Sept. 11, 2009
Read Ezekiel 37
Highlights In Today's Reading:
All of us are just dry, dead bones, dead in trespasses and sin (Eph. 2:1) until God fills us with eternal life (37:13-14). Like Job, the latter end of Israel will be far greater than before (37:24-28). You need to know verses 38:23 and 39:25.
Ezekiel recorded: 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 (37:1,3,9; 39:11). The bones were very dry, having been there for some time. Ezekiel was asked: Son of man, can these bones live? Ezekiel heard the call: O, ye dry bones, hear the Word of the Lord; then the cry: Our hope is lost: we are cut off; and then the Good News: Ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I . . . shall put My Spirit in you (37:3-4,11,13-14). The remaining Israelites in captivity were the pitiful remnant of the once glorious united nation of 12 tribes under King David. Furthermore, there appeared to be no hope of restoration. Nebuchadnezzar had destroyed their nation.
However, they were not buried. Ezekiel continued to prophesy: There was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his (its) bone (37:7). The dry, lifeless, scattered bones became complete skeletons, and then bodies, but still without physical or spiritual life. God commanded and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army (37:10).
God revealed, through Ezekiel, that the Israelites would return to the land of promise. I will . . . bring you into the land of Israel. . . . and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land (37:12). God has a merciful and glorious purpose for restoring the Kingdom of Israel that will fulfill His promises to Abraham and David concerning Israel's Messiah King. They will hear the Word of the Lord and will recognize Jesus as their Messiah and God will put His Spirit in them.
All mankind is in the valley of death. The valley of dry bones illustrates mankind's moral and spirtual condition apart from the life-giving, transforming power of the Holy Spirit. We too must recognize the inability of our efforts to earn our way to heaven and hopelessness of our self-righteousness.
The eternal life from God is made possible when we believe His Word, repent of our sins, and receive Christ as our Savior and Lord with the intent of living in obedience to Him (Rom. 8).
Jesus said: Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep My saying, he shall never see death (John 8:51)
Thought for Today:
The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore (Ps. 121:8).
As the One who made possible our resurrection from the grave (Ezek. 37:12). The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout . . . and the dead in Christ shall rise first (I Thess. 4:13-18; also John 11:25; Rev. 1:18).
37:26 place them = settle and bless them; 38:19 shaking = earthquake; 39:6 carelessly = securely, undisturbed; 39:14 sever out men = select men; with the passengers = with the already-collected dead.
Pray for International Shortwave Broadcasts in honor of Linda Kennon • Staff: Rita Guerra • Government Officials: Sen. Daniel Akaka (HI), Rep. Brad Elsworth (IN), and Rep. Tim Murphy (PA) • Country: Central African Republic (3 million) in the center of the African continent • Major languages: French and Sangho • Religious freedom • 47% Protestant; 34% Roman Catholic; 12% animist; 3% Muslim • Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to forgive your sins (Ps. 25:11).
Optional Reading: Revelation 16
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 11:29