"Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.Ezekiel 36:26(NASB)
Israel's heart had become rebellious, idolatrous and hardened against God. Despite breaking the conditions of their first covenant with Him, nevertheless, the Lord promised to make a new covenant with them. This time it was to be an UN-conditional covenant, where the Lord promised to give them a new heart of flesh, instead of a heart of stone, and a spirit of grace - through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit of life and love.
The entire human race had become sodden in sin. Man's nature was infected with selfishness and degenerate desires. The entire population, was filled with pride and boastfulness. All humanity had a propensity towards arrogance, disobedience, ungratefulness and godlessness.
But the Lord in His grace, promised to give them a new heart. He promised to purify their heart and cleanse their inner soul, through the spilt blood of a sinless Mediator. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you, was God's promise to His people, and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh, and give you a heart of flesh. God was to remove the rock-hard, heart of stone.. and replace it with a heart that is sensitive to the Lord and responsive to His word.
This wonderful promise to humanity was to come through the nation of Israel. It was to be fulfilled in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ - such that all who trust in Him, as their perfect, sinless, kinsman Redeemer, are beneficiaries of this gracious promise, which includes a renewed heart and an enlightened mind - with godly understanding and right judgements - and this would come through the power of God's own Holy Spirit.
The, cold hard, impenetrable heart of the unregenerate man, with its self-centred passion and unyielding opinions, was to be renewed and replaced with a clean heart of flesh, in which the Holy Spirit of God Himself was to dwell. The eternal God of the universe was to dwell in the heart of the man who lives by faith and to reign there as King, in sovereign power. The human heart, which had become so infected with sin, was to be changed and cleansed, so as to become a holy habitation for the God of gods and King of kings.
The Lord promised to sprinkle clean water on them and cleanse them of all their filthiness and idolatry. He pledged to bring them back to the land, which He had promised to their forefathers. And he pledged to multiply the fruit on the tree, the produce of the fields and to fill their granaries to overflowing. He told them that one day they would recognise their faults, repent of their sins and deeply regret their foolish ways. Moreover, He pledged that in that day - I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your body of flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
This wonderful promise was cut at Calvary and is fulfilled in the life of ALL who trust in the Lord Jesus Chris, as the Saviour of their soul and the Mediator for their sins. The total fulfilment of this prophecy will be fully and finally completed, when the regathered, repentant and regenerated, nation of Israel will unite their national voice, to call on Christ for Salvation. On that day they will recognise the One Whom they pierced.. and weep for Him as one weeps for an only son.
But for those of us who have already trusted Him for our Salvation, during this post-cross dispensation of grace - we have already had our heart renewed and our consciences cleansed, through the eternal Spirit, Who has taken up permanent residence within our heart and soul - and Who willingly offered Himself, without blemish to God - for our sake.
Heavenly Father, You are a good and gracious God, long-suffering and tender-hearted towards all Your children. Thank You for Your faithfulness towards Israel - Your chosen nation. Your never-failing promises to them is such a reassurance, for it demonstrates that Your gracious patience and loving-kindness towards me is equally sure - for You are the same yesterday, today and forever. Thank You that I am part of the body of Christ and that You have told us the end from the beginning, and thank You that all Your promises are 'Yes' and 'Amen' in Christ Jesus my Saviour. Teach me Your ways and keep me from straying from the path of holiness. I praise and thank You that in Christ, I have a cleansed heart, and that by Your amazing grace I have the indwelling Holy Spirit of life, to guide me into all truth - this I pray in Jesus name I pray. AMEN.