The Sovereign Lord says, "And now, all you Israelites, suit yourselves! Go on and serve your idols! But I warn you that after this you will have to obey me and stop dishonoring my holy name by offering gifts to your idols.
There in the land, on my holy mountain, the high mountain of Israel, all you people of Israel will worship me. I will be pleased with you and will expect you to bring me your sacrifices, your best offerings, and your holy gifts.
After I bring you out of the countries where you have been scattered and gather you together, I will accept the sacrifices that you burn, and the nations will see that I am holy.
When I bring you back to Israel, the land that I promised I would give to your ancestors, then you will know that I am the Lord.
Then you will remember all the disgraceful things you did and how you defiled yourselves. You will be disgusted with yourselves because of all the evil things you did.
When I act to protect my honor, you Israelites will know that I am the Lord, because I do not deal with you as your wicked, evil actions deserve." The Sovereign Lord has spoken.
The Lord spoke to me.
"Mortal man," he said, "look toward the south. Speak against the south and prophesy against the forest of the south.
Tell the southern forest to hear what the Sovereign Lord is saying: Look! I am starting a fire, and it will burn up every tree in you, whether green or dry. Nothing will be able to put it out. It will spread from south to north, and everyone will feel the heat of the flames.
They will all see that I, the Lord, set it on fire and that no one can put it out."
But I protested, "Sovereign Lord, don't make me do it! Everyone is already complaining that I always speak in riddles."