“I will restore the fortunes of Judah and the fortunes of Israel, and rebuild them as they were at first. I will cleanse them from all the guilt of their sin against me, and I will forgive all the guilt of their sin and rebellion against me.” (Jeremiah 33:7-8)
The Israelites in Babylon cried out to God: “Rise up; come to our help! Redeem us for the sake of your steadfast love!” (Psalm 44:26)
They were weeping for the loss of their country and the ruin of their beloved city of Jerusalem, which had been God’s special dwelling place. They wanted to return to their land and were longing for peace and prosperity.
But if the Lord had just restored their political freedom, this would not have solved the underlying problem which had led to their exile. For centuries, the people had been unfaithful to their God, and this needed to change. Otherwise, the pattern of disobedience and judgment would just begin again. The people needed a change of heart! And that’s exactly what God gave them. He promised to cleanse them from sin and uncleanness (Jeremiah 33:8), and He offered them a new heart and a new spirit (Ezekiel 36:26). He would put his own Spirit in them, which would enable them to live according to his will.
The people of Israel needed to be cleansed from sin. How is this with you? Is your heart pure before God?