36:24–32. The means God will use to show His holiness are explained in these verses. He will first restore the nation physically: He will gather her from all the countries and bring her back into her own land (v. 24). Headlining God’s future program will be the restored nation of Israel.
However, Israel’s restoration will be more than physical. God promised, I will sprinkle clean water on you and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. This did not refer to water baptism. In Old Testament times sprinkling or washing with water pictured cleansing from ceremonial defilement (cf. Lev. 15:21–22; Num. 19:17–19). Since Israel’s sin was like the ceremonial impurity of menstruation (Ezek. 36:17) her cleansing was now compared to the ceremonial act of purification. The point is that God will purify Israel from her sins. This cleansing will be followed by the impartation of new life. God will give the converted nation a new heart and … a new spirit. In place of a heart of stone He will give Israel a heart of flesh (cf. 11:19). With God’s Spirit indwelling them (cf. 37:14), they will be motivated to obey His decrees and laws (cf. 37:24). God’s restoration will not simply be an undoing of Israel’s sin to bring her to a state of neutrality. Rather it will involve the positive implanting of a new nature in Israel’s people that will make them righteous. Jeremiah called this work of God the “New Covenant” (cf. comments on Jer. 31:31–33).
Implanting God’s Spirit in believing Israelites will produce a new relationship between Israel and her God: You will be My people, and I will be your God (cf. Ezek. 11:20; 14:11; 37:23, 27). God will extend all His graciousness to His people. Being delivered from their sin, they will experience the bountiful provision of the land including grain … fruit, and crops (cf. 34:27) without famine (cf. 34:29).
When Israel reflects on God’s grace and her former character (her evil ways and wicked deeds), she will realize she does not deserve His favor. In fact she will loathe herself because of her detestable practices, looking back in horror at them. The blackness of her past actions will contrast starkly with the light of God’s grace. In the future, when Israel recalls her past actions, she will recognize that God had not saved her because of her merit. God will be doing this not for her sake, but to magnify His own name.
Dyer, C. H. (1985). Ezekiel. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 1, pp. 1297–1298). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.