Today: [Ezekiel 37] Can Your Dry Bones Live? In Ezekiel 37 God brings the prophet to a valley of dry bones, representative of the imperiled and lost state of the house of Judah and the house of Israel. Can these dry bones live? This verse not only applies to ancient Israel but to your life as well? Have you given up altogether? Is there no hope? Have you answered the question that God posed to Ezekiel? What happened next in that valley so long ago is a testimony to you regarding your own valley of dry bones that may yet come to resurrection.
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[Eze 37:1-28 KJV] 1 The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which [was] full of bones, 2 And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, [there were] very many in the open valley; and, lo, [they were] very dry. 3 And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest. 4 Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. 5 Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: 6 And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I [am] the LORD. 7 So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. 8 And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but [there was] no breath in them. 9 Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army. 11 Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts. 12 Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. 13 And ye shall know that I [am] the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, 14 And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken [it], and performed [it], saith the LORD.
In chapter 37 we find a dateless prophetic vision that is reminiscent of the first visions of Ezekiel when he described the hand of God picking him up by a lock of his hair and transporting him in the spirit to Jerusalem. In verse 1 we see the prophet carried out in the spirit and set down in a valley of bones. The previous chapter was a prophecy of restoration to the northern and southern kingdoms that by that time were lying in ruins, cities destroyed and their lands completely uninhabited as the king of Babylon had driven all the people out because of repeated rebellions against Chaldean rule. In perspective of the state of affairs in Judah Ezekiel would have seen these bones as the bones of his people, 1000’s of whom were slaughtered by the invading armies of Nebuchadnezzar.
Ezekiel sees the bones as he finds himself set down in their midst and upon examination he sees that they are very dry as having been there quite a long season. They were picked clean because the valley is open to predators and carrion eaters making it plain that death has held sway and there is no hope of restoration to these unfortunate ones whose remains are disjointed and scattered. This was the case in Israel at this time as war has raged on every hand and even when reprieve came it was only occasion for marauding forays of neighboring nations to come in and pick clean the cities and home places of those living wherever they might be found in Judah and in the northern kingdom of Samaria as well. All of it spoke to what seemed to represent the irrevocable destruction of Israel. Hope was lost. No man, no foreign power, no army could restore the people of God to their pastoral lives or the greatness of the kings of the line of David. All was lost. The few that remained were scattered among the nations without any thought of ever being brought again to the land of their birth.
To this the question then comes to Ezekiel from the Father – can these bones live? The answer Ezekiel gives belies the maturity of his years. He has experienced the miraculous hand of God at work among the nations and dare not suggest that there was anything that God could not or would not do.
“Oh Lord God thou knowest…”
Now to be sure, if something was going to change at this late date regarding the destruction of Israel, it was only God that could possibly intervene. Therefore what the Father says next may have come as a surprise to Ezekiel. Throughout all the prophetic words that have been given the modality was always Ezekiel being informed for the purpose of informing the people of what God was going to do, and they and the prophet were only observers to the process. Now in v. 4 Ezekiel is placed not in the position of an observer but as a participator. Ezekiel was looking to see what God would do next and to his surprise God puts an expectation on him to act – to prophesy over these dry bones and command them to live.
Obediently Ezekiel opens his mouth and commands the breath of God to enter into them, and for sinew to once again come upon bone and flesh upon sinew and for this company to stand upright upon its feet. With a great noise and astounding spectacle this is exactly what happened before the shocked and amazed man of God who no doubt stood quaking and shaking at the stupendous miracle that manifested right before his eyes. Upon seeing the army come to life Ezekiel then by the word of the Lord calls for the wind of God to come from the four corners of the earth and this exceeding great army rose up in full glory – the whole house of Israel brought up out of their graves to do the Father’s bidding.
The question for us is this – what is God saying to you in this passage. Remember that no scripture is of private interpretation. You can take this verse and apply it to yourself without any fear of being presumptuous or being misled. Regarding the whole of the Old Testament, including this passage Paul said this:
[1Co 10:11 KJV] 11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
In this vision then you can be assured that God caused it to be written to admonish you and speak to you about those like situations and circumstances that you would compare to this valley of dry bones. It may seem as though all hope is lost. It may seem as though the time is past and even a miracle would not be a practical thing to believe for. But God. What is God telling you to speak to that valley of dry bones? That dream that has cast its young. That hope that seems to have been turned into a dry husk of aching disappointment? Open your mouth and prophesy to those bones of disillusionment scattered in the open valley of your discouragement. You are not going to offend the Father in so doing. He will breath His wind into that situation and the result will be an entire reconfiguration of what you thought tomorrow would look like.
15 The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying, 16 Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and [for] all the house of Israel his companions: 17 And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand. 18 And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not shew us what thou [meanest] by these? 19 Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which [is] in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, [even] with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand. 20 And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes. 21 And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: 22 And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all: 23 Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwellingplaces, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God. 24 And David my servant [shall be] king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them. 25 And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, [even] they, and their children, and their children’s children for ever: and my servant David [shall be] their prince for ever. 26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. 27 My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 28 And the heathen shall know that I the LORD do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore.
After the valley of dry bones God instructs Ezekiel to take two sticks and write “Judah” on one and “Joseph, Ephraim, and Israel” on the other, to represent the 10 tribes. He then joins them together as a word from the Father to the elders in captivity, even at Chebar that the Lord had joined the remaining vestiges of the 10 tribes (most of whom were lost in captivity) to the tribe of Judah that they might be “one stick” in the hand of the Lord. This completely came to pass in the centuries between this and Jesus’ time as few of the northern tribes could even identify what tribe they were part of – and thus chose to join themselves to the tribe of Judah that was instrumental in restoring the city of Jerusalem and Judah 70 years later under the edict of Cyrus.
After centuries of division, brought about by the brutality and unbearable taxation of king Rehoboam, Solomon’s heir, the nation is one nation again as it was in David’s time, prepared, chastised and positioned to receive her king, born in a manger of the line of David, lauded in triumphal entry to the city of Jerusalem, only to be crucified by this very people a short time later. As astounding as this timeline of history is revealed in future tense by Ezekiel and seen in past tense by us, the promise of God is that in the end He will have a people who will defile themselves no more by idols. This is not just to those of Jewish blood. By the time this comes to pass the David referred to will be king Jesus sitting in rulership not just over Jerusalem, but over all the earth with saints grafted in from every nation, resurrected, in glorified bodies ruling and reigning with Him for 1000 years of peace, righteousness and equity.
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