We'll be studying this morning from the book of Ezekiel, chapter 37. We aren't going to be studying about a horror movie. Yet, the vision that comes to mind is one similar to such a move. But, there is nothing to be afraid of.
- Ezekiel 37:1-14
Ezekiel is a prophet of God. Sometimes, different prophets are known for various things. Jeremiah is known as the weeping prophet because of Israel's impending disaster. Ezekiel may be called the peculiar prophet because God calls him to prophesy concerning peculiar things that God calls him to do.
In this vision of dry bones, this valley of dry bones, we see bones coming to life. We see bones, from time to time, and we immediately associate them with death. Here in this vision, we can hopefully, associate it with life at least spiritually speaking.
This vision take place during the time that Judah had been carried away into Babylonian exile. It is a prophecy of the restoration of Judah to the land of Canaan. It was fulfilled in the days of Nehemiah and Ezra.
The Vision of Dry Bones
- Ezekiel 37:1-10
Imagine a battlefield. Similar to the Custer battlefield, where they've excavated and found where at the time of the loss of a battle, the corpses were left to rot. Imagine a battlefield like that, where Ezekiel came to a valley and discovered many dry bones.
These aren't from a recent death. You can tell the difference between an old death and a recent one. These bones were dry, they had been dead for a long time.
- Valley Dry of Bones - Vs. 1-2
- Can these bones live? - Vs. 3
- Command to Prophesy - Vs. 4-6
- The Bones Reassemble - Vs. 7-8
- Prophecy to the Wind - Vs. 9
- The Bones Live Again - Vs. 10
When these bones were to come together, Ezekiel would know, without a doubt that the LORD God was speaking. Only, God, the Creator could make dry bones come to life again.
The Dry Bones Explained
Here we see this vision of a great valley full of bones. The bones stood up, were covered in flesh, and came to life.
- Ezekiel 37:11-14
The nation of Judah has been in captivity for 70 years. Remember, the other tribes, the Northern Kingdom of Israel, were all carried into captivity. They now are going to come out as one nation. They would come together as one and be brought out of the captivity. For those of the Assyrian exile, it had been hundreds of years. For those of the Babylonian exile, it had been seventy years. They had begun to give up hope. They felt that they would never return.
- Current Captivity - Vs. 11
- Future Restoration - Vs. 12
- God’s Hand Revealed - Vs. 13-14
- God’s Word Fulfilled - Ezra 1:1-4
God would restore them and bring them out of their proverbial grave. God would bring them out of this captivity, alive, to be returned to their land.
When this happens, this prophecy would show that God was behind it. The people could not have done this on their own. They would know His power, His love, and His law.
- Ezra 1:1-4
God had said that they would return and history reveals that they did return.
When the Persians conquered the Babylonians, Cyrus began changing things and allowed the people to go home to their own land. This was a guaranteed restoration that God was proclaiming. The prophecy tells us that they would return home. And history tells us they did, returned home, rebuilt the temple and the city walls, and never again turned to idols.
We see a great restoration. These bones were dead, dried, for 70 years, and they came to life. The vision is a picture of life. They would come out of captivity to life again. It was a great promise for the children of Israel.
The Vision of Dry Bones: What it Means for Us Today
This vision has nothing to do directly with our life today. It was concerning the nation of Judah in the 4th century BC. But there are some lessons we can learn from it for our lives today.
Spiritually, sometimes we see ourselves as dry bones in a valley. If you are outside of Christ there is no life, no hope, no future.
- Because of Sin. - Ephesians 2:12-13
Even in sin, it leaves us dead, scorched in the dry land, in the desert. Yet, through the blood of Jesus Christ, we can be restored to spiritual life again. Sin can leave us as dried bones in a valley. Sin can leave us as dried bones in a valley.
Other times, we may be in a valley of sorrow. We may feel alone, and depressed like the world has overtaken us. David found himself in a similar situation.
- Depression - Psalm 51:8-12
Sometimes we become depressed spiritually speaking. It may be because we aren't studying our Bible as we should. It may be that we come to worship, but our heart is not engaged. We are going through the motions and don't have the desire. It could be that our prayers have grown cold. Our faith is weak, and perhaps feel that praying is useless. It may be that we've lost the passion to grow closer to the Lord, to work on the Christian graces, and to tell others about Christ.
We may feel depressed spiritually speaking. We may feel like those dry bones in the valley.
There is always power for revival with God and His Word. If we want a rekindling of our faith, as David cried out for. We must recognize the need for revival.
If we want to live with the passion of God we have to recognize that we need revival. We need to recognize the state in which we are living. Those who are sinners must recognize their sin, and learn to mourn.
- Recognize the Need - Matthew 5:3-6; James 4:8
If we want to live with the passion of God we have to mourn over our sin. We need to recognize that we need revival. The lost need to recognize that they are lost. The weak need to recognize their weakness. The sinner needs to recognize their sin.
If we want hope of our lives being restored we must learn to trust in the Lord.
- Recognize Self as Lost - Proverbs 3:5-8
When we find ourselves in the valley of scorched and dry bones we need to ask ourselves can these bones can live again. Yes! We can let God’s Word rekindle the fire in our souls.
- Psalm 19:7
- Psalm 119:49-50
- Ezekiel 37:7
God's Word has the power to revive our lives. There is hope for those experiencing depression?
We're to not give up! Those bones can live again if we don't give up if we recognize that our work is worth it.
- Galatians 6:9
- 2 Thessalonians 3:13
There is power to be restored. The power is in God. Ezekiel was told to prophesy the Word of God and when he did the bones came to life. Ezekiel didn't raise the people from the dead, that was God's Word. Ezekiel spoke but the power was in the Word of God. God's Word has the power to change things.
We're to preach the Word because it is the power of God.
- Romans 1:16
- Hebrews 4:12
The Word of God is powerful, active, and alive. There is power in preaching the Word of God. Preaching the Word of God is not foolish as the world thinks.
- 1 Corinthians 1:21
Preaching the Word of God will accomplish God’s purpose.
- Isaiah 55:9-11
There is power in the Word, it is in God, it is God's Word that revives us spiritually. There may be times when we feel we are in a hopeless situation. Like those in captivity in Babylon, we may feel like we are hopeless. But, like God restored them to life He can restore us to life spiritually speaking as well. God's power can move people to inspire them to do His will.
In the congregation, we may feel like we are dry and scorched bones in a valley. We may feel as if we are a dead or dying congregation. But notice, in the book of Revelation the Lord offers words of comfort and encouragement to the living dead church at Sardis.
- Revelation 3:1-6
Even though we may be spiritually dead, as individuals, God can revive us spiritually through His Word. We can overcome the things of the world and put can walk with Him in white raiment. But, only if we become a child of God, only if we put on Christ in the watery grave of baptism to have our sins washed away and be added to His church. Then, we can be guaranteed of our salvation. Then, we can walk with Him in white.
If you haven't obeyed the gospel of Jesus Christ, or as a Christian who hasn't been walking faithfully, you can be brought into a right relationship with Christ. If we can assist you to come out of a valley of dry bones finding purpose in life, please contact us.
Photo by Chelms Varthoumlien on Unsplash