Summary: This scripture can be used to describe the serious problem that exists within many of our churches today.
Title: Can these bones live again?
Text: Ezekiel 37:1-10
Jokingly, we often say that Ezekiel was called to the worst congregation any preacher has ever faced.
However, it pictures something many believers face in their Christian experience – the "hopeless situation."
At this time in history, both Israel and Judah were ruined politically, Assyria had scattered Israel, and Judah had been captured by Babylon. Both Isaiah and Jeremiah predicted a return from captivity, but Ezekiel’s vision goes even further down the years. He sees the time when the dead nation would come alive again. In the vision, he saw very many bones in the open valley and they were very dry. It was the picture of utter defeat, with the bones of the armies drying and unburied. What a vivid description of the Jewish people at this time in history. But through the power of God’s word, the bones came together and formed men; and through the power of the Spirit (wind), life was given to them. This pictures the future revival of the nation when the Jews will be brought up out of the graves of the Gentile nations where they have been scattered. Politically this took place May 14, 1948, when the modern nation of Israel entered into the family of nations again. Of course, the nation is dead spiritually; but one day when Christ returns, the nation will be born in a day and be saved,
This scripture may not have any reference to the church, but it can be used to describe the serious problem that exists within the modern churches. Here one can also see the only solution to our problems.
Let’s look for a moment at the vision of Ezekiel, May we learn and be blessed of the Lord!
Just as we see the destructive force of sin in the vision of Isaiah, we see deterioration in our homes and churches because of neglect of God’s truth.
Illustration: Where do children get their sense of values ?
Question? Where do children get their sense of value? When you give your child a dime for the offering plate and a dollar for cokes, candy, ice cream, etc., you are showing your sense of values to your child. 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. 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. 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. When you allow your child to stay up late and watch TV, orstay out late for a sports or pleasure event, and have no concern in their attending youth meetings at the church, you are showing your sense of values to your child. When you insist that your child go to public school, but not to Sunday School and church, you are showing your values to your child.
I The Pitiful Condition “valley full of bones”
A. God is concerned for the people
-God has always and will always be concerned for the spiritual well-being of mankind, regardless of
their disobedience and lack of trust.. It was a shame that a people would allow themselves to digress
to such a pitiful spiritual state,
B. Ezekiel sees the most tragic scene. (Ezekiel in a vision, we in actual experience)
-This was a most heartbreaking picture – a valley full of bones. There once had been life and activity,
but now there was nothing. Perhaps, the feeling that you would have as you walked alone through a
cemetery reading the epitaphs on the tombstones.
- Of course, no more tragic a scene than what we see in many of our modern churches.
C. Ezekiel’s heart bled for his people.
- This was a nation – his people. Would it not stir his emotions?
- His heart bled, but perhaps no more than mine and yours as we look at our own churches full of dry
bones. They function physically, but they are dead spiritually.
D. Ezekiel desires to do something.
- I am sure that Ezekiel wwished and prayed that there was something that he could do. For such a
problem, man is powerless within himself. He must wait upon the Lord and His power.
- We, too, are powerless, but if we allow God to work through us, we can see life in the valley.
II. The Probing Question “can these bones live?”
How strange a question was this to put concerning dry, whitened bones! When Jesus said of the damsel: