The Living Word:
The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”
Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”
So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.
Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’” So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.
The Word In Motion:
A valley dry bones. A valley full of death and despair. Bones scattered around like carnage in a battle. Bones exposed to the sun. They were dry, bleached, and broken. A forlorn and hopeless sight.
But how does this story relate to us? This is a story of redemption and restoration.
The world is like a valley of dry bones, ugly in its despair and wickedness. Helpless in its confusion and sin. Sin causes death. All sin, there is no differentiation. Sin separates us from God. The soul separated from God can not live. It is death.
Yet, Christ has come to give “New Life”. He comes to us in our most degraded, desolate, despairing condition and brings life. REDEMPTION.
So here are these dry bones, scattered all about the plain, insensitive to everything. They lie unaffected by any occurrence nor do they initiate any movement.
God brings Ezekiel to the valley and shows him the dry bones.
You see God has called Ezekiel to preach God's truth and redemption to an obstinate and stubborn people. These people have turned from their God. They have compromised their belief. They are worshipping idols, worldly pleasures, till they are in a place of despair and discouragement. All, that made them a distinct people is gone. Tithes, worship, temple worship, priesthood, Passover celebration, scriptures, All has disappeared, forgotten. They are fast becoming, in language, habits and occupations like the world around them. They have turned away from God and his promises and are reaping the punishment for this. Even the ones that have remained faithful to God are sinking into despair. There is only death.The sense of right is dead, heavenly inspirations are dead, hope is dead, all that is left is despair and death. These people that have been God's chosen are now a forlorn and hopeless nation. As if dead but not buried.
“Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.”
You see sin reduces us to a place of dry bones.
It separates from God - in thought and life and it leads us to a place of selfishness. When sin has done its worst - we find ourselves down to the abyss, in such a state of helplessness and spiritual death that all recovery seems impossible. As impossible as a mass of dry bones being raised to life.
God asks Ezekiel, "Son Of Man? Can these bones live?"
Ezekiel sees the despairing sight and the desolation. He doesn't see carcasses. He sees scattered bones, dry brittle bones. bleached by the sun. Vultures and scavengers have picked the bones clean, torn them apart and left them scattered. They have been at work among them ruthlessly tearing them apart, pulling, picking, mixing them up. A scene of hopeless, confusion and despair. As he looks at the bones and he starts to see the parallel that God is revealing to him. He has heard the despair of the people. He has felt their obstinacy. He has experienced their stubbornness. He has seen there hopelessness. So He answers the Lords question not out of his experience with the people, but with the faith he has in the Lord.
"Lord, Only You Know!"
He speaks out of faith, realising that all things impossible to man are possible to God.
God tells Ezekiel speak to the bones..“Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”
The bones begin to come together. The ground shakes, the bones rattle, they come together, sinews are restored, blood, skin, muscle. Till they are men standing.
God says “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’”
So Ezekiel spoke as God commanded and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army. A living army.
Life only comes by God’s spirit!
In His hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind. Job 12:10
A restoration such as this, in order for it to be real, must be accompanied by a new heart, a new endeavor and new obedience. We must turn away from the world, repent of our sin, and develop a new devotion to God.
You see God has a divine purpose. He intends to exercise his divine power on our behalf. That which is dead is made alive in Christ. He revives us and gives us new life.
A resurrected life
God does hear the cry of the hopeless. God sees and understands our low estate. He stoops down to save us. God will not desert us, however low our condition and in whatever sense we may be hopeless, we can count on his grace and mercy. We can depend on His gracious and timely help.
He can make these bones live again and breathe new life into our souls.
Breathe on Me, O God!
I will put my spirit in you and you will live! John 3:8