As we learned last time, the Lord expects Ezekiel to eat this scroll of judgement. Since this is in a vision, he probably didn’t physically eat anything, especially as doing so allowed him to speak the words on the scroll to the people. However, I am a little curious what it looked and felt like to him. Did it shrink so he could fit it all in one bite, or did he have to chew it? Once he does eat it, he tells us that it tasted as sweet as honey. This is clearly a similar passage to Revelation 10, where John also receives a scroll to eat, which gives him the authority to speak prophecy to the world. John’s scroll is also sweet in his mouth, but is bitter in his stomach. I believe the sweetness represents the ease with which he can speak the words. It feels good to obey the Lord, and though the words are of lamentation and woe, Ezekiel is rewarded for saying them.
Again the Lord reiterates that Ezekiel is to speak the words to Israel, his own people. He already knows the language and the culture, but if he was sent to a different people, they would listen more easily than the stubborn Israelites. He then makes a play on Ezekiel’s name by saying that Ezekiel’s face and forehead will be stronger and harder than Israel’s. In Hebrew, Ezekiel means “God makes strong, hardens”. Therefore, he is to be more stubborn than they in preaching God’s word to them, whether they listen or not.
With this, Ezekiel is dismissed, but before the vision ends, he hears the mighty voice of God’s throne and the beings that make it up blessing God’s glory. Get this: the sound of the wings of the living creatures brushing against each other formed the words, as did the sound of the wheels. God’s glory is so majestic that incidental sounds praise Him.
Ezekiel is carried away by the Spirit back to the Chebar canal, in “bitterness in the heat of my spirit”. That’s probably the same bittereness John felt after he ate his scroll. He is so overwhelmed by his experience that he sits and processes it for seven days.
Worthy are You to be praised by all that You have created, in heaven, on earth, and under the earth.