Verse 1 – “And you, son of man, prophesy to the mountains of Israel, and say, ‘O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord!
Verse 2 – ‘Thus says the Lord God: ‘Because the enemy has said of you, ‘Aha! The ancient heights have become our possession,’ ” ‘
Verse 3 – “therefore prophesy, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Because they made you desolate and swallowed you up on every side, so that you became the possession of the rest of the nations, and you are taken up by the lips of talkers and slandered by the people” –
Verse 4 – ‘therefore, O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord God! Thus says the Lord God to the mountains, the hills the rivers, the valleys, the desolate wastes, and the cities that have been forsaken, which became plunder and mockery to the rest of the nations all around –
“The ancient heights” refers to the promise land – the land of Israel. Israel’s enemies challenged not only Israel’s boundaries but also God’s promises to Israel. We can still see this challenge today. Israel has been constantly attacked from the beginning in order to wipe them out and take their land. The land that Israel occupies has and always will be theirs, God will see to it!
Verse 5 – ‘therefore thus says the Lord God: “Surely I have spoken in My burning jealousy against the rest of the nations and against Edom, who gave My land to themselves as a possession, with whole-hearted joy and spiteful minds, in order to plunder its open country.” ‘
If you noticed in this verse, God said, “My land.” In Genesis 12:1-3, God is telling Abraham to get out of his own country because He’s going to take him to a land where God will make him a great nation. That land belongs to Israel and God also said, “I will curse him who curses you.” When other surrounding nations have the destruction of Israel in their hearts, God will destroy them.
Verse 6 – “Therefore prophesy concerning the land of Israel, and say to the mountains, the hills, the rivers, and the valleys, ‘Thus says the Lord God: ‘Behold, I have spoken in My jealousy and My fury, because you have borne the shame of the nations.”
Verse 7 – ‘Therefore thus says the Lord God: “I have lifted My hand in an oath that surely the nations that are around you shall bear their own shame.
If God protected Israel so ferociously back them, do you not think He will do the same today?
Verse 8 – “But you, O mountains of Israel, you shall shoot forth your branches and yield your fruit to My people Israel, for they are bout to come.
The time is near when the people would come out of captivity from Babylon and settle back in their land. This encouraged God’s people when Ezekiel spoke these words, there was hope.
Verse 9 – “For indeed I am for you, and I will turn to you, and you shall be tilled and sown.
This is in the relationship of the Covenant of blessings followed by obedience to the Mosaic law. The land will be literally cultivated again and God will be at peace with His people.
Verse 10 – “I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, all of it; and the cities shall be inhabited and the ruins rebuilt.
Verse 11 – “I will multiply upon you man and beast; and they shall increase and bear young; I will make you inhabited as in former times, and do better for you than at your beginnings. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.
God also says that the latter house shall be greater than the former in Haggai 2:9. Look at Job 42:12 – Now the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning, for he had… He ended up with double of what he had started with. When we as Christians or Jews, go through loses, keep trusting and keep believing, God will turn it all around to blessings we can’t even imagine. He’s a good God and always wants the best for those who believe.
Verse 12 – “Yes, I will cause men to walk on you, (the land), My people Israel, they shall take possession of you, and you shall be their inheritance; no more shall you bereave them of their children.”
God is still speaking directly to the land in which He gave Israel.
Verse 13 – ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Because they say to you, ‘You devour men and bereave your nation of children,’
Verse 14 – “therefore you shall devour men no more, nor bereave your nation anymore,” says the Lord God.
God says, “I will bless thee, O land, that thou shall bring forth many sons and daughters, and this reproach shall cease for ever.
Verse 15 – “Nor will I let you hear the taunts of the nations anymore, nor bear the reproach of the peoples anymore, nor shall you cause your nation to stumble anymore,” says the Lord God.’ ”
This blessing is yet to be fulfilled because Israel is still taunted today by other nations. However, there is a day coming when our precious King sets up His Kingdom and no more will there be people who bring war against God’s chosen ones.
Verse 16 – Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying,
Verse 17 – “Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their land, they defiled it by their own ways and deeds; to Me their way was like the uncleanness of a woman in her customary impurity.
Verse 18 – “Therefore I poured out My fury on them for the blood they had shed on the land, and for the idols with which they had defiled it.
Verse 19 – “So I scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed throughout the countries; I judged them according to their ways and their deeds.
Verse 20 – “When they came to the nations, wherever they went, they profaned My holy name – when they said of them, ‘These are the people of the Lord, and yet they have gone out of His land.’
Even though God expelled His people from the promised land for the purpose of chastening, their exile reflected unfavorable upon God among foreign nations. The other nations believed that if a people were forced from their land by conquest, famine, disease, etc., it was a sign that their God was not strong enough to protect or care for them. So in essence, they had profaned His very character and reputation. Kind of like when others see a professing Christian act in a way they know is not “Christian like.”
Verse 21 – “But I had concern for My holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations wherever they went.
Verse 22 – “Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for My holy name’s sake, which you have profaned among the nations wherever you went.
Verse 23 – “And I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am the Lord,” says the Lord God,” when I am hallowed in you before their eyes.
Do you know that this is the very reason why Moses and Aaron did not go into the promise land? Numbers 20:12 – then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe Me, to hallow Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.”
So in order for God to protect His holy name, as He did after Moses, He allowed a remnant to return to their land. His people had the responsibility of representing Him properly to the world. We should ask ourselves, “How is my ambassadorship representing God’s kingdom?”
Verse 24 – “For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land.
Verse 25 – “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.
This figurative language is based on water purification practices when the priest threw water on persons or objects to cleanse them of impurity. The great flood was used to remove the impurities and wickedness from the earth that had been caused by man. In the New Covenant, Christs’ blood cleanses us from all unrighteousness – washed in the blood.
Verse 26 – “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
A new heart – God will change our affections and passions to the point of wanting what is of Him. A new spirit – He will renew our minds, enlighten our understanding, correct our judgments, and refine our will. A heart of flesh – one that can feel, enjoy, feel love towards God and to others, and be a proper habitation for the Living God – “born again.”
Verse 27 -“I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.
When people receive God’s Holy Spirit, it enables them to follow decrees and keep His laws. No matter how hard we try to do everything right, its impossible without the Holy Spirit living and directing us, on the inside.
Verse 28 – “Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God.
Verse 29 – “I will deliver you from your uncleanness. I will call for the grain and multiply it, and bring no famine upon you.
I will call for the grain and multiply it – God causes all things to multiply in the earth by not allowing any more famine.
Verse 30 – “And I will multiply the fruit of your trees and the increase of your fields, so that you need never again bear the reproach of famine among the nations.
How amazing that this verse refers to the complete restoration under the Messiah in the end times.
Verse 31 – “Then you will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good; and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight, for your iniquities and your abominations.
After we have been “born-again,” sometimes we look back on our lives and remember just how evil we were. This causes us to loathe, hate, how we acted. Repentance is the driving motivation behind restoration. Romans 2:4 – Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?
Verse 32 – “Not for your sake do I do this,” says the Lord God, “let it be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel!”
God’s people had become so callous that they had lost all sensitivity to their sins. Kind of sounds like our society today where people will lie about something and then say, I miss spoke. A lie is still a lie. These verses tell us what we must do: First remember and acknowledge our sins, then despise them, and then repent. We measure ourselves against God’s standards, not other peoples. Let the Holy Spirit guide you to right and wrong. His Spirit will never contradict the written Word of God.
Verse 33 – ‘Thus says the Lord God: “On the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will also enable you to dwell in the cities, and the ruins shall be rebuilt.
Verse 34 – “The desolate land shall be tilled instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who pass by.
Verse 35 – “So they will say, ‘This land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden; and the wasted, desolate, and ruined cities are now fortified and inhabited.’
Verse 36 – “Then the nations which are left all around you shall know that I, the Lord, have rebuilt the ruin places and planted what was desolate. I, the Lord, have spoken it, and I will do it.”
Has God ever completely restored an area in your life that you thought was completely gone? How about your marriage, your business, a relationship with another, or the relationship with Him. He’s in the restoration business and it pleases Him to do so.
Verse 37 – ‘Thus says the Lord God: “I will also let the house of Israel inquire of Me to do this for them: I will increase their men like a flock.
Verse 38 – “Like a flock offered as holy sacrifices, like the flock at Jerusalem on its feast days, so shall the ruined cities be filled with flocks of men. Then they shall know that I am the Lord.” ‘ ”
All God’s people had to do was ask for His forgiveness and turn towards Him and He would restore them . Same is true now for you and me.