The question I guess is not, “Can things get worse?” but “Are things getting better?”
Are things getting better? It looks so- mighty angel (is that the Lord or is it Michael the archangel? angel wrapped in cloud, rainbow over his head, face like sun- these are positives, at least in my view. I’m wired for optimism, it would seem. Don’t try changing that. It’s not like I have wool over my eyes, but I’ve found out that when you dwell on the negatives, you get a “pretty”, “not-so-good” view of how worse the situation can get; and this can be disabling.
I need to be optimistic today, now, as my mouth is held in siege by my jaw muscles on the left, a full seven weeks after a surgical dental operation that had undesirable side-effects. I want to open my mouth again!
So what does this have to do with Revelation 10? The way Chapter 9 ended had me asking, “can things get worse?” But at least I was smart enough to remember the goodness of God’s winning love. And that’s where I want to focus now- that as in the past, I will find restoration through grace. So, the angel with a little scroll setting his foot on the sea is about to conquer. If seven thunders are to make thunderous noises, then God is in the sound. And I am right; for he raises his hand to heaven, the throne of God “who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and what is in it, the earth and what is in it, and the sea and what is in it.” Nothing is too hard for this God with whom nothing is impossible. Seven points to God’s completeness. If the seventh angel is about to blow his trumpet, fulfilment is on the horizon.
The angel gave him (John it must be) the scroll to eat, sweet in the mouth but bitter in the stomach. Can’t say I want any more bitterness from this procedure, though. But it does seem that things initially sweet to the taste have undesirable “bitter” consequences. And this interlude between the sixth and the seventh trumpet judgements is a space indeed.
God always offers us space- space for connection, space for correction, space for reflection, space for improvement, space for examination.
Lord, I want to use whatever space you afford today to get it right. And of course, I need your help for that.