Summary: To often we let go of our dreams and become a pile of dead, very dry bones.

Dry Bones

Ezekiel 37:1-10

April 22, 2012

Have you ever felt like there was no hope? You were hopeless . . . lost . . . You looked at your situation and there was no way out. You were trapped . . . stuck.

There was a security guard at a railroad yard who accidentally locked himself in a refrigeration car one night. He knew the door couldn’t be opened from the inside. He was trapped. He knew would die there, either from the cold or lack of oxygen. The thought of freezing to death concerned him the most. He screamed until his lungs burned, and he banged on the door until his hands were swollen and bruised.

His situation was hopeless. His fate written. He decided his last act would be to record his agonizing death for whoever would eventually find his body. With a pencil, he wrote on the car wall: “It is so cold in here I can hardly stand it.”

After a while he struggled from the corner where he huddled and wrote a second line: “It’s colder still – my fingers are getting numb.” Then later, “I’m slowly freezing to death.”

And ultimately, “These are probably my last words...” By the time he scribbled this final sentence, the writing was almost illegible.

His body was found the next morning, slumped in a corner of the car, he was dead.

The coroner had great difficulty determining the cause of death. He determined there was sufficient ventilation inside the car to allow a man to survive for days. And, since the refrigeration apparatus of the car had been out of order, there was no way the man would have frozen to death.

The temperature inside the refrigerated unit was 56! ("Don’t Tell Me It’s Impossible Until After I’ve Already Done It", by Pam Lontos).

Can we become like that man, who thought he had no hope, who literally imagined himself freezing to death . . . and did? Are we people who have no hope, or a people of hope?

When the odds seem to be going against us, what do we do? Do we just cower down and give up? Do we just see the so-called handwriting on the wall and accept the fact that there’s nothing we can do, so we quit?

Or do we look at the situation and keep battling, keep looking for a way to overcome whatever it is that’s not going our way. We can look at many sporting events and see where a team which was getting crushed somehow came back and won. Maybe it’s a physical illness ... and you were able to come back and live a full life. Maybe it was rejection or abuse, and we were able to overcome it.

Maybe because of all this you’ve been able to dream, to envision a future that in the past you never could. You felt like everything and everyone was against you, but you looked beyond all the outside interferences and you’ve made plans, you’ve allowed yourself to dream to see a future which was good . . . and now you’re working towards attaining that future.

Well, the Israelites were in a bad predicament. In fact, they believed they were stuck in an impossible situation. They had been conquered by the Babylonians. Their cities had been burned to the ground, the temple had been destroyed and the entire nation had been exiled into captivity. All hope seemed lost. Yet God still had a plan. In the midst of this impossible situation God reminded the people through the prophet Ezekial that He is the God of the impossible.

Let’s look at what the Lord told Ezekiel ~

1 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 a valley; it was full of bones.

2 He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were VERY DRY.

3 He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”

I said, “O Sovereign LORD, you alone know.”

4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD!

5 This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.

6 I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD.’”

7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone.

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