It wasn’t only Jeremiah who saw what was coming. Ezekiel also heard God’s plans. Both saw only doom in Jerusalem’s immediate future. Ezekial was handed a scroll, in a vision:
Ezekial 2:10 And I saw that both sides [of the scroll] were covered with funeral songs, words of sorrow, and pronouncements of doom.
We’re all familiar with the concept of eating the Word. Ezekiel was told to do it in this vision:
Ezekial 3:1 Son of man, eat what I am giving you—eat this scroll! Then go and give its message to the people of Israel.
It went further than that. Ezekiel’s experience gives us some insight into how a prophet hears from God and what he should do with it:
Ezekial 3:10-11Son of man, let all my words sink deep into your own heart first. Listen to them carefully for yourself. Then go to your people in exile and say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says!’ Do this whether they listen to you or not.
This takes time. He wasn’t to just hear from God (or eat the words on a scroll) and blurt it all out seconds later. No, this was to involve a much deeper level of processing. And everything moved more slowly in those days—if Ezekiel was told to slow down, what would God be telling our generation?