Biblical Text: Ezekiel 37:1-10
This is one of the most familiar texts in the Black Church. Pastors and preachers across the country have preached and re-preached from this chosen text. So there isn’t much else we can teach you on the subject of Ezekiel and the dry bones, right? WRONG.
I’m sure you’re already familiar with the historical setting, but let me paint the picture for a refresher. At this time in history, both Israel and Judah were ruined politically, Assyria had scattered Israel, and Judah had been captured by Babylon. Just the way you remembered it, right?
Both Isaiah and Jeremiah predicted a return from captivity, but Ezekiel’s vision takes us further…beyond the years of captivity to a time when the dead nation would come alive again. In the vision, Ezekiel saw many dry bones in the open valley. Imagine bones bleached white by the burning sun, lying right where the unfortunate solider had succumbed to the intensity of the dessert climate. It was the picture of utter defeat, with the bones of armies drying and unburied. What a vivid description of the Jewish people at this time in their history. But through the power of God’s Word, the bones were reassembled to form men; and through the power of the Holy Spirit in the form of the wind, life was breathed into them once again!
Ezekiel’s vision reveals the future revival of the Jewish nation when men will be brought up out of the graves of the Gentile nations where they have been scattered. From a political standpoint, this took place on May 14, 1948, when the modern nation of Israel entered into the family of nations again. Of course, the Jews remain spiritually dead; but one day when Christ returns, the nation of Israel will be reborn in a day and be saved.
Now, I know that all you bible scholars knew all this already, and I thank you for allowing me to rehash the familiar, but here’s an observation that might cause you to sit up and take notice.
Just as we see the destructive force of sin in the vision of Isaiah, we see deterioration in our homes and churches because of the neglect of God’s truth.
For instance: Where do children get their sense of values?
1 When you give your child a dime for the offering plate and a dollar for cokes, candy, ice cream, etc., you are revealing your sense of values to your child.
2 When you insist that your child do his public school homework, but complain if the church sends home some Bible reading and memory work, you are showing your sense of values to your child.
3 When you stay home to putter around the house instead of going to Sunday School and Church, you are showing your sense of values to your child.
4 When you put sports and pleasure events ahead of your duties and responsibilities to the church, you are showing your sense of values to your child.
5 When you allow your child to stay up late and watch TV, or stay out late for sports or pleasure event, but never encourage, no! …REQUIRE them to attend youth meetings at the church, you are showing your sense of values to your child.