Summary: God will see us through the valley of dry bones.
Ezekiel 37: 1 – 14 / Dry Bones
Intro: We all have them at one time or another in our lives . . . a valley of dry bones: a divorce, the death of a loved one, a debilitating illness, a surgery or accident from which it seems you will never fully recover. These are times and places in our life when we ask ourselves, “Will I ever be normal again? Will my life ever be the same?” Times when we, like Ezekiel are faced with devastation and doubt. Times when we say to ourselves, “only you, Lord know!”
I. Can you imagine poor Ezekiel standing in the midst of a field where it appeared as though a battle had been fought that resulted in so many casualties that the task of burying them was must too much?
A. It is here Vs. 3 that God asks, “Mortal, can these dry bones live?”
B. The nation of Israel had been conquered by the Babylonians. The leaders, artisans, intellectuals, the cream of society were deported to a foreign land. The situation seemed so hopeless that a common lament emerged: “Our bodies are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.” Would they ever see their homeland again? When and how will it end? Why has God forsaken us? CAN THESE BONES LIVE AGAIN?
C. What are your “dry bones”? With what impossible burden have you been saddled? How do you cope? What do you do now?
II. Vs. 2 – “He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry.”
A. God lead Ezekiel back and forth among the bones. There was no escaping the situation. God wanted Ezekiel to see it all; to take in all the devastation, the vastness of the problem before him. God lead Ezekiel in taking stock of the situation.
B. The first order of business is to face the situation squarely. What is the reality with which you must deal? What are your strengths, your weaknesses? What resources do you have at your disposal that will see you through your “valley”?
C. I can’t rely on my memory to do this because I keep going over the same things repeatedly. I’ve found it helpful to put pen to paper writing it all down. Soon, I discover things weren’t as bad as I had thought.
III. God spoke directly to Ezekiel in Vs. 4 - 5 “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live.”
A. God told Ezekiel to do something just as God is telling you to do something. Whatever it is, you cannot be an onlooker, a spectator. You’ve got to be actively involved with God’s word for it is through the power of God’s word the bones came together.
B. God’s word will hold us together in our times of brokenness. The word of God will bring together the events and resources we need to cope. It is God’s word in us that makes things happen.
C. The word used here for breath is ROUAH. It is also the word for SPIRIT. It was the “breath” / “spirit” that life came. This is not just a resuscitation story. This is God bringing life where there was no life. So it is with us! The Spirit of God brings us power, life in Christ Jesus. When we are in the “Spirit” and the “Spirit” is in us, what seems impossible suddenly becomes possible for it is that power, that energy, that force that sees us through the difficulties that Satan and the world throw at us.
Conclu: Long ago another prophet spoke. ISAIAH 54:17 says, “No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me, declares the Lord.”
“NO WEAPON FORGED AGAINST YOU WILL PREVAIL . . .” Dry bones can live and what seems impossible is possible through our working with God, following God’s word and trusting in God’s Spirit.