And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.
As John receives this little book, he is told that he was to “eat it up”. In other words, he was to consume it, becoming well-acquainted with it, and making it a part of his entire being. He is then told that the result of his ingestion of the Word would be both a pleasant satisfaction and a nauseating bitterness.
What is important for us to notice is that before we can get to many of the blessings of God’s Word, we have to go through the “bitter times” recognizing our own condition and the condition of those around us…
Stop and think about it, before we can receive the “sweetness” of His gracious salvation, we must experience the “bitterness” of seeing our sinful, hopeless condition as rebellious, fallen man. Or, before we can taste the “honey” of obedience by actively taking the gospel to the lost, we must experience the “bitterness” of understanding the horrible wrath of God awaiting fallen mankind and their inability to be saved apart from the gospel.
From this perspective, we can see that the experience of bitterness we receive from God’s Word is an absolute necessity to receive the manifold blessings of God for our lives.
Folks, we need to be thankful for ALL of His Word and be prepared to share the entire counsel of God with those around us. We should not just share the parts of God’s Word that are easily accepted by us and those around us. By only sharing the “sweet parts” of the Word, we are robbing our hearers of many of God’s blessings, the greatest of which is salvation from sin.
How can we expect men to be saved from their sins through total reliance upon Christ, if they are not told they have sinned and can do nothing to save themselves?
How can we expect Christians to grow in grace and knowledge of His Word, when we are not willing to teach them ALL of God’s Word?
How can we expect Christians to not fall into false teaching, if we are not willing to teach them the truths found in His Word, in the context of the entire Word?
(Please remember: Most, if not all, false teaching comes by taking verses out of their proper context. If we are not willing to share the entire Word with those we teach, we are robbing them of contextual background that is needed to properly understand the verses that are attempting to teach them.)
May we all thank God for both the bitter and sweet parts of His Word, understanding both are absolutely necessary for our salvation, service and doctrinal soundness.
For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation