The mountains of Israel were important because they were the high places of Israel’s pride and belonged to God’s people.
Therefore, the enemy was eyeing them, in order to conquer them, vs 2, and they were indeed able to do so, only on account of the rebellion of God’s people, vs 17, because of which God was left with no option but to punish and scatter them, vs 18,19!
Nevertheless, for the sake of the glory of His Name, vs 20-23,32; and on account of the taunts of Israel’s enemies, vs 3-6, God was determined to restore Israel’s lost glory and bring back to their land, vs 7,24, all those who humbled themselves under God’s disciplining hand and still had faith enough to call on His Name and ask Him to do the impossible for them, vs 37.
He promised to sprinkle them with pure water and cleanse them from all their impurities and idolatory, to save them and ensure that they would not experience famine, vs 25,29,30; and give them a new heart, and a new spirit within them, vs 26, such that they would obey His statutes and carefully observe His regulations, vs 27, on being ashamed of their past backslidings, vs 31.
Then they would live in the land and they would be His people, and He would be their God, vs 28! As a result, the ruins would be rebuilt, cities populated, vs 38, and the desolate land would be ploughed to become like the garden of Eden, and thus the Nations around would know that this was indeed the Lord’s doing, vs 33-36!
However, it is interesting to note that God also asked Ezekiel to prophesy about what was God’s will for the mountains of Israel was, vs 1,16, even before He could restore the same, such that they became a place from where showers of blessing flowed to His people. Thus we observe that a desolation can be redeemed, if there is a remnant who dares to seek God in faith by asking Him to do so for them, and God also desires that there will be those who will prophesy His will concerning those places of desolation and barrenness.
What was Ezekiel expected to prophesy with regards to the mountains, even while they were still desolate? He was supposed to tell them to grow their branches and bear their fruit, vs 8, for God was on their side; and would turn to them, such that they would be plowed and planted, vs 9, their people multiplied, their cities populated and the ruins rebuilt. He was to prophesy that God was determined to do more good for them than they had experienced at the beginning, vs 10,11!
No longer would the mountains bereave them of their children, vs 12,13,14, and no longer would God subject them to the nations’ insults; or to bear the shame of the peoples, vs 15! What a wonderful hope indeed!
And this is available for each one who willingly and honestly turns from their rebellious ways and seeks God in faith to bring about this seemingly glorious and impossible change, as well as prophesy God’s perfect will into their hopeless situations! Let us delay no longer, but do as told, being assured that there will indeed be a fulfilment of what the Lord has promised to us in this chapter. Amen.