Ezekiel Chapter 6:1




Ezekiel 6:1-5, “And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face toward the mountains of Israel, and prophesy against them,  And say, Ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord GOD; Thus saith the Lord GOD to the mountains, and to the hills, to the rivers, and to the valleys; Behold, I, even I, will bring a sword upon you, and I will destroy your high places. And your altars shall be desolate, and your images shall be broken: and I will cast down your slain men before your idols.”


Here in chapter 6 of Ezekiel the first mention of a specific sin to which Israel was guilty and to which God brought judgment is given. And the sin is idolatry.  Of course when we hear the word idolatry what comes first to our minds is probably the word idol and or the image of a little figurine like an elephant man or a Buda statue. A lot can be said about idolatry. But the main thing mentioned in the Old Testament concerning idolatry is the high places. The reason this is mentioned is because high places are the places of sacrifice. At these places the worst and most unspeakable evils were committed including the murder of innocent children. By the time Ezekiel came on the scene God had said that Israel had been sinning it up for 400 years. Here is one example from the O.T. to paint a picture for you of Israel’s society with its idolatry and its high places.


II Chronicles 33:1-6 says,  Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty and five years in Jerusalem: But did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, like unto the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel. For he built again the high places which Hezekiah his father had broken down, and he reared up altars for Baalim, and made groves, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them. Also he built altars in the house of the LORD, whereof the LORD had said, In Jerusalem shall my name be for ever.  And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the LORD.  And he caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom: also he observed times, and used enchantments, and used witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.


Idolatry is in reality any false religion. And sometimes false religion does not even take the guise of religion. It may take the guise of science or entertainment, or technology, or many other things. When we carefully examine idolatry there seems to be a cruel consistency of false religion to demand the taking of human life. It may come in the form of so called holy Jihad, it may come in the force of passing your children through the fire, it may come in the form of other religions which attempt to identify themselves as part of true Christianity, or in cast systems that demand parents kill children who do not marry in such. The conclusion is very simple about idolatry: where there is idolatry there is also extreme legalism and extreme moral liberality. The reason for this is because grace and truth came by Jesus Christ, just as it says in the Gospel of John.  Jesus died for the sins of the world. Therefore no one else needs to make such a sacrifice. The religion of Judaism, that is to say the Old Testament, involved a lot of animal sacrifice, but these sacrifices were only symbolic; symbolic of Jesus who is the Lamb of God.


As we look at society in Ezekiel’s time we could be tempted to say there were many, many more religions than there are today. And in a sense this is true. People worshiped the sun and the moon, they worshiped the seasons, and all kinds of animals and some even worshiped all the host of the heavens. God created the world. God is in control of the world. All things begin and end with God, He is the Alpha and the Omega. God does not change. Over the centuries He has revealed more about Himself: even revealed new names about Himself. He told Moses that He is the “I am.” And of course the most well known name today for the one true living God is Jesus. If we consider these basic principles and the fact that there is only One God who can guide and provide and clean and forgive and bless and bring justice to the world and heal and strengthen and everything else, it’s no wonder it’s a bad idea to rely on anything else for those things.


Verse 6:3 says,  And say, Ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord GOD; Thus saith the Lord GOD to the mountains, and to the hills, to the rivers, and to the valleys; Behold, I, even I, will bring a sword upon you, and I will destroy your high places.” What this verse is emphasizing is how engrained and deeply engrossed in idolatry all the nation of Israel had become. The Bible says in II Corinthians 10:5,Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” The question is what high things and high places might be found in your life? Be sure to look on every mountain top and in every valley and along the banks of every river, or to say it in modern terms; be sure to examine carefully every closet, every TV channel you watch, and every place you hang out. Thus, though it might seem that in Ezekiel’s day idolatry was something more rampant than today such may indeed not be the case. After all do you think of the society in which you live as being a pagan type of society filled with idolaters? Is that how you would describe it? If not then you are wrong. Here is a list of things that is always part of and associated with idolatry, or false religion, whichever you chose to call it: rampant sexual immorality, drug abuse, prejudices including racism and much more, violence, and a total imbalance in the concept that all men are created equal because God is not a respecter of persons. This last one is manifested through governmental laws which oppose the Bible and which attempt to steal away the God-given freedoms of men. Idolatry will have men so twisted in their thinking that a society will give up all of its freedoms, thinking that in doing so they are gaining freedoms. 


If you listen carefully today and if you read the warning signs, you will see there is a spirit of movement in the world more strongly than ever towards idolatry. It’s under the guise of prejudice. This philosophy says “don’t criticize other religions.” It’s part of their culture. If you do then you are a racist, or you are prejudiced. This same philosophy says, “all religions should learn to get along and be unified.”


Ezekiel lived in a society engrossed in idolatry and the end result was not a good result. What kind of society do you live in? To sum up the whole picture of how bad idolatry is, these first verses of Ezekiel simply mention the high places. The farther you stray from the truth and turn away from God the more extreme and destructive will your philosophies on life and therefore your actions become. Some men and nations have turned so far that they cause their own children to pass through the fire.


Verse 6:4 says, And your altars shall be desolate, and your images shall be broken: and I will cast down your slain men before your idols.” Idolatry or false religion always has its end in violence. Such is the power of belief for it is so closely associated with the human will. That is why the Bible even says, “Rebellion is as idolatry.” It seems once a person or a nation gets too engrossed in idolatry and the false teachings and ritualistic and repetitive acts, perhaps they just become too habit forming and the human will becomes too unrepentant. What a contrast to the fate of those who worship the one true living God. These fortunate souls will have eternal life and eternal peace. Therefore the best way to measure how much idolatry is in your life or in a nation is by how often you are doing God’s will or how often you are doing your own will.


