Summary: A beginning of the year series focusing on drawing closer to God so we can become the people He calls us to be.

Dry Bones

Ezekiel 37:1-14

April 22, 2012

For so many people, New Year’s Day kind of gives us a new start. It gives us a sense of new hope. Maybe this year will be better than last year. With that comes new dreams, hopes, and expectations. So, what are you dreaming about this year? What is it you want to see happen in your life?

I hope you will do everything possible to help those dreams become a reality. For the next several weeks we’re going to be looking at our dreams and hopes. We’re going to be focusing at who God is calling us to be. We’re going to start out looking at dreams and really kind of the nightmare side of dreams, and go back and forth as we ask a few other tough questions.

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 felt trapped . . . stuck. Can we become people of no hope, when we have a God who is all powerful?

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 much closer to home, it’s a physical illness ... and you were able to come back and live a full life. Maybe it was rejection, a low self esteem, maybe there was abuse, maybe self doubt - - - whatever it was, and you 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 that future.

Well, the Israelites were in a bad predicament. In fact, they believed they were stuck in an impossible situation. The northern kingdom had been taken by the Assyrians, and now the southern kingdom, Judah was conquered by the Babylonians. Cities had been destroyed, the temple was 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 Ezekiel that He is the God of the impossible. Let’s look at what the Lord told Ezekiel in chapter 37 —

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.

8 I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.

9 Then He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it,

‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’”

10 So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet — a vast army. - Ezekiel 37

Now, unless you’re a magician, this was an impossible situation. How do you bring life to something which is obviously dead? When was the last time you faced what appeared to be an impossible obstacle? Do you remember feeling hopeless?

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