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. 2 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. 3 He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”
I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know. ” – Ezekiel 37:1-3
Can these bones live? Good question. This was what God asked Ezekiel the prophet and he answered very wisely: “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.” There are so many people around us who are suffering spiritually because they are living separated from the Source of life, God Himself.
Sometimes we may come across an old friend who is so spiritually malnourished that we just ask ourselves quietly: “Can these bones live again?” We see a rebellious child going down a dangerous path in life and that question pops us again. We see a woman who is bitter from her divorce and is hell-bent on hating all men because of her experience and we ask ourselves the same question again. We come across a young man who has lost a loved one and is now disillusioned with God’s decision to sit by and allow this tragedy occur in his life and we’re forced to ask that very same question again.
Time and time again, we come across dry bones in our lives and we wonder if they will ever live again. If you find yourself in such a predicament then I want to offer you a word of hope today. God is willing and able to restore those dry bones to life. We start by remembering our very own transformation. In my case, I lived the first 25 years of my life as a bag of dry bones. I thought I was happy and fulfilled but I was empty and spiritually dead until God gave me new life and revived my dry bones. It looked impossible at the time but God has His way of reaching us when no one else can.
We return to the scriptures in Ezekiel 37:4-10 to find out what happened after the prophet answered God’s question.
Again He said to me, Prophesy to these bones and say to them, O you dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.
5 Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath and spirit to enter you, and you shall live;
6 And I will lay sinews upon you and bring up flesh upon you and cover you with skin, and I will put breath and spirit in you, and you [dry bones] shall live; and you shall know, understand, and realize that I am the Lord [the Sovereign Ruler, Who calls forth loyalty and obedient service].
7 So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a [thundering] noise and behold, a shaking and trembling and a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone.
8 And I looked and behold, there were sinews upon [the bones] and flesh came upon them and skin covered them over, but there was no breath or spirit in them.
9 Then said He to me, Prophesy to the breath and spirit, son of man, and say to the breath and spirit, Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath and spirit, and breathe upon these slain that they may live.
10 So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath and spirit came into [the bones], and they lived and stood up upon their feet, an exceedingly great host.
Every person you encounter who is still a bag of dry bones has to potential to come back to life by the Spirit of God. The only difference between me and an unrepentant sinner is the grace of God so I do not boast in my self-effort. Rather, that truth should sink into our hearts and humble us even more. We should pray for every bag of dry bones we encounter and prophesy life into their situation as prompted by the Spirit of God.
If God could do it for you and I then He can certainly do it for anyone else in our lives. Don’t despair over that parent or sibling or friend. God is able to bring them back to life by His Spirit.
- The Valley of Dry Bones (instrument-rated-theology.com)
- Ezekiel 37:1-14 “D’em Bones” JUMC 20120527.0900 (mysundaysermons.com)