God told Ezekiel to prophesy concerning the restoration of Isreal. “But you, O mountains of Israel, shall shoot forth your branches and yield your fruit to my people Israel, for they will soon come home” (Ezekiel 36:8). Ezekiel shared that God was for his people and would turn towards them. God would multiply the people and restore their waste places. He had scattered the people because of their disobedience, but had a plan for their restoration. This was in order to honour his name as the God of heaven.
“And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them. And the nations will know that I am the Lord, declares the Lord God, when through you I vindicate my holiness before their eyes” (Ezekiel 36:23). God’s plan was to gather his people from all the countries where they were and bring them into their own land. He would sprinkle water on them and cleanse them from all their uncleanliness. The major thing that God would do, was to put a new heart within them.
God would remove their hard and stony hearts and replace it with a heart of flesh. He would also place a new spirit within his people and this would cause them to obey his laws. God would cause his people to dwell in the land that he gave to their fathers. “I will make the fruit of the tree and the increase of the field abundant, that you may never again suffer the disgrace of famine among the nations” (Ezekiel 36:30). God’s people would remember the evil works that they had done and turn from their iniquities. The waste and desolate cities would become like that of the garden of Eden.
Hardness of heart causes people to live in sin. Jeremiah once said, “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it” (Jeremiah 17:9)? People require a heart transplant in order to live for God and to do the things of God. Many people struggle to build and maintain healthy relationships, due to the hardness of their hearts. When we allow God into our hearts and minds, he does a transformative work which renews the heart and transforms the mind. Ezekiel actually said that God would remove the cold, callous and stony heart and replace it with a heart of flesh. A heart of flesh is righteous, loving, caring, compassionate and full of hope. A healthy heart makes good relationships possible as God lives in a heart of flesh.