All of us are just dry, dead bones, dead in trespasses and sin (Eph. 2:1) until God fills us with eternal life (Ezek. 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.
After Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem in 586 BC, most of the Israelites who survived were scattered throughout Babylonia among exiles from many heathen nations. Since the Temple and City of God were destroyed, they abandoned hope for the restoration of their homeland. It was at this time of national hopelessness that Ezekiel was given a new vision and 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 (Ezek. 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 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 from the land of promise (37:11), this army assured Israel of future restoration.
Ezekiel then was commanded to proclaim the 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 over 2500 years, Israel is a nation within the promised land and God will soon fulfill His promise to King David. Israel's Messiah King, Jesus Christ, will rule the world from Jerusalem (Is. 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.
Thought for Today:
Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak (Mark 14:38).
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 Government Officials: Sen. Daniel Akaka (HI), Rep. Brad Elsworth (IN), and Rep. Tim Murphy (PA) • Country: Bahrain (629,000) 11 islands in the Persian Gulf near Saudi Arabia • Major languages: Arabic and English • No evangelical work is permitted • 85% Muslim; 5% Roman Catholic; 2% Protestant; 1% Orthodox • Prayer Suggestion: Sing praises to God, for He hears your prayers and delivers you (Ps. 40:1-3).
Optional Reading: Revelation 16
Memory Verse for the Week: Philippians 1:29