Now the Lord gives Ezekiel a condemnation against the mountains of Israel. The mountains, or “high places” were often the sites of altars and shrines, sometimes to the Lord, in spite of His prohibition against them, but oftentimes to the gods of Canaan or the surrounding nations. The idea is that if you are higher up on the mountain, you are closer to heaven, and your sacrifices are quicker to be noticed. After suffering them for Israel’s entire history, the Lord declares that He is going to destroy all of these idolatrous sites. The people who prayed there and sacrificed to the idols will be killed and left there at the altars. The rocks and statues will be shown to have no power before the Lord God. The gods the people relied upon have no power to protect themselves, much less their worshippers.
Despite this desolation, a few people will survive and be scattered abroad into other nations. They will escape the sword and plagues that fall on Judah and will tell of the calamity that God has visited upon them. They will tell how their “whoring” (v. 9) after other gods has broken the Lord’s heart. It is no coincidence that idolatry and adultery are such similar words. God’s covenant with Israel is very much like the covenant of marriage. God faithfully loves and protects His chosen people for centuries, but they continually spurn Him by following after idols that cannot save, even literally whoring themselves by employing temple prostitutes to curry the favor of the gods of rain and harvest. As they become refugees, the Lord says the Israelites will realize how vile they have been and that the curses that God has pronounced on them is completely justified.
Help us understand the depths of our sin, so that we can appreciate the immensity of Your love for us that lets You forgive us before we were even born.