In Revelation chapter 10, John is told to eat the scroll containing the prophetic word of the coming judgment of God. The net effect it had upon him was that it was both bitter and sweet (verses 9,10). The Old Testament prophet Ezekiel had almost the same experience (Ezekiel 2:8-3:3). This is a typical experience for the born again disciple of The Lord Jesus Christ who feeds his or her soul with the word of God.
Without question, God’s Word is a source of great joy and rejoicing (Jeremiah 15:16). God’s Word is sweet indeed (Psalm 119:103). However, this same word that provides such joy and sweetness is also the cause of sorrow and bitterness. When the prophets of God brought to the nation of Israel a message of warning from Him, their rejection of God’s truth had the effect of great bitterness on those who delivered God’s truth (Lamentations 3:15,16; Ezekiel 21:6). We see this same effect upon Jesus Himself as He looked over the city of Jerusalem that had rejected Him, even after God had sent them prophet after prophet to warn them about such a thing (Luke 13:34,35, 19:41-44).
Such is true for you and me as well. The sweetness or bitterness of our lives is determined by how we respond to God’s Word. If we sow to the flesh in rejection of God’s Word, we reap corruption, but if we sow to The Spirit in response to God’s Word, we reap life everlasting (Galatians 6:7,8). Likewise, if we choose to only listen to God’s Word, but refuse or fail to apply it’s truth, we are building our lives on sandy, shifting soil that will end up in destruction. However, if we choose to hear God’s Word and apply it to our lives, we will be building our lives upon a rock that will enable us to withstand the storms of life (Matthew 7:24-27). God has given to us His Word (2 Timothy 3:16-17), and whether or not our lives are bitter or sweetened by it depends upon our response.
Oh precious family, may we heed those familiar words of James about hearing and doing what God says (James 1:21-25). That does not mean that our lives will be rosy and without trials (John 16:33) or spiritual warfare (1 Peter 5:8,9). It simply means that at the end of the day, we have the assurance that God is looking out for us and will show Himself mighty on our behalf (2 Chronicles 16:9a). It doesn’t get any sweeter than that!