Summary: spiriyual death and or Spiritual suicide. No matter your spirit died GOD can Give it life again.
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.
6 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.
Maybe it’s time to resurrect our own dry bones!
God has always been concerned for the spiritual well being of mankind, regardless of our disobedience and lack of trust. Isn’t it a shame that we have allowed ourselves to digress to such a pitiful spiritual state?
Ezekiel saw the most tragic scene, but we actually experience it. For Ezekiel it was a most heartbreaking picture – a valley full of bones where there once had been life and activity, and now there was nothing. But that scene is no more tragic than what we see today, even in our churches.
Ezekiel’s heart bled for his people. Christ’s heart bleeds for us as we look at our churches filled with dry bones. Sure, we function physically, but many are as dead spiritually as Ezekiel’s dry bones. Ezekiel desired to do something about his dry bones, but he was powerless. Ezekiel had to wait upon the Lord and His power. We, too, are powerless, but if we allow God to work through us, we can see life again in our valleys.
What good are dry bones to the cause of Christ? The spiritually alive sometimes become discouraged like Ezekiel, when it seems as though they are facing impossible odds, but the Lord says, “No! Stay right where you are. We’re going to do a work here together”.
I have known godly Christians who fell prey to sin in their lives, and never recovered. Maybe it was guilt, maybe it was feelings of failure, maybe it was the belief that they had besmirched the name of Christ and could therefore no longer live openly for Him...whatever their reasons, and they quit serving. Unfortunately, many believe it will never happen to them. But it can, if we become separated from our source of spiritual supply.