Though the trumpets of battle are blown, no soldiers are ready and able to answer the call. Though sword, famine, and pestilence kills a great multitude, a few survivors may escape to the mountains. There they will mourn over their lot, throwing away their gold and silver because they cannot use it to sate their hunger. This section probably refers to the silver and gold used to make idols or self-aggrandizing decorations. The Lord is making them detest the things He detests because of the wicked things they have done with such things. Instead of just being left on the side of the road, robbers and invaders will take away these religious items and profane them, making them doubly worthless in the eyes of the Israelites.
Not only will the idolatrous items be profaned, but also the Lord’s own temple. He will let even His earthly dwelling place be handed over to those who do not fear Him as a judgement on the people who should have revered Him. Because of God’s blessing on Israel with His covenant, His presence, and His help in battle on numerous occasions, Israel and Judah had come to take their safety for granted. In particular, it was common for people to think Jerusalem could never fall because God’s temple was there. However, more powerful than that idea are the curses God promised to His people if they did not follow the commands and statutes He had given to them.
Both the city and the country was full of violence. The people sought prophetic visions while the priests didn’t teach the law. Therefore everyone will be full of despair and terror because of what the Lord does to them. And then they will know who the Lord is.
Help us to learn these lessons through studying history and not having to experience them for ourselves.