God’s covenant. This means that God’s judgment will be unleashed – but in keeping with the covenant or promise He made with His people. This mighty angel has a “little scroll” in his hand. In John’s vision, this mighty angel comes down to earth and sets his right foot on the sea and his left on the land.
In verses 3-4 he begins to call out with a loud voice – a voice that sounded like a lion roaring in the wild. Along with that cry there were seven thunders. Again, the number seven is significant in the Bible and in prophecy – it’s the number of completeness (7 seals, 7 trumpets). John is about to write down what the seven thunders said – but a voice calls from heaven and tells him not to write them down. This is the only information that we know about in Revelation that is kept sealed. It’s not for us to know.
The angel then makes an oath in verses 5-7 – he raises his right hand to heaven and swears that there would no longer be delay. The prophecies would be fulfilled. When? The angel says in the days when the seventh angel blows his trumpet of judgement. (if you want to dig deeper into this – read Daniel 12 [especially verse 7])
The final scene in John’s vision in chapter 10 is about the “little scroll” that the mighty angel was holding in his hand. Why was it a “little scroll”? John was instructed to eat it. We see a similar picture in Ezekiel 2:9-3:3. Eating the scroll is a picture of being ready to prophesy God’s message. When Ezekiel ate it, he found the scroll to be as sweet as honey in his mouth. The word of God is described that way in Psalm. 19:10.
More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.
When John eats the scroll – he finds it sweet as honey too – but afterwards, it became bitter in his stomach. This was a symbol of the judgement to come.
What can we learn from Revelation 10?
God is a God of promises and he always keeps them. This is true of His judgements – they are coming without a doubt. This is also true of His promise to His chosen people.
God’s Word is sweet when we consume it. Do you find your delight in it every day?
But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. Psalm 1:2
By: Tim Parsons — Lead Pastor