Summary: Ezekiel’s valley of dry bones speak of the future restoration of Israel which is unfolding; let us embrace the restoration offered to us now! Holy Spirit.
Bones of Contention, Ezekiel 37:1-14
Carvosso had seen all his children converted, except one, and burdened with the lost one he sought counsel of a Christian leader, who said: “Why don’t you claim a promise of the Lord?” “I don’t understand you,” he replied. “Well, the Book is full of promises, some bearing right on your case. Seize one of these and throw all your weight upon it until God feels your confidence in heaven.” “I’ll do it,” said the father. They parted, and he looked up, and there came sweeping into his heart the words: “Thou shalt not leave one hoof behind thee” (see Ex. 10:26). It was enough. For ten days he saw no change. On the tenth day, he was plowing near his house when a message came from his wife: “Do come at once, it seems our daughter will die.” He understood it, and when he reached the room he asked: “Daughter, what’s the matter?” She cried in agony: “Oh, father, pray for me; I do believe I am lost.” In a very little time she rested by faith upon the finished work of Christ for salvation, and he said: “Now, daughter, tell me all about it.” “I don’t know anything about it,” said she, “except that Sunday night ten days ago, just before you came home from the meeting, something got hold of my heart that I could not shake off. I have been miserable ever since.” “I know all about it,” said the father; “that very night I claimed the promise made to Israel—that is what has moved you.”
Salvation. The promises of God with regard to the salvation of His people are indeed many. He has promised in Christ to save for eternity all of those who confess His name and place their trust in Him. He has promised to save His Church in the last days prophesied just prior to His return to this world.
He has also promised to save His chosen people; Israel. God is not finished with the physical nation of Israel. In the Bible there is a motif running from cover to cover that God will ultimately restore all of humanity and all of creation to its intended splendor. There is also a theme running alongside that God will hear the cry of Jacob, Israel, and save His chosen people.
There are some who say that all of the promises made to physical Israel, like the one in today’s text, are spiritually fulfilled in the Church. In some cases this is true. Often God’s promise is doubly fulfilled in the Church and in Israel but a plain and honest and literal reading of the text demands division between the two.
God is not finished with His chosen people; He has a specific plan for the Church and a specific plan for the nation of Israel. This morning I want to offer to you a message of splendid hope! I am compelled by a plain reading of the Bible that we are living in days of prophetic biblical fulfillment.
Are we the generation which will see the return of our savior? I make no claims at knowing the answer to that question, as rightly should no Bible teacher. We ought to live every day filled the hope that today might be the day and live those same days doing the work of the kingdom of God as though He will not return for a thousand more years.
Our eternal hope righty fuels our passion for soul-winning, the building of the kingdom on this earth, and genuine Christian discipleship. Prophecies greatest strength is to fuel our hope for the future, not to make us indifferent to today.
In what follows we will look at current world events in Israel through the lens of biblical prophecy. This is an exciting area of study of the Bible as it reminds us that God is active in the here and now aspects of the world. He is alive in human history and He is in control of the future!
Our text this morning outlines the prophecy of God through the prophet Ezekiel dealing with the coming, impending, and, as I will demonstrate this morning, presently being fulfilled restoration of the Nation of Israel. In the last 100 years God has been at work in the Holy Land showing almost unprecedented favor to His chosen people; performing a miraculous work in their lives.
The Jewish people have been scattered throughout the world since the Babylonian exile, more than 2,500 years ago. At no time since the Babylonians invaded Israel and took most of the people out of the land have the Jews enjoyed any lasting sovereign control over the land promised to them in the Bible.
The Temple of Solomon has never been restored to its former glory and though Temple worship was reinstated under Hezekiah, the glory of Israel has never fully been restored. Two distinct Temples stood in succession on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem: Solomon’s Temple was built in the 10th century B.C.to replace the Tabernacle.