Dry Bones Get New Life

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.’ ” Ezekiel 37:1-14

God communicates great truths of comfort through this vision that he gave to the prophet Ezekiel. Ezekiel sees a valley of very dry bones. God commands him to prophesy (speak God’s Word) to the bones and they came to life. God explains that his people think they have no hope, but the Lord will bring them back from the grave and give them hope and a future in their own land.

The basic truth God communicates? The Lord can bring life from death and give a future to people without hope. The Lord gave his Old Testament people a future and hope. They were hostages in a foreign country. His people had no armies or allies to rescue them. They had no hope. Yet, the Lord rescued them against all odds and brought them back to their motherland.

The Lord still gives his people a future and hope. Some days, though, we feel hopeless. Troubles tear apart our relationships. The doctor tells us the tumor is aggressive cancer. The car breaks down and we have no money to fix it. A flood (or drought) has wiped out all our crops. We have no true friends, no one really likes us. We have no hope.

The Lord can bring life from death and give a future to people without hope. God deals with the foundation of our hopelessness. We have violated God’s holy laws with our thoughts and our words.  Our sins separated us from God, the only source of true love and real hope. Our sins left our soul as dead as dried bones.

The Lord sent his Son to create life in the midst of death. Jesus suffered total separation from God because of our sins. God took out all of his holy anger on Jesus. There is no sin left for God to hold against us. God promises us his love and forgiveness. He promises he holds nothing against us. He promises to be our friend and our Father.

These promises bring life to our spiritually dead soul. They fill us with God’s love and God’s hope that we will live forever in heaven. We have a Friend in heaven. We have a future in heaven. We have a Father who will take care of us here and now by giving us strength and the blessings we need.

Ezekiel’s vision communicates the Lord’s promise to give us life and the sure hope of future glory in heaven – no matter how hopeless our life seems now.

Prayer: Lord, when I feel life is hopeless, remind me of your love and your forgiveness. Remind me of the promises you made to give me eternal life for the sake of Jesus. Amen.

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