SUMMARY AND CONTEXTUALIZATION
REVELATION CHAPTER 10
Two themes have tremendous implications for the church today. God’s absolute sovereignty is once again uppermost, especially in 10:1-7. The description of the mighty angel is cause of awesome worship, as every detail fits the description of God in the OT and of Christ in chapter 1. The seven thunders bring back the image of Sinai and God’s oath of judgment in Ps. 29.
John clearly intends this as a warning to those who are resisting God. How can they think they can stand against the Lord of the universe? Through the interaction with Dan 12:4-9 in Rev 10:5-7, the reader is made aware of the progressive revelation by which God has made known his plan for the end of the age. Neither Ezekiel nor Daniel understood the implications see also ( 1 Pet 1:10-11), but now through John God has made it known that the eschaton (end of the world or end time) is near.
The events that will bring human history to a close are now clear to those with ears to hear (2:7, 11, 17 etc) and the saints must be aware of the seriousness of the issues. God is indeed sovereign over his created world, and the “mighty angel” demonstrates this dominion by planting his feet on land and sea in the name of God and of Christ. When he swears “the delay is over” the reader is startled by the suddenness and the power of the assertion. That moment the whole Bible has been preparing for, the event the people of God have awaited for millennia, has arrived.
The second theme is the prophetic witness of the church. God commands John to reenact the commissioning of Ezekiel (Ezek 2:8-3:3) and the result is to be the same as Ezekiel’s- the sweetness of obedience but the bitterness of rejection and suffering. Through John the church is called to the same ministry of preaching repentance and judgment to a generation that has turned their backs on God. It will involve persecution and even martyrdom (the sour stomach), but God has given his people the privilege of proclaiming his word (the sweet mouth), and that is enough.
(Taken from Revelation, Commentary by Grant R. Osborne)
What should be our response to this chapter? We surrender our lives completely to the sovereignty of God, resting in the fact that we are well protected (may not be physical protection but definitely spiritual protection), then boldly proclaiming God’s word to our generation as we are empowered by the Holy Spirit.