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Bible Pathways - September 11, 2005

  • 2005 Sep 11
  • COMMENTS

September 11

 

Read Ezekiel 37

 

In Today's Reading:

 

Valley of the dry bones; prophecy against Gog; vision of a restored Israel

 

After Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem in 586 B.C., most of the Israelites who survived were scattered throughout Babylonia among the exiles from many heathen nations. Since the Temple and the City of God were destroyed, the Israelites abandoned hope for the restoration of their homeland.

 

It was at this time of Israel's national despair that Ezekiel was given a new vision and he 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 (Ezekiel 37:1). The bones were dry and bleached, having been there for some time. And He said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, Thou knowest. Again He said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the Word of the LORD. Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live (37:3-5).

 

As a nation, Israel was literally and spiritually dead and without hope of restoration. However, like the dry bones, it was not buried. Ezekiel continued to prophesy and there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his (its) bone (37:7). Ezekiel proclaimed the Word of God, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army (37:10). Although the Israelites were saying: Our hope is lost: we are cut off (separated from the land of promise) (37:11), this army assured Israel of their future restoration.

 

Ezekiel was then commanded to proclaim the comforting good news: I am the LORD . . . And shall put My Spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land (37:13-14). After more than 2500 years, the Israelites do exist as a nation within their promised land. God will soon fulfill His earlier promise to King David that Israel's Messiah King, Jesus Christ, will rule the world from Jerusalem during the millennium (Isaiah 2:1-4).

 

Dry bones also describe our sinful human nature apart from the transforming, life-giving power of the Holy Spirit. Eternal life is made possible only when we confess and repent of our sins and invite Jesus to be Lord of our lives. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).

 

Christ Revealed:

 

As the One who made possible the resurrection from the grave (Ezekiel 37:12). For 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).

 

Word Studies:

 

37:26 place = give, settle, establish; 38:19 shaking = earthquake; 39:6 carelessly = securely, without care; 39:14 sever out = select; passengers = passersby.

 

Prayer Needs:

 

Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcast in memory of Winston A. Grant, who died in the Towers · Government Officials: Sen. Daniel Akaka (HI) and Rep. Tim Murphy (PS) · Country: Namibia (2 million) in southwest Africa · Major languages: Afrikaans and German · Religious freedom · 68% Protestant; 16% Roman Catholic; 5% African traditional religions · Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to fill you with love for the unlovely (I John 4:7-8).

 

Optional Reading: Revelation 16

 

Memory Verse for the Week: Titus 2:12

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