The elders went to Ezekiel to inquire of God. I haven’t looked it up, but I feel like “and they went to prophet to inquire” is something that is said when the bad things start happening, and the Faithlife Study Bible agrees that God “allowed them to inquire of him primarily to give them a chance to repent.”
God isn’t having it this time. He recounts a brief history of the many times the Israelites broke the covenant and faced judgment just to break the covenant again almost as soon as they were restored. He’s done. There is no restoration to be made, no repentance to be accepted. It is time for judgment. God is not entertaining any inquiries at this time.
There’s very much a “who do you think you are?” feel to “Shall I be inquired of by you?”
There’s very much the feel that God doesn’t recognize any sort of submission in their approach, that they are almost summoning him for answers.
God is indignant here. There is offense in the very suggestion that maybe this could still be worked out.
They sacrificed children.
God is, once again, making it very clear that what they have done is so extremely abhorrent that the pronounced judgment is the only answer, the only way forward. This is the only way they will know that he is Lord. To feel his wrath.
They had their chance for a warm relationship with God. They had multiple chances to recognize their bad choices and make better ones. And, just like when I move to put my child in time out it is too late for him to obey and avoid trouble, it is too late for the elders to ask “What can we do to make it right?”
Pay attention to the Spirit in your life. Listen for the whispers of conviction, because if you ignore them, over and over, eventually you will reach a point you can’t come back from. God doesn’t want to punish anyone. So let the Spirit guide your heart while you can.