Summary: God was and is still in control. He can and will give life to that which appears to have shriveled up and died. Ezekiel’s vision has applications for our lives today. As in Ezekiel’s day, God is still in the business of giving hope to the dried up.
There’s Hope for the Dried Up
The children of Israel had begun to lose their hope. The nation had dried up politically, spiritually, and morally. Many had gone into captivity. Despair and pessimism were rampant. Gloom and doom filled the air. They had become a dried up exiled people. The glory they had once enjoyed was gone. They felt as though all hope had abandoned them. God gave Ezekiel a message to the deliver to the despairing exiles of Israel that there was hope for the dried hope. God was and is still in control. He can and will give life to that which appears to have shriveled up and died. This vision of Ezekiel has applications which we can make to our lives today. As in Ezekiel’s day, God is still in the business of giving hope to the dried up.
I. The picture of death – a valley of bones
A. They were dead, dried, and divided
B. No sign of life - they were very dry; through length of time they had lain there, exposed to wind and weather; the flesh being wholly consumed from off of them, and the marrow within quite dried up
C. Jameson Faucet Brown says that the bones were “dry-bleached by long exposure to the atmosphere.”
D. If one looked at these bones they would say that there was no hope of life ever being put back into them.
E. Ezekiel 37:11 “Then He said to me, "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They indeed say, 'Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!'
F. Webster’s defines DESPAIR as the loss of HOPE and a feeling of hopelessness. It’s the idea of giving up hope, feeling discouraged & defeated.
G. Death in God’s Word symbolizes separation as well as the absence of life.
1. For the unbeliever, death means without spiritual life, unregenerate, and without God—separated from relationship with God.
2. For the believer, death is used as a representation or picture of carnality or worldliness, for being out of fellowship with God and therefore separated from Christ as the source of the abundant life.
H. Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
I. Revelation 3:1 “And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, ‘These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: ‘I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.’’”
J. This was written to true believers who were spiritually carnal and working from the energy of their own resources rather than from His (the Word and the Holy Spirit).
K. Many had soiled their garments (Revelation 3:4) – that is to say they contaminated both their life and witness by either living unseparated lives or going about their worship and service in their own way relying on their own works and feelings.
L. This is a warning. A church is in danger of death when its members fail to live according to the precepts of God’s Word or when it seeks to carry out its ministries without direction from and reliance on the Lord.