Summary: So often we rely on reason to explain and give us hope but faith moves beyond reason
The Goddess of Reason
Scripture Reading; Num. 11: 21-23 Opening hymn: 527
Closing Hymn; # 608
On July 18th 586 B. C. Nebuchadnezzar breached the walls of Jerusalem and totally devastated the city, the temple and everything therein. When they left the city, it laid in ruins. The beautiful temple that Solomon built was no more. The icon of the Jewish religion was gone, totally and completely decimated.
The table of shew-bread was gone
The altar of incense, gone
The golden candle stick, gone
The great ark and the cherubim, gone
All the furniture of the tabernacle; Gone
Nothing was left but ruins.
The Jews in Babylon could not believe their ears. They had reasoned in their heart that Jerusalem and the temple would last forever. Wasn’t this the city and the temple for which Solomon had declared “When your people go to war against their enemies; when they pray to the Lord toward the city you have chosen and the temple I have built for your Name, then hear from heaven their prayer and their plea, and uphold their cause.” It was impossible. Suddenly their whole world had been shaken, shattered. It was one thing to be taken captive it is another for Jerusalem and the Temple of God to be destroyed*. With these two lay their hope. Now hope had been vanquished. As far as they could reason, the destruction of these icons coincided with the abolition of hope.
Perhaps you can identify with these people. Perhaps you too, reason that you are in a hopeless situation. As far as you can see there is no one who can help you, no one who can rescue you from your pit of despair. All is loss and you have resigned yourself to whatever fate may send your way.
Well I invite you to come with me to the Valley of Dry Bone where we will meet with Ezekiel. Just as God sees your despondency he saw Israel despair and he prepared a message for Israel and a message for you in the valley of Dry Bones.
Let us turn to Ezekiel 37;1-10
[Eze. 37:1-10 ]The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones.
And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and lo, they were very dry.
And he said unto me , Son of Man, can these bones live? And I answered O LORD GOD, thou knowest.’
Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.
Thus saith the LORD GOD unto these bones; behold I will cause breath to enter into you and ye shall live
And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live ; and ye shall know that I am the LORD.
So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise , and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone
And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above, but there was no breath in them.
Then said he unto me, prophesy, unto the wind, prophesy, son of man and say to the wind, thus saith the Lord God; come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain that they may live.
So I prophesied as he commanded me and the breath came into them and they lived and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.
Ezekiel was taken to the valley of Dry Bones, he was not just taken there but he was placed right smack in the middle of the Bone Valley. Bones were every where as far as his could see. Foot bones, ankle bones, leg bones, rib bones, stirrup bones all types of bones. If was as if the bones had come for a family reunion. Everybody was there. These bones were not laid out in specific order were scattered hither and thither. It was as if someone came and dumped a huge heap of bones in the valley. What a sight!! Death every where! What a stench! The stench of death!
Ezekiel must have wondered about the reason for God bringing him into such a God forsaken place, after all, who would believe that God would be such a place, but yet he was.
Perhaps this is your situation:
You have found yourself smack in the middle of trouble,
Or in the centre of sorrow; or grief: