The destruction that has come, as described in the previous verse, is explained here, as to why that destruction has come. With a dual meaning, this verse describes the symptoms of man’s failure, and the results of that failure, with respect to the spiritual life.
Highways laying and waste, refer to both, literal highways where there was once heavy traffic and active commerce. And, it refers to spiritual highways, which describe the interaction man has with God within a functional spiritual life.
When the spiritual life ceases, then the traffic, so to speak, between man and God, becomes like empty highways, carrying no traffic, no blessing, no spiritual commerce, as it were.
When man fails in the spiritual life, the carnal or physical life here on earth soon follows in failure.
Thus, commerce, economies, the normal way of life, grinds to a halt.
When the spiritual life fails, then the regard for life, fades away. We can see examples of this in some religions, or even political movements, wherein there is no regard for life or property.
Covenants, or contracts with life, namely regarding right and wrong, and so forth, are broken. People cease to have an interest in their responsibilities and obligations of life. They pursue instead, the drives of the sin nature, which has a total disregard for life, and the total disregard for the rights of other people, looking to self, with only selfish interests.
And when society is saturated with this type of attitude, then destruction, even massive destruction, soon follows.