Dry Bones Come to Life
JULY 11 - Nº 192 Ezekiel 24:15-27; 33:21; 37
One day God brought shocking news to Ezekiel. His wife was about to die. Then God gave him a strange command: “You are not to show your grief publicly in any way.” The next morning Ezekiel told some people what God had said, and that evening his wife died. The people around him noticed how strangely unemotional he seemed and asked what was going on. They knew how much he adored her. They wondered if God wanted to use this event to teach them something, just as He had used so many other strange events in Ezekiel’s life. And He did! Ezekiel explained to them, “God is going to suddenly take away the Temple that you boast about with such pride. In the process, the family members you left behind in Judah will die. Just as I cannot mourn my wife’s death, this terrible shock will make you unable to mourn. Your grief will be beyond tears. But through it all, God is sovereign!” God told Ezekiel that He would send a messenger, a fugitive from Judah, to bring him news when Jerusalem and the Temple had finally been destroyed. It wasn’t long before that terrible news arrived. A man who had escaped as the Babylonians broke down the walls of Jerusalem found his way to Babylon. He rushed up to Ezekiel and announced, “The city has fallen!” This tragic message was proof that Ezekiel’s prophecies were true! Not long after that, the Spirit of God took Ezekiel to a valley filled with bones. They were so old and dry that they disintegrated as soon as they were touched. God told Ezekiel to stand among them and say, “Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! I will make breath enter you and you will come to life. I will give you tendons and flesh and cover you with skin. You will come to life and know that I am the Lord.” Ezekiel did what God told him to do. Suddenly he heard a rattling sound as bone by bone the bodies formed. Tendons and flesh appeared. These were covered by skin. Dead bodies were now strewn across the valley. “Prophesy to the breath,” God told him. “Tell it to ride in on the four winds and enter the dead bodies.” The breath obeyed Ezekiel’s command, and the bodies came to life. As they stood to their feet, Ezekiel realized that he was looking at what had once been a large army. God spoke to him again, “Son of man, these bones represent Israel. They say, ‘Our hope is gone. We have no life.’ Tell them, this is what God says: ‘I am going to release you from what you think is your grave. I am going to free you from exile. I will put my Spirit in you, and you will live again in your own land. Then you will know that I am the Lord!’” Ezekiel’s message became one of hope and restoration instead of judgment. God instructed Ezekiel to carve the word ‘Judah’ on one piece of wood and the word ‘Israel’ on another. Then God told him to hold them together in his hand as if they were a single stick. He was to carry them around and tell anyone who asked that one day God was going to bring all the Jews back to the land. Israel and Judah would once again be united under one king. God promised to make a new covenant with His people that would last forever. From then on, they would worship only Him.
“Through it all, God is Sovereign!” This fact helped Ezekiel through a very dark time in his life! He shared it with the grieving Israelites! And through his book, he has passed it on to us. Are you facing difficult circumstances? It is amazing how much accepting this truth can help us through tough times!