May 09 2022
Today, Monday May 09
The Mystery of God
“But in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished, as He declared to His servants the prophets. Then the voice which I heard from heaven spoke to me again and said, "Go, take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel who stands on the sea and on the earth." So I went to the angel and said to him, "Give me the little book." And he said to me, "Take and eat it; and it will make your stomach bitter, but it will be as sweet as honey in your mouth."
Today we want to think about three things we see in this passage in Revelation 10 – The voice from heaven, the mystery of God and the little book.
The phrase, “voice from heaven” is used numerous times in the Book of Revelation. Twice in this chapter John says he heard a voice from heaven (vv. 4 & 8). Of course, this is the voice of God. The first verses of the Bible in Genesis 1, remind us that when God speaks with His voice something happens. “God said….” is used at least nine times in this chapter, and when God spoke everything on the earth was created!
Take time to read Psalm 29 where “the voice of the Lord” is used seven times. “The voice of the LORD is powerful; The voice of the LORD is full of majesty” (Psalm 29:4). I want to remind us that God is still speaking today. God speaks through His Word, the Bible. God speaks through His Son Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1:1-2). God speaks through people and preachers. And God speaks through circumstances. The question is, “Are we listening?” John sure was, and he was hearing about awesome things!
What is the “mystery of God”? In the Bible, a mystery is a "sacred secret" a truth hidden to those outside but revealed to God's people by His Word (Matt. 13:10-12). The "mystery of God" has to do with the age-old problem of evil in the world. Why is there both moral and natural evil in the world? Why doesn't God do something about it? Of course, the Christian knows that God did "do something about it" at Calvary when Jesus Christ was made sin and experienced divine wrath for a sinful world. We also know that God is permitting evil to increase until the world is ripe for judgment (Rev. 14:14-20). Since God has already paid the price for sin, He is free to delay His judgment, and He cannot be accused of injustice or unconcern. The signal for this mystery's completion is the sounding of the seventh trumpet (Rev. 11:14-19). The last half of the Tribulation begins when the angels start to pour out the bowls, in which "is filled up [completed] the wrath of God" (Rev. 15:1).
John was given instructions to eat the little book that he took from the hand of the angel. This should remind us of our responsibility to assimilate the Word of God and make it a part of the inner man. It was not enough for John to see the book or even know its contents and purpose. He had to receive it into his inner being.
God's Word is compared to food: bread (Matt. 4:4), milk (1 Peter 2:2), meat (1 Cor. 3:1-2), and honey (Ps. 119:103). The Prophets Jeremiah (Jer. 15:16) and Ezekiel (Ezek. 2:9-3:4) knew what it was to "eat" the Word before they could share it with others. The Word must always "become flesh" (John 1:14), become real to us, before it can be given to those who need it. In other words, the Word should become a living part of our very being.
God will not thrust His Word into our mouths and force us to receive it. He hands it to us, and we must take it. Nor can He change the effects the Word will have in our lives: there will be both sorrow and joy, bitterness and sweetness. God's Word contains sweet promises and assurances, but it also contains bitter warnings and prophecies of judgment. The Christian bears witness of both life and death (2 Cor. 2:14-17). “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). “Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! (Psalm 34:8)
Then finally in this chapter, the angel commissioned John to prophesy again; his work was not yet completed. He must declare God's prophetic truth concerning (not "before") many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings (Rev. 5:9). The word nations usually refers to the Gentile nations. John will have much to say about the nations of the world as he presents the rest of this prophecy. Our task and responsibility today is to share this message with the nations of the world!