Sweet Little Scroll
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Sweet Little Scroll (Revelation 10.8-9)

"Then the voice that I had heard from heaven spoke to me once more: 'Go, take the scroll that lies open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.' So I went to the angel and asked him to give me the little scroll. He said to me, 'Take it and eat it. It will turn your stomach sour, but in your mouth it will be as sweet as honey.'" (Revelation 10.8-9)✞

Prophet Ezekiel's Scroll

ScrollThe prophet Ezekiel in Ezekiel 3.1-3 speaks of a similar scroll, "And he said to me, 'Son of man, eat what is before you, eat this scroll; then go and speak to the people of Israel.' So I opened my mouth, and he gave me the scroll to eat. Then he said to me, 'Son of man, eat this scroll I am giving you and fill your stomach with it.' So I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth." Ezekiel describes a similar experience to the John of Patmos vision when he was commanded to eat the sweet little scroll filled with judgments. A good example of scrolls are the "Dead Sea Scrolls" exhibited in "The Shrine of the Book" in Jerusalem. They are also called the "Qumran Caves Scrolls" where they were found. They were written as early as the 8th century BC. See Dead Sea Scrolls for more. John is told to take a scroll that is a roll of papyrus, parchment or animal hide containing writing. This special scroll contained the final revelation of judgment which tasted as sweet as honey in his mouth, but it was sour on his stomach. The Greek word for "little scroll" is "biblaridion" or a "little book." This is an unusual word only occurring in the Book of Revelation 10.2,9 and 10. This small scroll is open for all to read its contents.✞

Sweet and Sour

The Great Isaiah ScrollGod's Word is sweet to believers because it brings encouragement, but it sours our stomach because of the coming judgments it also contains. If we knew the future today, it might seem initially sweet but it would also contain bitterness for us. God knows our needs better than we know them ourselves so it is better not to know the future.✞

John Takes the Scroll

The Prophet Ezekiel IconWe note here how John of Patmos is told twice to "Go, take the scroll." It is not handed to him, even when he asks the angel to give it to him, he must take it. The inference of this is that God's revelation is never forced on anyone, they must take the scroll of life for themselves. Ezekiel was also told to eat the little scroll and to fill his belly with it. In both pictures, the idea is the same. The messenger of God has to take God's message into his or her very being with both negative and positive consequences.

"Sweet Little Scroll"
by Ron Meacock © 2017

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