Highlights In Today's Reading:
Just one life-giving breath of the Creator and Israel is resurrected (Chapter 37). Compare it to the life-giving Word of God. Check the prophecy of awesome future powers (Chapters 38 & 39).
The worship of idols had destroyed the once magnificent Israelite kingdom. Every vestige of hope of a Jewish nation had vanished. The Temple was in ruins, Jerusalem lay waste, and all twelve tribes were slaves scattered throughout the Gentile world. It was at this time that the Lord gave Ezekiel a vision of future hope. He saw a valley full of scattered dry bones. Those bones represented the Israelite kingdom that no longer existed and which had no hope of ever again becoming a nation. They said: Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost. . . . Thus saith the Lord . . . I will open your graves . . . and bring you into the land of Israel. . . . and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land (37:11-14).
To the few faithful Israelites then suffering at the hands of their relentless persecutors, this prophecy gave assurance that one day they would be restored as a nation and would triumph over all opposing forces. As foretold, the outcome will free the chosen people from idol worship to being loyal to their Messiah, the One True God (Matthew 2:2; Luke 1:31-33; John 14:11).
Just as God was the only One who could restore life to the dry bones, He is the only One who can restore Israel as a nation (37:13-14). The partial fulfillment of this amazing prophecy in Ezekiel 37 took place in 1948 when God miraculously resurrected the Israelite nation.
All mankind is as spiritually dead as the dry bones of Ezekiel's vision until they are made alive by the Holy Spirit.
The overwhelming evidence of the supernatural power of God working on behalf of His people should remove all doubt concerning the future reign of Christ.
In all ages, the forces that refuse to acknowledge the One True God have violently attacked the Word of God, and there have been times when it seemed the foundations of truth would become as dry bones and the Church would fall into apostasy. But, just as wheat is shaken to remove the chaff and gold is placed in the furnace to remove its dross so, similarly, the Lord permits enemy attacks to sever the believer from the defilement of worshiping false idols.
Often we unconsciously create "idols" in our lives. They could be a vehicle, boat, home, money, or another person. Yet the first Commandment God gave mankind is: Thou shalt have no other gods before Me (Exodus 20:3). Christ must be Lord of our lives. Only then will we see things of eternal significance accomplished, not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts (Zechariah 4:6).
Thought for Today:
Reading and obeying God's Word cures spiritual dryness in a believer's life.
As the One who made possible the resurrection from the grave (Ezekiel 37:12). The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout . . . and the dead in Christ shall rise first (I Thessalonians 4:13-18; also John 11:25; Revelation 1:18).
37:26 place them =b> settle and bless them; 38:19 shaking =b> earthquake; 39:6 carelessly =b> securely, undisturbed; 39:14 sever out men =b> select men; passengers =b> collecting the dead.
Pray for Arabic, English, & Spanish International Shortwave Broadcasts in memory of Winston A. Grant who died in the Towers • Radio Sri Lanka International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by Mrs. Sarah Vermillion • Executive Director of the IBRA in our Washington DC Branch: Reverend Michael Hall • Government Officials: Sen. Daniel Akaka (HI), Rep. Brad Elsworth (IN), and Rep. Tim Murphy (PA) • Country: Equatorial Guinea (466,000) in western Africa • Major language: Spanish • Freedom for churches at this time • 71% Roman Catholic; 19% ancestral spirit worship and medicine men; 6% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Glorify the person, character, and attributes of God as you pray a prayer of praise (Psa. 8:1-9).
Optional Reading: Revelation 16
Memory Verse for the Week: Galatians 1:24