A New Heart and Spirit

MEMORY VERSE: “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.” —Ezekiel 36:26

EZEKIEL 36:22-32

THERE are many promises in the Bible assuring us that it has been the purpose of God to restore his ancient people to the land which he gave to their fathers. In today’s lesson we have one of these. As a matter of fact, beginning with chapter 36 of Ezekiel and continuing through chapter 39 there is an almost continual unfolding of this important plan of God for his ancient people.

Chapters 38 and 39 in this presentation reveal that in connection with the return of the Israelites to their land there would be much suffering and destruction; that Israel would be attacked by powerful enemies; that in this crucial time God would deliver them. This deliverance, the prophecy shows, would result in the opening of the eyes of Israel’s enemies to behold the glory of the Lord as seen in this display of his power in the protection of his ancient people.

We believe we are living in the time when these promises of God are beginning to have a fulfillment. The Israelites already hold an uneasy possession of part of the Promised Land, and a token number of them have gone there from various parts of the earth to build up its resources under the guidance and hoped for protection of the new State of Israel.

At present those most active in this endeavor seem oblivious to the fact that the God of Israel has a part in what is taking place in that ancient land. For the most part, they are virtually unbelievers so far as the God of Israel is concerned, although there are noble exceptions. However, as we have said, thus far we see only the beginning of the fulfillment of God’s promises on behalf of his ancient people. Before they are completely fulfilled all Israel will be restored. Even the dead will be raised. And of course then the Israelites who enter into these blessings shall have become believers in the true God.

The Lord explained to the Israelites through Ezekiel that he would not restore them to their own land for their sake, “but for mine holy name’s sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen whither ye went.” (vs. 22) The word “heathen” in the Old Testament simply means non-Jews.

And it is true that just as the Israelites were prone to worship false gods and their idols when in their own land, so when they were scattered among the Gentile nations they frequently profaned the name of their God, Jehovah, by joining in the pagan worship practiced by their captors. So God prophesied that when he restored his own people to their land he would sanctify his own name. We quote: “I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them: and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, saith the Lord God, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.”—vs. 23

The Lord promised that when he gathered his people from among the Gentiles he would sprinkle clean water upon them, and give them a new spirit and a heart of flesh. Through the Prophet Jeremiah the Lord said, “After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”—Jer. 31:33,34

The Apostle Paul comments on this: “So all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: for this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.”—Rom. 11:26,27


What does God state as his reason for restoring his typical people to their own land?

When will God take away their sins?

Dawn Bible Students Association
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