Before they can live in the land God gave their ancestors, the Israelites must undergo much preparation to receive this blessing from God, before being restored to Him. First, they must be taken from the surrounding nations and brought back into the Promised Land. Then, they must be cleansed from their worship of idols. The peoples’ hearts, their place of volition, must be replaced with a new desire to follow the Lord. They must be filled with God’s own Spirit. Only after all this has taken place is Israel then able to dwell in the place that God has prepared for them. Only then can they be truly God’s people. Only then can God be their God.
This work is very much like the way that God transforms His people today. For in our own lives, we can recall how God brought us out of the surrounding world and into His Kingdom on earth, how He set us apart; how He cleansed us from our sin and unrighteousness; how He gave us a new desire to choose Him in the way that we live, and gave us His own Holy Spirit. We are assured of God’s Promised Land which His Son is preparing for us, because we are His and He is ours. The restoration which God began in Israel continues in its fullness for His followers today. Praise God that He is gracious to not only save, but also transform His people into believers who are truly set apart for Him.