God does on occasion “personify” the land, giving it traits of life!
Ezekiel is asked to do that, in a way.
“And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face toward the MOUNTAINS of Israel, and prophesy (preach) 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 ….” Ezekiel 6:1-3
Maybe one more example, of the dozens in Scripture, the land here being “sick” … “The land is defiled: therefore I (the Lord) do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself VOMITETH OUT her inhabitants.” Leviticus 18:25
In both the above situations the land is being vested with life in order to respond to some element in that awful thing called sin. The Ezekiel 6 Text (the mountains, hills, rivers and valleys) … the sin of idol worship specifically!
Jerusalem is about to be destroyed, by an invasion from Babylon!
Again I ask … Why?
Let’s allow the Lord to answer.
“Mountains … 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. And I will lay the dead carcases of the children of Israel before their IDOLS; and I will scatter your bones round about your ALTARS. In all your dwellingplaces 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.” Ezekiel 6:3-7, idol worship! Vile and repulsive!
The land “suffering,” (mass destruction, death) because of the detestable sins of its people, its inhabitants!
I’m now even wondering if extended draught, raging fires, earthquakes and volcanoes, tornados, hurricanes, floods and the like … might be further manifestations of God’s displeasure on a land, on the wrongdoing of its citizenry?
I don’t always KNOW this, just thinking out loud.
Sin does bring judgment, that I do know.
But, wait a second.
What’s God’s “goal” in this devastation?
The last clause in verse 7 above hints at the whole issue: “And ye shall know that I am the LORD.” The people have forgotten!
In fact, this clause or ones nearly identical occur 4 times in here Ezekiel chapter 6!
In verses 7 and 10 and 13 and 14!
God, jealously (though righteously) defending His Name … against a plethora of false idols! ” … and they shall know that I am the LORD.
This string of words occurs dozens and dozens of times in Ezekiel!
God has Ezekiel put “sound” to the movements of the coming destruction! “Thus saith the Lord GOD; SMITE with thine hand, and STAMP with thy foot, and SAY, Alas for all the evil abominations of the house of Israel! for they shall fall by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence.” Verse 11
Ezekiel, stomp you feet, sounding like approaching footmen, infantrymen, archers … armies!
Ezekiel, clap your hands, mimicking the sound of clashing swords, cutting into human flesh, killing My people who have so turned against Me!
Ezekiel, loudly cry “Alas,” meaning … “It’s settled, woe is on the way! Nothing can stop it now!”
Untold numbers of dead bodies, slain at the very places where they so loved to sin. “Then shall ye know that I am the LORD, when their slain men shall be among their idols round about their altars, upon every high hill, in all the tops of the mountains, and under every green tree, and under every thick oak, the place where they did offer sweet savour to all their idols.” Verse 13, quite graphic!
Numbers 32:23 in action: “Behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out.”
What a sobering Lesson today!
Does it have any applicability to the other God-rejecting Nations of the world?
Like the United States of America?
I strongly suspect so.
Let’s today … worship our lovely Lord, spurn anything that detracts from Him, and pray for this wicked world in which we live.
— Dr. Mike Bagwell
Preaching to the mountains!
As a young boy, no more than eleven or twelve years of age, I remember “play” preaching to the June Apple Tree near Grandmother Green’s house! I yelled out the “plan of salvation” pleaded for the lost to be born again … railed against sin … under the “cover” of that huge beloved vegetation. I did!
Little (back then) did I know that Ezekiel had beat me to it … preaching to creation, to nature!
I am amazed.