John nodded at the voice coming from Heaven. It was the same majestic, booming voice he had heard previously.
Looking around, he realized he was standing on a sandy beach. The sun was setting, painting the sky in hues of orange, red, and pink. The colors gave the sea a blood red tint, and the red waves lapped gently to the shore. The tan sands stretched to the left and right for miles, as far as he could see. John realized he was very close to the angel on the land and sea. The angel was larger then life. He seemed to tower over him by two feet at least. The angels feet were firmly planted. Left foot on the dry dirt, and his right foot was not in the water, but resting on top of the water.
John stopped in front of the angel. After squaring his shoulder and standing up straight, he said, "Give me the little scroll."
"Take the scroll and eat it." John's nose wrinkled a little at the thought of eating the scroll, but the angel continued on with his command. "It will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey."
Taking a deep breath and closing his eyes, John took the scroll, and put the whole thing in his mouth. He chewed it all up, paper, ink, and God's message.
His eyes flew open. It did taste like honey! It was rather good, actually. John finished his treat, and swallowed the honey goodness.
Almost immediately, the sweetness faded, and his stomach started cramping in pain. He doubled over, and clutched his stomach. It reminded him of the night he ate five helpings of lamb and lentils as a youth.
Then the angel spoke again, and John awkwardly looked up at the angel. He probably resembled a cripple. "You must again prophesy about many people, nations, languages, and kings."
John knew that these things must come to pass, and that it would end in the Lord's glorious day. But the death and destruction was starting to wear on him.
The pain lessened and eventually faded away. He rubbed his forehead with his index finger and thumb. Can I do this? He could hear the wave still, and the sound comforted him, revived him. John knew without a shadow of a doubt, that God would see him threw. If the Lord gave him a message, then he would deliver it. Always.
Based on Revelations 10:8-11
I found these three parallels:
"And he said to me, 'Son of man, eat whatever you find here. Eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel.' So I opened my mouth, and he gave me this scroll to eat. And he said to me, 'Son of man, feed your belly with this scroll that I give you and fill your stomach with it.' Then I ate it, and it was in my mouth as sweet as honey. Ezekiel 3:1-3
"Woe is me, my mother, that you bore me, a man of strife and contention to the whole land! I have not lent, nor have I borrowed, yet all of them curse me...your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name. O Lord, God of hosts." Jeremiah 15, verses 10 and 16
"Then the voice that I had heard from Heaven spoke to me again, saying, 'Go, take the scroll that is open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.' So I went to the angel and told him to give me the little scroll. And he said to me, 'Take and eat it; it will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey.' And I took the little scroll from the hand of the angel and ate it. It was sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it my stomach was made bitter. And I was told, 'You must again prophesy about many peoples and nations and languages and kings.'" Revelations 10:8-11
Do you ever have a problem eating sweet food? God blessed me with being one of the few who can eat sweet stuff like Pacman, cupcake after cupcake. Nothing has ever been too sweet for me. However, I have heard people like my mom and Marie say, "Do you want this? It's just too sweet for me. It makes me sick to my stomach." And at a youth overnight-er we recently saw one kid who gorged on cupcakes and spray cheese because it was so good! Then the poor kid got a stomach ache, and...well I will spare you further details. Point is, the idea of sweet taste with a following stomach ache isn't a new idea to us.
What do we normally do when something is too sweet, and we know it will make us sick later? In my mom's case, we give it away. You may throw it out. But how often do you eat it, and when you do, don't you regret it?
Why did God make a point of telling us three different times with three different men that while His words are sweet, it resulted in "an upset stomach?"
"For many are called, but few are chosen." Matthew 22:14
Being a prophet is a difficult job. Being someone who will say whatever God wants, whenever He wants, however He wants is not something to be taken lightly. Being a follower of Jesus is no cake walk.
Please understand, it is worth everything and more. However many are called, but few are chosen. Few will actually commit. Few really understand what it means, and how it will impact, change, tear them down, and refine them like gold. Few are prepared to take the sweet gifts of God WITH the upset stomach, the difficult days, hard work, and the enemy beat down.
God wants you to know, that stuff will be hard. You may get a message like John, when he was given the scroll to eat, that he had more to prophesy. However, are you willing to take the scroll and speak?
Then thing about an upset stomach is that no matter how bad, it eventually goes away. Eventually, we will all be caught up in the clouds with our Lord and Savior. Eventually, there will be no more stomach aches. But until that day, when we are caught up in God's embrace, will we follow our calls?
"And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, 'Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?' Then I said, 'Here am I! Send me.' Isaiah 6:8
Before you go today, I just want to say a word to all the mothers out there.
To all the different kinds of moms out there, thank you so much for being who you are, and doing what you do. Every single one of you. Birth, adopted, foster, in-law, and honorary. God gave you a call
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