“Take it and eat it. It will turn your stomach sour, but ‘in your mouth it will be as sweet as honey.’” — Revelation 10:9
Sometimes what we eat is only enjoyable for a short time. A special recipe might taste good, but it may not sit well in our stomach. A heavy luncheon can make us groggy through the long afternoon. We might take pleasure in a scrumptious dessert while we eat it, but we may also regret it when our clothes are a bit tighter.
Our text today describes a similar situation. The apostle John is told to eat a little scroll. This is not the first time one of God’s prophets is commanded to eat a book. The prophet Ezekiel was told to do the same thing, and his account is quoted here (see Ezekiel 3). The taste in their mouths was “as sweet as honey.”
This sweetness describes God’s Word here and elsewhere in Scripture. For example, the psalmist writes, “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth” (Psalm 119:103). Nothing is sweeter than knowing God, who—through Jesus—is working to bring restoration and to make all things new! That is a message we want to know and share.
But the word turns sour in our stomach. As Ezekiel discovered and the judgments in Revelation make clear, many people reject God’s offer of grace. But this does not cause us to stop sharing God’s Word, because “the mystery of God will be accomplished.”
May we have urgency and passion with the gospel message. May the sweetness of God’s Word compel us to share it everywhere with others, even if they choose to reject it.