Ezekiel 6:5-7, “And I will lay the dead carcasses of the children of Israel before their idols; and I will scatter your bones round about your altars.  In all your dwelling places the cities shall be laid waste, and the high places shall be desolate; that your altars may be laid waste and made desolate, and your idols may be broken and cease, and your images may be cut down, and your works may be abolished. And the slain shall fall in the midst of you, and ye shall know that I am the LORD.” The judgment that God brought to Israel against their high places and because of their idolatry was quite severe. We know from chapter 5 that it is a total judgment. In these verses of Ezekiel chapter 6 what is emphasized is basically capital punishment. Of course, when God decided to take the lives of so many of Israel, He did not do so unjustly. They did have 400 years to repent. God was patient with them. And they deserved to die because of the high places. History will never tell how many little babies cried their last sounds, not in the arms of their mothers, but in the arms of the statues of the god of Moloch as they were burnt alive. All that potential gone to waste, all that opportunity God wants each man to have, prevented: and all because of idolatry. It is no wonder God said the slain men would fall in the midst of them and it is no wonder God said He would scatter their bones because the wicked find no rest in death. It is certainly the greatest of tragedies when the longsuffering of God has passed, the blood of Jesus left to dry on the ground rather than be sprinkled on the altars of men’s hearts. But when judgment comes there is one very good thing that comes of it: verse 7 says that we may know who God is.  Even in judgment there is still opportunity, at least for those who are not cast into hell: the opportunity to know God. “Ye shall know that I am the LORD.” Of course, this verse is mostly directed towards those being judged because even those who follow after idolatry and seek to wipe the knowledge or consciousness of God from their minds or from the minds of their nation, they even they will ultimately find they have failed. It doesn’t matter how logical sounding are the arguments and explanations of the evolutionists and the atheists. It doesn’t matter if they think they control the school systems and the young innocent children that they seek to pass through the fires, philosophically speaking, because when judgment comes God will tear down the high places and Ye shall know that He is the LORD.


Ezekiel 6:8,Yet will I leave a remnant, that ye may have some that shall escape the sword among the nations, when ye shall be scattered through the countries. And they that escape of you shall remember me among the nations whither they shall be carried captives, because I am broken with their whorish heart, which hath departed from me, and with their eyes, which go a whoring after their idols: and they shall lothe themselves for the evils which they have committed in all their abominations. And they shall know that I am the LORD, and that I have not said in vain that I would do this evil unto them.” There are 3 important words to remember in these verses, the words: remember, broken, and know. Many are called but few are chosen. Jesus said in Matthew 7:13-14, “ Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”


Even of the chosen nation of God, Israel, this truth applies: only a remnant. There are 3 forces at work in this world: The will of God, the will of man, and the will of the devil. Of course, God’s will is more powerful than anything. And because of this fact no matter how bad the world gets, no matter how much darkness spreads across the face of the earth, and no matter how much human beings fail again and again, there will always be a remnant because God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. Even of Israel, who according to the book of Ezekiel were worse than all the nations of the world, of them there was a remnant. If you ever feel alone in the world against the forces of evil it’s good to remember that you are not alone because Jesus will never leave you nor forsake you. And it’s also good to remember that you are probably not the last person on earth who is a believer: there are others out there. God does keep a remnant. Humans need other humans. God made the world this way. And there may be no greater comfort for the believer other than knowing these two things: that Jesus will never leave you nor forsake you, and there is a remnant.


God said the remnant would remember. Specifically in this passage God means that those of Israel would remember how God had spared them from judgment and rescued them from their enemies which had come and conquered their nation and taken their freedom and their lives and their families. God gave man the ability to have a memory. Humans all too often forget things, or when they think about the past they think about the wrong things. All too often when people use their memory they don’t use it the right way. We are too quick to remember the wrongs others have done to us, too quick to remember our own failures and too quick to remember the sorrows that we have experienced in life. God of course, is not like this. He is quick to forgive and to forget the wrongs that people do when they seek repentance. Just as the Bible says, “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us” (Psalms 103:12). It is the person who remembers the good things in the past that is often the happiest. God wants those who seek to trust in Him to remember what He does for them. Perhaps it is not even so extreme as to say the memory should be dedicated to remembering all that God has done for you. What has he done? He sent His only begotten Son to die for your sins. If you only remember this and nothing else then you will remember the most important thing. Some of the most important things that God wants us to remember are written down in His Word. This is the reason they are written and recorded in His Word so that we can read them and remember.


The next important word is in verse 9 and it is the word “broken.” Too often when people think of God or wonder who He is they think of Him as a distant being who doesn’t care or doesn’t feel or isn’t involved in what goes on in the world. But when you look at what is going on in the world and you see all the murder, all the child molestation, all the stealing, and lying, and wars, and all the other terrible things that go on just think about what this verse says: God is broken over these things. The word broken is also used in Exodus 32:19 which says, “And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses' anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount.” God is broken over sin. Whenever one of the Ten Commandments is broken God is broken in His heart of eternal love. This is why He sent Jesus to die for the sins of the world. And this is why Jesus judges the world in righteousness and in truth. Have you ever been broken over the wrongs someone has done to you? Have you ever been broken over the wrongs someone you love has done such as your children or your brother or sister or spouse or your neighbor or your friend? Most people when they are broken over the wrongs that others have done to them, they get angry and cry out for justice, and rightly so. What about God? He is broken over sin and He does get angry. Those who want to claim that God is unjust in His anger should remember these things. The important question is: have you ever been broken over your own sins? If so, then remember that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever should believe in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.





Copyright; 2010 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
All Rights Reserved