Summary: Everyone is significant to God, and every Christ-follower is equipped through His Word to obey him and pass on their faith to others.
Last week, Mary and I joined 51,904 fans to watch the U of A versus Cal football game. In the midst of a crowd like that, its pretty easy to feel insignificant and to even lose ones sense of identity. Like nearly everyone else, we were dressed in red and even when screaming at the top of our lungs, we could barely hear each other at times as our words were drowned out by the roar of the crowd.
As he continues to record the scenes that God reveals to him, perhaps John felt a bit insignificant himself. In comparison to the scenes of the multitudes worshipping before the throne and to the scenes of massive devastation pictured by the seals and the trumpets, it wouldnt be surprising if John found himself quite overwhelmed by all of this.
But as we come to chapter 10, its as if all the action around him is frozen for a brief period of time so that God can reach down into Johns life and deal with him on a personal level. That says a lot about the nature of God and it is also quite encouraging to us as we go about our daily lives in the midst of the chaos of this world.
Go ahead and turn in your bibles to Revelation 10 and follow along as I read the entire chapter.
1 Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven, wrapped in a cloud, with a rainbow over his head, and his face was like the sun, and his legs like pillars of fire. 2 He had a little scroll open in his hand. And he set his right foot on the sea, and his left foot on the land, 3 and called out with a loud voice, like a lion roaring. When he called out, the seven thunders sounded. 4 And when the seven thunders had sounded, I was about to write, but I heard a voice from heaven saying, Seal up what the seven thunders have said, and do not write it down. 5 And the angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven 6 and swore by him 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, that there would be no more delay, 7 but that in the days of the trumpet call to be sounded by the seventh angel, the mystery of God would be fulfilled, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.
8 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. 9 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. 10 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. 11 And I was told, You must again prophesy about many peoples and nations and languages and kings.
This passage contains some really practical and encouraging principles that I want us to focus on this morning. But in order to set the stage for that, let me take just a few moments to quickly overview the passage and point out a few important matters.
A QUICK OVERVIEW OF THE PASSAGE
The Mighty Angel:
Is not Jesus
Although some commentators claim that the mighty angel in verse 1 is Jesus, primarily based on the similarities between the description of the angel and the descriptions of Jesus elsewhere in Revelation, the text makes it clear that this cant be Jesus.
First, the word another in verse 1 means another of the same kind and is referring back to the angels in chapter 9 who blew the first six trumpets. Jesus is not merely an angel He is God in the flesh and He is never described as an angel anywhere in the book of Revelation.
And certainly Jesus would have had no need to swear an oath like the angel does in verse 6.
Has universal authority
Three times in this passage, the angel is described as standing on the sea and on the land. This must be a huge angel to be able to do that. This pictures how the angel has been given authority by God over all His creation. That authority is confirmed when God responds to the call of the angel with His thunderous voice from heaven.