Can These Bones Live?

Ezekiel 37:1-3: “The hand of the Lord was on 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, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”

This chapter of Ezekiel in its literal context is referring to the nation of Israel that would be scattered among the nations but eventually regathered back to its land. The times we live in have witnessed that happening as Israel has become a nation again, against all odds and opposition from hell itself. This has truly been a great miracle of our time. It reminds us God is still a miracle-working God. When all seems hopeless, when human strength fails, when man’s ability apart from God’s power is out of the question, when all has seemed to be lost and is dead; that is often when God begins to do his greatest works, giving life to the dead and calling that which is not as though it were (Romans 4:16-25)!

One of the cries of Paul the apostles heart was to “know…the power of his resurrection” (Philippians 3:10). He also prayed for the Ephesian believers that they would “know…his incomparably great power for us who believe.” He went on to state: “That power is like the working of his mighty strength which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at the right hand in heavenly realms far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.” (Ephesians 2:19-23). That is serious power!!! What a staggering reality that the same power that raised Christ from the dead…lives within us as God’s people!!!

What in your life appears “dead?” What promises, what desires, what dreams, what hopes, what prayers, what situations, what visions has the Lord given that seem hopeless now?

Imagine being Ezekiel. The hand of God was on him. The Spirit of God brought him to and set him right in the middle of a hopeless and “dead” situation. He led him to the middle of a valley and all that was around was a bunch of old dead, dry, utterly dry bones. And God made him walk back and forth among these bones. Ezekiel was the only living thing in that valley and God made sure he was well aware of that fact! What a discouraging, depressing, utterly despairing feeling that must have been!

Yet there in that hopeless place of dryness and deadness God challenges Ezekiel’s faith. He asks him this question: “Son of man, can these bones live?” All Ezekiel can say is this: “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.” Notice Ezekiel didn’t say: “Of course they can! Give me enough time and I will revive them!” On the other hand, Ezekiel didn’t say: “Lord, there is no way and no hope.” He simply said, “Lord you alone know.”

If you read on in that chapter God begins to tell Ezekiel to “prophesy” (to speak) to the bones the promises of God. And God’s word was that they would live again! His promise was that He was going to bring them to life again. Ezekiel obeyed God’s instructions and begin to speak over these bones. And as he did, God began to do what only He can do, the bones began to come together and tendons and flesh began to appear on them and skin began to cover them. Yet still they were “without life.”

God then instructed Ezekiel to “prophesy to the breath” (to call upon the Holy Spirit to breathe life into the bones). And as he did they “came to life and stood up on their feet-a vast army.” (Ezekiel 37:4-10).

There are so many situations in Scripture that appeared hopeless. There are impossible situations we come up against in life. Sarah was barren and past the age of having a child; yet God had promised them descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and sand on the seashore! (Genesis 15). Hannah was also barren and year after year provoked and tormented in her spirit (1 Samuel 1). Mary was a virgin (Luke 1). Jesus was crucified and buried in a grave.

But then! God’s resurrection power was displayed! Sarah gave birth to a son. Hannah conceived. Mary was found with child by the power of the Holy Spirit! And Jesus rose from the dead on the third day! Apart from Him we can do nothing…but with Him nothing is impossible for the one who believes! (Luke 1:37).

Sometimes we need to reach a place where we turn to God and God alone. Where we cry out to Him and Him alone. Where we begin to say “enough is enough” and we begin to “speak” over the “dry bones.”

God is a life-giving God! A wonder-working, miracle working, God! Our very salvation is evidence and testimony of that reality. The same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead, also resides in us! Let’s believe God to “bring to life” and “breath life” into the situations, dreams, desires, visions etc., that he has placed on our hearts but may seem “dead” and “dried up.” He can do it. And He will do it in His timing as we trust in Him!

Romans 4:18-25: “Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.  He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.”

 

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