Ezekiel is still addressing the exiles in Babylon and he is prophecying to the future still. This passage is the essence of his theology – what God will do and why.
It starts with a recollection of the past – the people of God were privileged, but had abused that and acted so sinfully that they therefore received judgement from God. Even worse the nations saw that God’s chosen people had failed and been judged.
For the sake of God’s name (v22) God will act.
They were unclean and God will sprinkle fresh water on them making them clean v25
They had been hard hearted and He will give them a new heart v26-27.
It’s all focused on God’s initiative rather than their response in this passage. As God’s people are changed, the land will become like Eden again v35.
Israel’s call to be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation (Exodus 19:6) had failed, but Ezekiel prophecies a new covenant – a kingdom that is not a nation state, but the chosen people (now made up of all the races who follow Jesus). We, who believe and follow Jesus are that new people, who get to be radically transformed on the inside and that affects everything. And it is all for the sake of His name. Hallelujah