LITTLE CHAPTER, BIG IMPLICATIONS: There are two things to focus on here in this strange little chapter. First, the seven thunders. By now you should be noticing and keying in every time you read 'seven'. We saw that the seven lampstands referred to the seven churches. We're in the middle of the perspective in which we see the seven trumpets warning mankind of God's judgment, and in the next perspective we will see seven bowls of wrath poured out.
THUNDERSTRUCK: John hears the seven thunders speak (imagine what that sounded like!), but then he's told not to write down what he heard. We have no idea what the thunders said. This is critical for our interpretation of Revelation: even though this book reveals much about the future, we still don't know everything. We have to be very careful coming to hard and fast conclusions about things we are not told directly because there are facts that we do not know. Remember to stay humble as you interpret this book.
JUST EAT IT: What's up with John being told to eat the scroll?? I think the best interpretation is that the scroll = the gospel message, building of the what the Psalmist had written:
“How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103, NIV)
Yet even though these Words are sweet to the lips, ingesting them into our lives will cause us pain and grief as the world persecutes. By God's grace, most of us have not experienced this 'sour stomach' in that we have not been persecuted, but we need to be ready to endure that if that's where the Lord leads.
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: The One who lives for ever and ever, who created the heavens and all that is in them, the earth and all that is in it (v6)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Though the gospel is sweeter than honey, ask God to prepare you for the pain the world will inflict upon you because of it (v9-11)
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: