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Bible Pathways 9/11/2001

September 11

Read Ezekiel 37 -- 39

After Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem, most of the Israelites who remained alive were scattered throughout Babylonia and forced to live among exiles from many heathen nations. Since their Temple and the city were destroyed, all hope for the restoration of a national Jewish homeland was abandoned.

It was at this time that Ezekiel was given a new vision, and said: 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; compare 37:3,9; 39:11). The bones were dry and bleached, having been there for some time. Ezekiel was asked a question by the Lord: Son of Man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord God, You know. Again He said to me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say . . . hear the Word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live (37:3-5).

Humanly speaking, as a nation Israel was literally and spiritually dead and without hope of restoration. However, like the dry bones, it was not buried. As Ezekiel continued to prophesy: There was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone (37:7). The dry, scattered bones became complete skeletons, and then bodies with physical life. Ezekiel proclaimed the Word of the Lord God as he was commanded, and the breath (Spirit) came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceedingly 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 represented the future restored people of Israel.

Ezekiel was commanded to proclaim the Good News: You shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves . . . and shall put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I shall place you in your own land (37:13-14). This was an assurance from God that the Israelites would once again return to the Land of Promise and become a sovereign nation. After more than 2500 years, the Israelites do exist as a nation within the Promised Land. However, the best is yet to come when God fulfills His promises to Abraham and David concerning Israel's Messiah King, Jesus Christ, who will rule the world.

All mankind is in the valley of death -- dead in trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1). The valley of dry bones is also a description of the moral and spiritual condition of our sinful human nature apart from the quickening (life-giving), transforming power of the Holy Spirit.

Eternal life is made possible when we believe the Word of God, repent of our sins, and receive Jesus Christ as our personal Savior and then allow Him to be Lord of our lives (Romans 8). For by grace are you 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. Therefore prophesy and say to them, Thus says the Lord God; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel (Ezekiel 37:12; also John 11:25; I Thess. 4:16).

Word Studies: 37:26 place means settle, establish; 38:19 shaking means earthquake; 39:6 carelessly means securely; 39:14 sever out means select; passengers means those passing by.

Prayer Needs:
Government Officials: Sen. Daniel Akaka (HI) and Rep. Sonny Callahan (AL) · BPM Staff: Diana Hash · Pray for Capitol Hill Prayer Partners in Washington DC and Sara Ballenger, Director · Country: Zambia (10 million) in south-central Africa · Major languages: English and 70 indigenous languages · Religious freedom · 30% Roman Catholic; 25% Protestant; 24% ancestor worship, magic, and witchcraft; 19% cults · Prayer Suggestion: Children, ask the Lord to enable you to honor your parents (Ephesians 6:1-3).

Optional Reading: Revelation 16

Memory Verse for the Week: II Thessalonians 1:8,10

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