Moreover He said to me, “Son of man, eat what you find; eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel.” So I opened my mouth, and He caused me to eat that scroll.
And He said to me, “Son of man, feed your belly, and fill your stomach with this scroll that I give you.” So I ate, and it was in my mouth like honey in sweetness.
Then He said to me: “Son of man, go to the house of Israel and speak with My words to them. For you are not sent to a people of unfamiliar speech and of hard language, but to the house of Israel, not to many people of unfamiliar speech and of hard language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely, had I sent you to them, they would have listened to you. But the house of Israel will not listen to you, because they will not listen to Me; for all the house of Israel are impudent and hard-hearted. Behold, I have made your face strong against their faces, and your forehead strong against their foreheads. Like adamant stone, harder than flint, I have made your forehead; do not be afraid of them, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they are a rebellious house.”
Moreover He said to me: “Son of man, receive into your heart all My words that I speak to you, and hear with your ears. And go, get to the captives, to the children of your people, and speak to them and tell them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD,’ whether they hear, or whether they refuse.”
Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard behind me a great thunderous voice: “Blessed is the glory of the LORD from His place!” I also heard the noise of the wings of the living creatures that touched one another, and the noise of the wheels beside them, and a great thunderous noise. So the Spirit lifted me up and took me away, and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit; but the hand of the LORD was strong upon me. Then I came to the captives at Tel Abib, who dwelt by the River Chebar; and I sat where they sat, and remained there astonished among them seven days.
“And I sat where they sat; overwhelmed.” Most translations state it this way. Overwhelmed. By the task given? By the vision? By the words of woe, lament and mourning? By the rebelliousness of the people? The scroll itself was sweet like honey but the prophet left that place in bitterness and in the heat of his spirit, translated also as anger. Again the questions come, bitterness and anger, because he had to leave? Part of the hardening process? A result of the words of sorrow?
Sent, filled, given the message to deliver, obedient. And when we are with those to whom we are sent with the Words of God and find they are filled with sorrow, it is best to just sit with them. He did not speak at first, he sat. For seven days. Can we become so sensitive to the place where others are, so in tune in spirit, that we are touched, filled with the emotions and just sit with them, just be? We have a message of hope and there is a time to deliver it, but first we need to be in touch with the spirit and place of those who cross our path. The hand of the Lord was upon him and he began by sitting in their place, absorbing where they were.
“And I sat there overwhelmed among them seven days.”