1 Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven, surrounded by a cloud, with a rainbow over his head. His face shone like the sun, and his feet were like pillars of fire. 2 And in his hand was a small scroll that had been opened. He stood with his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land. 3 And he gave a great shout like the roar of a lion. And when he shouted, the seven thunders answered.
4 When the seven thunders spoke, I was about to write. But I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Keep secret what the seven thunders said, and do not write it down.”
5 Then the angel I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand toward heaven. 6 He swore an oath in the name of the one who lives forever and ever, who created the heavens and everything in them, the earth and everything in it, and the sea and everything in it. He said, “There will be no more delay. 7 When the seventh angel blows his trumpet, God’s mysterious plan will be fulfilled. It will happen just as he announced it to his servants the prophets.”
8 Then the voice from heaven spoke to me again: “Go and take the open scroll from the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.”
9 So I went to the angel and told him to give me the small scroll. “Yes, take it and eat it,” he said. “It will be sweet as honey in your mouth, but it will turn sour in your stomach!” 10 So I took the small scroll from the hand of the angel, and I ate it! It was sweet in my mouth, but when I swallowed it, it turned sour in my stomach.
11 Then I was told, “You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages, and kings.”
Whenever we hear from God, His angels, or His people in the Revelation, it expresses the wonder, majesty and limitless power of God and His Kingdom. The sheer size of this majestic angel shown to John illustrates how lopsided the power of God is. The angel must have been a giant of giants since he was seen straddling both land and ocean. His head must have reached out into the stratosphere. Yet the 'beast' and people of earth not committed to Christ continued to resist God. The angle demonstrates God's power and proclaims the ultimate victory, announcing that the time of the end, would no longer be delayed. This encourages you and me if we will remember in those times of trouble that we face- when things may seem to go badly, that this angel represents the kind of power that is on our side! God's Giant angelic forces are with us (see Matt 18:10 or Hebr. 1;14). This image helps us to keep our troubles in proper perspective.
In 10:7 we read about the fulfilling of 'God's mysterious plan." This plan is that God removes all evil from His creation and brings the ultimate exaltation of Christ. Such a pronouncement brings fear within God's enemies and they continue to panic, blindly resisting until the very end. For God's chosen people of faith, this image brings hope and peace. Do we really long for Christ's return? Are we really eagerly watching for it, or is it merely an idea on the back burner of our mind? We should be praying for God's justice to be carried out and his plan fulfilled. We should desire Christ to come in the triumph of His Kingdom.
The scroll John was told to eat, reflects the scroll of Ezekiel as well, Ingesting it means it was to be internalized and then fuel John's prophetic message. Its sweet taste meant such message is received joyfully by God's people. It's sower effect on the stomach meant that it always hurts us when we prophesy and teach the truth that those who continue to rebel against God will, in the end, suffer eternally.
How have you prayed recently concerning the coming Kingdom of God?