Sweet Honey Scroll
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Sweet Honey Scroll
(Revelation 10.10-11)
Page 162

"I took the little scroll from the angel's hand and ate it. It tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour. Then I was told, 'You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages and kings.'" (Revelation 10.10-11)

A Slate

Slate used for writingThe sweet honey scroll was a recurring thought in Scripture. In Psalm 19.10, where the decrees of the Lord were "more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb." Later in Psalm 119.103 we read, "How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!." Behind the words "Sweet as Honey" lay a pleasant Jewish educational custom. When a Jewish boy was learning the alphabet, it was written on a slate in a mixture of flour and honey. He was told what the letters were and how they sounded.

Lick the Slate

Honey PotAfter the original instruction, the teacher would point at a letter and would ask, "What is this and how does it sound?" If a boy could answer correctly, he was allowed to lick the letter off the slate as a reward! When the prophet and the psalmist speak about God's words and judgments being sweeter than a scroll, it may well be that they were thinking of this quaint and unusual Jewish custom.


Bitter and SweetTo John of Patmos, the scroll was sweet and bitter at the same time. A message of God may be to a servant of God at once a sweet and bitter thing. It is sweet because it is a great privilege to be chosen as the messenger of God, but the message itself may be a foretelling of doom and, therefore, a bitter thing. For John, it was a great privilege to be admitted to the secrets of Heaven but at the same time it was bitter to have to proclaim a time of terror, even if triumph lay at its conclusion.

"Sweet Honey Scroll"
by Ron Meacock © 2018

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