Can These Bones Live?
Loving God, on this Thanksgiving Day I offer You all my thanks. What a wonderful God You are!
Read EZEKIEL 37:1-14
 The hand of the LORD was upon 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, “O 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.  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 from the four winds, O breath, 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.  Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’  Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: O my people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel.  Then you, my people, will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and bring you up from them.  I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD.'” Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhen all this happens, of what will the people be sure?
As Ezekiel and his people languished in exile in a foreign land, it seemed to them that they were as good as dead. Then God gave this vision in which the bones represent “the whole house of Israel” (11). There were many bones and they were very dry. Things didn’t look promising!
However, as Ezekiel speaks to the bones they are covered with tendons, flesh and skin—but they are still not alive (4-8). Next, Ezekiel is told to prophesy to the breath, which then fills the corpses and they come to life (9,10). When God’s Spirit is at work he can bring about miraculous change, sometimes as a stage by stage process.
This prophecy concerns the return of God’s people to the land of Israel (12-14). Jeremiah had prophesied that the people would return after a 70-year exile (Jer. 29:10). Daniel knew what Jeremiah had written and used this as an encouragement to pray (Dan. 9:2,3). And Isaiah had even prophesied that the Persian King Cyrus would be God’s chosen instrument to bring about this restoration (Isa. 44:28; 45:13). God is sovereign. His will is done!
Are you feeling “dry” or spiritually dead? If so, let this passage encourage you to turn to God for new life.
Father, Your Word and Spirit bring me new life and hope. I offer you my “dry bones” for renewal and transformation.