1 Then came certain of the elders of Israel unto me, and sat before me.

The elders come to Ezekiel, pretending to seek God, but not with a complete heart for Him alone, which He demands. They served Him superficially, but they had idols of self-will in their hearts, to do with their time and wealth as they wished. Noah, Daniel and Job together - men of outstanding righteousness - couldn't save the land now (v14).

Bro Growcott - Prophecies in the captivity

4 Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them, Thus saith Adonai Yahweh; Every man of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the prophet; I Yahweh will answer him that cometh according to the multitude of his idols;

Idolatry in the heart is a common problem with mankind. It is embedded in our sin nature, and is reflected in self-adulation and self-aggrandizement. There is therefore an urgent need for the Word of Truth which opens the heart and reveals the true state thereof (Heb. 4:12).

The Israelites sought the prophets they desired, and who were prepared to speak "smooth things" (cp. Isa. 30:10), just as an ecclesia normally receives the ministry it secretly wants.