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Read Ezekiel 6

Doom for the Mountains of Israel

The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, set your face against the mountains of Israel; prophesy against them and say: ‘You mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Sovereign Lord. This is what the Sovereign Lord says to the mountains and hills, to the ravines and valleys: I am about to bring a sword against you, and I will destroy your high places. Your altars will be demolished and your incense altars will be smashed; and I will slay your people in front of your idols. I will lay the dead bodies of the Israelites in front of their idols, and I will scatter your bones around your altars. Wherever you live, the towns will be laid waste and the high places demolished, so that your altars will be laid waste and devastated, your idols smashed and ruined, your incense altars broken down, and what you have made wiped out. Your people will fall slain among you, and you will know that I am the Lord.

“‘But I will spare some, for some of you will escape the sword when you are scattered among the lands and nations. Then in the nations where they have been carried captive, those who escape will remember me—how I have been grieved by their adulterous hearts, which have turned away from me, and by their eyes, which have lusted after their idols. They will loathe themselves for the evil they have done and for all their detestable practices. 10 And they will know that I am the Lord; I did not threaten in vain to bring this calamity on them.

11 “‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Strike your hands together and stamp your feet and cry out “Alas!” because of all the wicked and detestable practices of the people of Israel, for they will fall by the sword, famine and plague. 12 One who is far away will die of the plague, and one who is near will fall by the sword, and anyone who survives and is spared will die of famine. So will I pour out my wrath on them. 13 And they will know that I am the Lord, when their people lie slain among their idolsaround their altars, on every high hill and on all the mountaintops, under every spreading tree and every leafy oak—places where they offered fragrant incense to all their idols. 14 And I will stretch out my hand against them and make the land a desolate waste from the desert to Diblah—wherever they live. Then they will know that I am the Lord.’”

Go Deeper

Ezekiel, God’s prophet to Israel, is now speaking the Lord’s message of judgment to Israel addressing the mountains and hills, ravines, and valleys. Destruction will come to these places that were established to worship false gods in a direct affront to and rejection of the one true God. Ezekiel explains that this desolation, demolition, and death to idol worship and its worshippers is so that “you will know I am the Lord.” God’s purpose is to restore the people to their proper relationship with Him. In this chapter alone, this purpose is stated four times, “then they will know that I am the Lord.” Ezekiel repeats this message from God over 60 times in this book. 

Reading this chapter gives us a glimpse into the heart of God. He is holy and just and must address rebellion, false worship, injustice, and wickedness. The warnings prophesied by Ezekiel also reveal His purpose to draw His people back to Him and to recognize that He alone is the Lord. His mercy and grace are exposed as Ezekiel speaks of God’s sparing a remnant from the sword who will then remember that God is the Lord. 

Notice the description of God’s grief over the unfaithful adulterous hearts of His people. Their sin of rejecting Him and pursuing false gods broke His heart. Centuries earlier, God spoke these heartfelt words in Deuteronomy 5:29, “Oh that their hearts would be inclined to fear Me and keep all My commands always, so that it might go well with them and their children forever!” This remnant scattered, yet spared, will repent of their “loathsome” practices as they recall that He alone is the Lord and that when He speaks, He does not speak in vain.  

As difficult as it is to think of the devastating judgment prophesied by Ezekiel, there are significant truths about God that should prompt our praise, worship, and gratitude. He is the one true God and He alone is worthy of our worship. His words are trustworthy and certain. He is perfectly just and immeasurably merciful. He is the God who cares, who grieves over us. Our sin breaks His heart, just as the Israelites’ sin did. The good news is Jesus suffered the punishment on the cross for our rebellious, detestable sins. The penalty we deserve was endured by Christ. God’s perfect justice was satisfied because of Jesus’ sacrifice for us. Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, we know that He alone is the Lord!


  1. How have you been reminded that God alone is the Lord?
  2. How does knowing that God’s heart can be broken by your sin influence your view of God?
  3. How have you grieved the heart of God? Would you take a moment to admit this to Him and repent? If this is an ongoing struggle, ask your Life Group to walk with you as you seek to repent and experience God’s mercy.

A Quote

Ralph Alexander writes in Everyman’s Bible Commentary these helpful thoughts:

“In every generation God’s judgment and discipline is misunderstood by most people. God’s chief desire is to bring people to Himself or back to Himself. When mankind willfully refuses to turn to Him, God mercifully uses discipline and judgment to cause people to recognize that He is the only true God, always faithful to what He has said in His word.”

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3 thoughts on “Ezekiel 6”

  1. What will it take for us today to acknowledge and live out “that he alone is Lord”? War, famine and disease were vehicles of God’s judgement for those who ignored biblical principles and turned away from God. We may not travel up to the mountains to worship idols, but rest assured we have idols that are just as repulsive to God as in Ezekiel’s day. Money, power, possessions, prestige, comfort, to name a few can steal our allegiance to God, taking us down a dangerous path. The tricky thing is that all of these are accepted in our culture as noteworthy and innocent desires. They are applauded and celebrated as the pinnacles of success. Galatians 6:7-8 sums it up this way, “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” Choose wisely!

  2. This theme of God’s, merciful discipline toward us, to bring us back to him, makes me think specifically of Galatians in the New Testament:
    “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”
    ‭‭Galatians‬ ‭6‬:‭7‬-‭8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

    This truth from God’s word lived itself out in my life, when at age 50, after all of the years of sowing to my flesh (my pride, arrogance, my identity in my work, my idol of pleasing man before God – to protect the idol of my image… Yeah, the list goes on and on) brought destruction, (marriage, headed towards divorce, work, and financial collapse) which found me crying out for God’s mercy… Which he gave! Hallelujah.

    It’s a long, long story which simply proves the truth of God’s word… Especially the truth about his mercy, reconciliation and restoration for those who repent and run back to him.

    We will be married 40 years next February!

  3. Getting out of my own head. What God has done so many times over, for little ole me, is unfathomable. God has been asking me to get rid of some of these idols and slowly I have removed some. Definitely a work in progress BUT GOD keeps giving mercy and grace with that Hesed love all mixed in . This chapter just makes me, with my journey, want to continue with and increasing my pace of, getting rid of, more completely, of said idols and not letting them come sneakily creeping back in. I want these words ” Then they will know that I am the Lord.’” to mean happy dance time. God is so good and has given me chance after chance but also tools to make this happen with more completeness through Regen.
    If you are struggling with anything! It doesn’t have to be just “certain struggles” but like pleasing people. (doing for someone even when you really do not want to but being afraid of their rejection). Regen is an amazing place and way that helps you journey through this life and struggles with a handy dandy tool box. Plus you can do it over and over if you need more help. I will come with you any time just ask.

    God thank You for helping me get back on my feet. Thank You for helping me get out of my head and into Your heart. My job here is to love Your people. But also my job is Love You GOD with all my heart soul, mind and strength first!! I want my everyday practical life to be a reflection of You. Thank You for helping me bring every thought captive so that I am turning back and into You for all steps, ways and actions for this day, minute by minute in Jesus name amen.

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