Summary: God is able to restore dead and dried up bones. He is also able to give hope to the hopeless. He is the giver of life.
A graveyard of dry bones
Ezekiel chapter 37:1-14
Turn to Ezekiel chapter 37:1-14. Old Testament between Lamentations and Daniel. I want to talk to you about the dry bones of Israel. Before you think you know where I am going with this, I hope you will keep an open mind. I want you to realize something this morning. There is hope for the hopeless. Hopeless situations have hope when God is involved. Noone or no Nation is hopeless who’s hope is in God.
Illustration- (sermoncentral) The devil was having a yard sale, and all his tools were marked with different prices. There was hatred, jealousy, deceit, lying, and pride...all expensive prices. But over to the side of the yard on display was a tool more obviously worn than any other tool. The tool was labeled discouragement. When questioned the devil said, it is more useful than any other tool. When I can’t bring down my victims with the rest of these tools, I can use discouragement, because so few people realize that it belongs to me. Satan is never happier than when he sees people giving in and giving up to despair and becoming lost in hopelessness. Have you ever felt like your whole world is caving in around you and there is absolutely no hope. Your troubles seem to mount up, there is hope for the hopeless. Situations sometimes look pretty bad.
If ever there is a time that we need a breakthrough, I think it is right now If ever there was a time that we need a word from the Lord, it is now
A couple weeks ago, this Nation was faced again with a decision to make. The national day of prayer which was started with roots all the way back to George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, a federal judge last week attempted to declare it unconstitutional. The truth of the matter is this.. Weather or not this nation has an official day of prayer or not- no judge or critic can stop believers from praying. “Ask of me, and I will make the nation your heritage” Psalm 2:8. Memorial day this Monday is to remember the ones that have sacrificed for what we have. We remember them We acknowledge them. I am believing as bad as situations appear- that God is able to take a nation walking in darkness and can cause it to walk in the light of God. Because we serve a big God
Ezekiel chapter 37:1-14- you should be there by now.
King Josiah (Godly King) repairs the temple. Rediscovers the book of the law that Israel had ignored. He removed all the idols from the temples. He ran out prostitutes and pagan priest and there was a time of renewal.
King Josiah was killed in battle- his son Eliakim is put on the throne. He was ruthless and evil. He undid everything that his father had done. Raised taxes, pursued other gods, killed the prophet Uriah and imprisoned Jeremiah.
Makes a pack with King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, but after 3 years rebels against him and is defeated and all the leaders, fighting men, the rich and their resources are deported to Babylon. Judah remained independent nation, but all of it’s leaders were exiled and one of those exiled is Ezekiel. That was a discouraging time for the people of God. Sound familiar? Sounds like today. Godly people seem to be replaced with ruthless people. It seems like God ‘s people are handcuffed to things that they don’t want to do. (V1) “The hand of the Lord was upon me and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of the valley.” The Lord by a vision or a dream set Ezekiel right in the middle of a valley. Dismal place. Full of human bones dried up in the desert. Apparently an army had been defeated there. Buzzards had done their job. Sun bleached the bones. Perhaps Ezekiel is looking at the bones of his own countrymen who lost their lives. The symbolism is clear. Israel is dead- as dead as dry bones. The exiled people are without hope. They are cut off from God. “Our bones dried up and our hope us gone; we are cut off” 37:11. As Ezekiel surveys this- God has a question for him. “Son of man, can these bones live? Hebrew answer was no Bones are dried up, marrow is gone, no tendons left, there chipped and cracked, broken, picked clean to the bone. But the answer Ezekiel gives is different O sovereign Lord, you alone know ” Ezekiel knows the power of God transcends the power of the grave. He remembers Elijah raised the widows dead son. He remembers Elisha raised the Shunamite’s women son. Then God told Ezekiel to do something bigger than himself. Prophecy to these bones. Ezekiel basically said to God- I don’t know if these bones can live, but with you anything is possible. I tried to picture God telling me from the pulpit to preach to dead bones. God , you have got to be kidding me I feel like sometimes there dry bones, but at least they have skin on them. But as he preached, amazing things began to happen. (V7) “So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them” He prophesied as he was commanded- he didn’t look at it through his eyes. He saw it through God’s eyes, and God began to rattle some old bones. He put together skeletons that had been broken.