Revelation 10:9-11: ‘Eat this Book’.
“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.”[a]’ 10 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. 11 Then I was told, ‘You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages and kings.’ NIV
One of Eugene Peterson’s many books is entitled: ‘Eat this Book’. The idea is no doubt drawn from this passage in ‘Revelation’. It, in turn, is linked to Ezekiel 2:8 & 3:1-3. As previously noted, John’s call to be a prophet is affirmed in these verses, and even extended.
‘’By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth…For he spoke and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.’’ Psalm 33: 6 & 9.
God’s Word is a creative Word, and when He puts His words into the mouth of a prophet, they are productive: ‘Prophecy makes things happen…This is how prophecy works.God’s words are to become John’s words in order that they may become reality.’ Tom Wright: ‘Revelation for Everyone’, p.94.
Preachers are not necessarily prophets, but all true preaching contains a prophetic element. Anyone who is to speak God’s Word must first ‘Eat this Book’. You must be nourished by it yourself; digest it; it’s got to become a part of you, if you are to proclaim it effectively to others.
But the Word read and preached is both ‘’sweet’’ and ‘’sour’’. You will have to declare both unpalatable truths as well as popular and pleasing ones. When you think about it, there is a mixture of bitter and sweet in this book of Revelation. We have to face some harsh realities concerning events yet to unfold on the earth before Jesus returns. Yet how sweet it is to know that He is coming back to set everything straight, and there will be a brand new universe.