Dry Bones Aren’t Hopeless.
Temporary views cause us to be myopic. When we are dry and hopeless, God reminds us of an eternal view where His hope is endless. God restores and redeems what seems dead and lifeless. Ezekiel 37 has always been one of my favorite scenes in the Bible. A valley of dry bones . . . dead people . . . an army of people brought back to life because of the breath of God.
God Breathes Life Where Death Overcame Us.
“5 This is what the Lord God says to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you will live. 6 I will put tendons on you, make flesh grow on you, and cover you with skin. I will put breath in you so that you come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.”
7 So I prophesied as I had been commanded. While I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 As I looked, tendons appeared on them, flesh grew, and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them. 9 He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath,[a] prophesy, son of man. Say to it: This is what the Lord God says: Breath, come from the four winds and breathe into these slain so that they may live!” 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me; the breath entered them, and they came to life and stood on their feet, a vast army.”
Dry Bones Can Live Again.
These dry bones represented the nation of Israel. God was not through with Israel yet. He brings us all from death to life.
“11 Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Look how they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope has perished; we are cut off.’ 12 Therefore, prophesy and say to them, ‘This is what the Lord God says: I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them, my people, and lead you into the land of Israel. 13 You will know that I am the Lord, my people, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. 14 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 am the Lord. I have spoken, and I will do it. This is the declaration of the Lord.’”
God is our Defender
In Ezekiel 38-39 we see the final defeat of Israel’s enemies. We learn about Gog and Magog. Gotquestions.org says that:
Gog and Magog are referred to in Ezekiel 38-39 and in Revelation 20:7-8. While these two instances carry the same names, a close study of Scripture clearly demonstrates they do not refer to the same people and events. In Ezekiel’s prophecy, Gog will be the leader of a great army that attacks the land of Israel. Gog is described as “of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal” (Ezekiel 38:2-3).
Dry Bones Aren’t Hopeless—They Can Be Restored.
God is a restorer. His punishment of Israel was to bring His people to repentance so he could restore them to Himself. God wants a relationship with His people.
We see this in Ezekiel 39:21-29
21 “I will display my glory among the nations, and all the nations will see the judgment I have executed and the hand I have laid on them. 22 From that day forward the house of Israel will know that I am the Lord their God. 23 And the nations will know that the house of Israel went into exile on account of their iniquity, because they dealt unfaithfully with me. Therefore, I hid my face from them and handed them over to their enemies, so that they all fell by the sword. 24 I dealt with them according to their uncleanness and transgressions, and I hid my face from them.
God will Restore.
25 “So this is what the Lord God says: Now I will restore the fortunes of Jacob and have compassion on the whole house of Israel, and I will be jealous for my holy name. 26 They will feel remorse for their disgrace and all the unfaithfulness they committed against me, when they live securely in their land with no one to frighten them. 27 When I bring them back from the peoples and gather them from the countries of their enemies, I will demonstrate my holiness through them in the sight of many nations. 28 They will know that I am the Lord their God when I regather them to their own land after having exiled them among the nations. I will leave none of them behind.[h] 29 I will no longer hide my face from them, for I will pour out my Spirit on the house of Israel.” This is the declaration of the Lord God.”
Scripture of the Day: Ezekiel 39:28
“Then my people will know that I am the Lord their God, because I sent them away to exile and brought them home again. I will leave none of my people behind.”
What will it take for us to know that God is LORD? Discipline from God is so our hearts will turn back to God. Sometimes man’s rebellious heart gets hardened toward God instead. But those who confess and renounce their sins and surrender to Christ’s Lordship are restored.
Dry Bones Aren’t Hopeless—We Have a Future
Ezekiel 40-48 according to the easy English bible commentary:
“The purpose of these 9 chapters is to give hope to the Israelites. They were in exile in Babylon. But the Lord spoke to them about the future of Israel. The Israelites will live in the land that God promised to Abraham (Genesis 15:18). Then the Lord will take away their sin. They will be his special people. They will be loyal to him and he will be their God.
There will be a new temple in Jerusalem. The glory of the Lord God will fill that temple. There will be sacrifices for worship in that temple. There will be priests who serve in the temple. The people will live in the whole land that God promised to Abraham. Each of the 12 tribes will have a share of that land. There will be shares of the land for the prince, the priests and the city of Jerusalem.”
Dry Bones Can Live Again.
We are like the Israelites. We were dead like those lifeless bones in the valley. God breathed salvation into our souls and now we live again. But let this salvation be more than a one-time occurrence. We don’t want to drift away like the Israelites did, and then had to be exiled or punished to return to God.
How about you? What is your story of redemption and restoration? We need to remember what God has done to keep us in a right relationship with Him. God has sent prophets and His Holy Spirit to open our eyes.
We don’t have to be dry and hopeless. Life’s circumstances don’t determine our joy or our hope. God does. And God’s desire is to redeem, restore and revive us.
7-Fold One-Year Bible Reading Plan
Day #192: Ezekiel 37-42
Scripture of the Day: Ezekiel 39:28
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