In the Old Testament, Jerusalem is portrayed as the city of God. God place His name there when Solomon dedicated the temple (2 Chronicles 7:16). Jerusalem represented the center and heart of Israel.
Many times, Israel would fall into idolatry. Sometimes the idolatry was so bad that kings even brought idols into the temple. The time preceding the Babylonian captivity tells of idolatry all over Jerusalem.
Many times in Israel's history, good kings came along and would restore worship in Jerusalem but would not take away the high places:
Asa I Kings 15:14
Jehoshaphat I Kings 22:43
Jehoash II Kings 12:3
Amasiah II Kings 14:4
Azariah II Kings 15:4
Jotham II Kings 15:35
Hezekiah came along and destroyed the high places, but his son Manasseh came along and restored the high places. These high places were places of idolatry and abominations before God. The high places were a snare to Israel. No matter how clean Israel got the temple and Jerusalem, when they lifted up their eyes around about the city, they could see high places and eventually fell back into idolatry.
We must clean up no only the temple, which represents the inner man, but also the areas of our daily lives that our eyes behold. The high places in a Christian’s life are those areas that we permit to continue in our lives that will turn our hearts away from God. If we continue to let areas of our daily lives overshadow God, these areas will eventually lead us into captivity just as Israel went into captivity. We must get rid of the high places.