Part 140 - Revelation 10:9–11
God is in control
We have to move forward past two complete chapters from the last one to find anything remotely like a gem! The gem I find in chapter 10 could be found in many other chapters in this book. It is the fact that John himself is getting involved in the pageant of the action. He is a human being and we must note that God has chosen to do most of his work through human beings. John it is who has to forewarn everyone about what is about to happen.
For instance God could heal directly without human involvement but he chooses not to do so. Almost all healing is done by human beings; doctors, nurses and paramedics. And it is quite clear from what we read in this wonderful book that that is entirely as it should be.
Here we are told that John is to eat the scroll, probably the same scroll that the Lamb opened in chapter 5 even although it is a different word that is used. He is to take into himself powerful words, which will shape the future when he shares them in prophecy.
Not all words have the same effect. If a mother says to her husband “Its bed-time” that is a statement of fact. If however she says to her child in a certain tone of voice “Bedtime!” the word has a quite different effect. It is an action word; it is a command; it makes something happen.
A common saying in our school playgrounds is ‘sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me!’ again that is not true. Words can be very powerful things and very hurtful. They have become even more powerful and hurtful in this day of internet chat sites much used by kids. They lack the maturity to ignore comments posted about them and sometimes suffer very considerably as a result. Words can be powerful.
A famous saying, probably wrongly attributed to St Francis of Assissi (AD 1181 – 12 26), is “Preach the Gospel at all times. Use words if necessary.” No, that is not right. It seems to suggest that all evangelism, attracting folk to follow Jesus, can be carried out without saying anything. But it cannot; it is necessary to use words as well and attractively as we can to tell the wonderful stories of the King and his Kingdom. After all – Jesus used words to great effect when he could have spent all his energies on healing and helping people. In imitating him we must spend ourselves both healing and helping people and telling them the good news of the Gospel.
What John says here when he tells everyone what was on the scroll is an action word. It is a prophecy but it is a prophecy which has the word of God behind it. It will make things happen. And the amazing thing is that amidst all these terrifying parts of the vision it is a man, a human being, who is to announce the plans of the Lord God for the whole world to all the world. Such is the power of words.
Our task in this Internet site, ‘Partakers’, is the word bit. Please help us on with prayer and words of your own to tell other people about us and thus about the King. As far as you possibly can make your words action words, not just fact words.
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