And I was told, "You must again prophesy about many peoples and nations and languages and kings."
When John is again instructed to write down words of prophecy, it is after an event is recorded in which specifically “seals up” some of the detail so that it might not be known. God does the revealing in the book of Revelation. He chooses when it is best to say it as well. And John learns this at this time.
When God sets John free to record again, there is this symbolic moment where an angel instructs him to eat a scroll (yum… fiber). In his mouth it is sweet as honey, but once it hits his stomach, it turns bitter. A little divine nausea comes with the preaching of God’s Word. This is the picture of the burden of prophecy.
Carrying God’s truth and proclaiming it are instantaneously sweet experiences and also painful realities. It is both dessert and indigestion, all at the same time! I have felt this sort of feeling at times with a Sunday message that I knew was particularly needed, but also hit me square between the eyes. And I think, that as John prepares to “again prophesy”, that feeling has hit him in the pit of his gut. And only the faithful reporting of God’s Word will relieve his condition.