Ezekiel 37:4-6. 4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. 5 Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. 6 And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord.”
How far gone do you have to be to be “too far gone?”
How about a dead and decayed pile of bones drying out in the desert heat? Is that gone enough to be “too far gone?”
Israel was dispersed, separated, exiled, enslaved, hopeless. They were spiritually dead. Outside the land of promise. Unable to gather and worship in their temple. Without priest or king to guide them. And there was absolutely nothing they could do to save themselves. They were like a pile of dry bones.
But the good news of God is that we are never too far gone. With God, there is always hope. His life giving breath can raise the dead (and the very dead). This is the lesson of God’s very creepy and yet very hopeful vision given to the prophet Ezekiel in the valley of the dry bones.
But this vision isn’t just about the Jews in exile. It’s about us. Every one of us begins our lives as a pile of dry bones. We are born into spiritual exile from God. We are born dead and in need of a spiritual resurrection.
But resurrection is what God does best:
Ezekiel 37:7-10. So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I prophesied, there was a sound, and behold, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone… But there was no breath in them… So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.
Do you feel like a pile of dry bones today? Lifeless? Hopeless? Pointless? Do you feel like you’re in exile? Separated, not only from loved ones, but from God himself. Maybe this quarantine has made you feel overwhelmed with everything you have to do today. Or maybe it has made you feel underwhelmed, without any real purpose or meaning.
Can you hear the word of the Lord today? Can you see the vision of the dry bones?
But what (or who) exactly is this vision pointing us to?
Ezekiel 37:14. And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the Lord.”
The vision of the resurrected dry bones is fulfilled in the giving of the Holy Spirit to us by our faith in Christ – I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live.
Christian, God has breathed his life into your dry bones. He has put his Spirit in you. The Spirit of Christ. When you were just a lifeless, hopeless pile of bones, God gave you the life of his Son, Jesus. You were never too far gone, and you never will be again. The life of Jesus in you is forever at work. Forever resurrecting you. Forever filling your life with his power, and purpose. Now, you are part of an exceedingly great army for God. An army of power through grace. An army that fights by standing still. An army that conquers, by simply trusting and loving. Trusting that Jesus has already conquered every last enemy and that he reigns in victory. And then loving others within the freedom of that victory.
When you’re feeling like a pile of lifeless dry bones, overwhelmed or underwhelmed, hear the word of the Lord. Hear the prophet speak to your heart. Thus says the Lord, I HAVE put my Spirit in you and you ARE alive.
“To live is Christ” means you are never too far gone. Even when you were dead in your trespasses and sins God made you alive in Christ. And God’s same words of life are still quickening you today and every day. Your dry bones are becoming flesh. God is using you wherever you are. His love and grace are ready to flow through you, as you hear and believe his word spoken over you.
Thus says the Lord. Are you listening?
Where do you feel like dry bones today? In being overwhelmed? In being underwhelmed?
You in Christ
In Christ you are never beyond God’s life giving love. It lives in you! How does this empower you today?
Christ in you
How can you be part of God’s great army of grace and love today?
Dry Bones Playlist