you are what you eat
As a kid, I thought adults telling me “you are what you eat” was one of the silliest arguments for why I should eat healthily. If faced with the choice between being a cool, smooth scoop of ice cream that everyone loved or a piece of broccoli with branches sticking off in odd directions and needed ranch to taste good, the right answer appeared obvious to me.
But, a part of maturing and getting older seems to be grasping the wisdom that underlies the statement “you are what you eat.” While I still don’t enjoy salads as much as I enjoy french fries, I do enjoy the benefits that result from eating salads more than french fries. I’ve come to appreciate that what I put into my body affects what I get out of my body.
And what likely won’t come as a surprise to anyone is that what we put into our minds and our hearts has an even greater effect on who we become. This is why the Bible instructs us to guard our eyes, as Jesus explained in Matthew 6:22–23, and to guard our minds, as Paul exhorts Christians to take every thought captive in 2 Corinthians 10:5. But, a part of effective guarding is knowing friend from foe, so only the friends can be allowed inside. And when it comes to our minds and our hearts, we have no greater friend than God and His Word. Of all things, the Bible should be what we eat most of because the more we take in God’s Word, the more it will change us and come out of us in how we speak and how we live.
Hopefully, you’ve caught on by now that Revelation is a book filled with imagery that contains valuable truths. Such is the case for Revelation 10. However, the imagery in this chapter is intricate and requires in-depth explanations, which Pastor Steve provided in his sermon from Sunday. For this post though, we’re only going to look specifically at the image found in Revelation 10:9–11.
“So I went to the angel and told him to give me the small scroll. ‘Yes, take it and eat it,’ he said. ‘It will be sweet as honey in your mouth, but it will turn sour in your stomach!’ So I took the small scroll from the hand of the angel, and I ate it! It was sweet in my mouth, but when I swallowed it, it turned sour in my stomach. Then I was told, You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages, and kings.’”
Here, the small scroll handed to John by an angel was likely the remainder of the book of Revelation. So, what he accepted, ate, and absorbed wasn’t just any book—it was the Word of God. This realization makes this passage interesting in a couple of ways.
The first is that we see when John eats the scroll, it is sweet in his mouth but then sour in his stomach. Without reading too far into this, it seems that what is to come in Revelation has a bittersweet aspect to it. The sweetness likely comes from knowing Christ is coming again and that all things will be made new. The bitterness probably comes from John realizing that more judgement is still to come. While wrath is the result of God’s beautiful holiness, it’s still sad that judgement is necessary. When reading the Bible, we should mourn that we live in a fallen world while also rejoicing in the hope the Gospel makes possible.
A basic understanding of the human body leads us to infer that after John eats the little scroll, he will then absorb the little scroll. Elsewhere in Scripture we see that we too, as Christians, are meant to absorb the Bible. Psalm 119:15–16 shows that we should meditate on the Word of God.
“I will study your commandments
and reflect on your ways.
I will delight in your decrees
and not forget your word.”
We should prioritize reading Scripture and taking in God’s truth. But, we can’t stop there. It’s frighteningly possible to read Scripture on a daily basis and not let it change you. That is why we must meditate on God’s Word and fully absorb it. The Bible isn’t meant to be treated like a self-help book or a textbook. It’s meant to be revered and pondered upon as the living Word of God that is “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16–17).
So, don’t distance yourself from Revelation, or any book of the Bible for that matter, simply because its uncomfortable, bittersweet, or hard to read at times. Take in Scripture. Trust that God gave us these books for a reason. Absorb the truths. Let them change you.
If you are what you eat, then let us feast on the Word of God and let it make us more like Him.