“And he said to me, ‘Son of man, can these bones live?’ And I answered, ‘O Lord God, you know.'”
Do you find yourself drowning in your present circumstances? Is your marriage in trouble? Are you children struggling? Are you trying to live up to the world’s expectations? Are you filled with anxiety, hopelessness, or maybe even guilt? Take a moment and read Ezekiel 37-39.
We pick up this passage during the time when a portion of Judah (the Southern kingdom during the time of the divided kingdom) had been taken into exile to Babylon, along with Judah’s real king. In place the Babylonians put a puppet king on the throne in Jerusalem. Ezekiel was one of the exiles in Babylon and he was prophesying to the fellow captives. Imagine that you are a captive in a foreign land, you’ve lost your home, been displaced, and expected to live as your capturers. Your homeland has been corrupted and invaded. Circumstances seem pretty grim at this point. This vision we find in chapter 37 is an explanation of chapter 36:26-27. God had promised a complete spiritual renewal in his people and chapter 37 is the vision of that very thing.
As the Lord led Ezekiel over to the valley of bones which seemed to be the aftermath of a large army God asked him this question. Ezekiel was wise enough to know that despite human impossibility that the bones could never live he was not presumptuous to assume the Lord’s will. God’s people had lost hope. Experiencing the exile they believed Israel to be dead and they no longer believed in God’s promised restoration. They allowed their present circumstances to outweigh God’s promised future. But as Ezekiel prophesies to the bones to “hear” the word of the Lord, and for “breath” to enter the risen bodies, he witnesses a resurrection of God’s people. Present circumstances don’t hold a light to the power and promise of God being able and faithful to resurrect his people. Take note that first Ezekiel prophesies for them to hear and the army comes together and rises but they are still dead. Then he turns to the work of the spirit to fill with breath the lungs. It is only after the spirit fills the bodies with breath that they live once again.
Even though the subject of the passage is the nation of Israel there is application for our lives today. As you share the word of the Lord in your workplace and homes you are fulfilling the command of Jesus to share his good news. But, remember that we are to rely on the Spirit to bring salvation and eternal life and we ask earnestly in prayer for the Spirit to move in the lives of unbelievers.
Pray this: Jesus, giver of life and restorer of our soul, we thank you for your continued love and faithfulness. Thank you for keeping your promises. I ask you that if there are any women who are reading this that are in need of being renewed that you would awaken their hearts and revive them. Give them the endurance to go on and a renewed dedication to you. Provide people around them to give encouragement and to show your love. Let us believe so strongly in the power of the gospel to bring dead hearts to life that we can’t help but talk about you.