Summary: There is something about being surrounded by death that makes us contemplate life in a very honest way. God uses a kind of cemetery full of bones to illustrate the need for the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Them Dry Bones
Acts 2:17 NIV
In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.
Joel 2:28 NIV
[ The Day of the LORD ] And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.
Who here likes a good movie?
I love movies they tell a story in a way that a book can not fully communicate. I love books too but movies help you to visualize the characters and scenes and bring them to life.
The scripture passage for today is about a vision which is a kind of a movie of the mind and spirit.
Ezekiel was a captured person. He was captured by the Babylonians as a Jew and was a Jewish priest. He is known to us as a Prophet (one who speaks Gods message to people).
Ezekiel did this for 22 years. One of his most famous visions is the scripture passage we are looking at today.
A vision is a different kind of message from just a regular prophetic message.
A prophetic message is often only relaying the words of God.
A vision includes the words and pictures. A vision is kind of like a feature film that God sits you down to watch. Then God sends you out to tell everyone about the movie you saw.
When God sends you out to talk about the movie He showed you He wants you to give away the ending. That is what Ezekiel does for us with this vision.
It may seem strange that God uses a kind of cemetery full of bones to illustrate a message but many people seem open to Gods word when they find themselves in a cemetery.
There is something about being surrounded by death that makes us contemplate life in a very honest way.
There was a famous man once who happened to read his own obituary and it changed him forever. But how could he read his own obituary you might ask? Well he wasn’t dead just yet.
You see the newspaper had made a mistake. It was actually his brother who had died but the journalist got the two mixed up and wrote an obituary for the living brother.
The man was Alfred Nobel who in 1888 was one of the richest men in the world. You see Alfred Nobel was credited with discovering dynamite and had made a fortune with the stuff.
As Mr. Nobel read his obituary he saw that the paper reported that The King of Dynamite had died. None of his work in trying to break down barriers between nations and bring about peace was even mentioned. He was simply remembered as the merchant of death.
The obituary horrified him. He resolved to make clear to the world the true meaning and purpose of his life. This would be done through his will which set up what we know today as the Nobel Prize.
There would be large cash prizes awarded to recipients for advancement in Chemistry, Physics, Medicine, Literature, Economics and Peace. He would leave 94% of his fortune to ensure these awards would continue long after he was gone.
It took reading about his death to change his life and about how he wanted people to remember him.
In Ezekiel Chapter 37 God lets Ezekiel see the dead pile of bones that Israel had become. Israel was in captivity and had forgotten her God. She had become dead and lifeless in faith.
But God wanted Ezekiel to see what could happen when such a people were called upon to hear Gods word. First Ezekiel called out to the bones as God directed.
(God Calls to Us All)
The bones began to come together and were dressed with flesh and skin but no breath was in them.
(We hear Gods word but do not respond)
Then God directed Ezekiel to prophesy to the breath. From the four winds breath came and entered the bodies then they stood up like a large army.
(Only when the Holy Spirit enters us are we alive in Christ)
Thirdly God tells Ezekiel to speak to their hope. God describes how He is going to open their graves and bring them up from them.
(God gives us New Birth out of our Death to Sin)
God tells Ezekiel to tell them how the Spirit of God will be put into them and then they will live. Finally Ezekiel is to tell of the great gathering they will experience when they are brought to their own land by Gods hand.
(Heaven is our final resting place)