It’s just like the Holy Spirit to reveal new interpretations of scriptures you’ve studied or heard of numerous times. It proves the point that you can never exhaust learning, especially learning the Word of God.
During my study time, I was directed to Ezekiel 37 byway of a blog I frequent. For those not familiar with this chapter, here’s a concise description of what it’s all about. Ezekiel is guided to the middle of a valley by the Spirit of the Lord. As Ezekiel is observing this valley, he notices that the valley is filled with dry bones. And the Lord asks Ezekiel in verse 3, “Son of man, can these bones live?” In return, Ezekiel answers, “O Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”
Imagine yourself in Ezekiel’s shoes. He’s on assignment for God, he’s trying to remain obedient and willing, and God takes him to a valley of dry bones… skeletons… How would you react? Is it fair to say that most people would have said, “Um, Lord… Father… I don’t know if these dry bones can live, but I’ve got to get out of here!” Would you have even lasted that long? Some of us may have been MIA by the time God even asked us the question. “Lord, please just ask me from afar.” But Ezekiel was different. The scripture says that he was observing the dry bones.
Furthermore, let’s acknowledge Ezekiel’s response. With a carnal mentality, one would reason that dry bones (skeletons) indicate the finality of death. There’s no evidence of life remaining in dry bones, right? But Ezekiel understood the magnitude of the God he was serving. He knew that, “With God nothing is impossible.” But what would have happened if Ezekiel applied human logic to answer God’s question?
After Ezekiel responses, the Lord gives him his next instruction in verse 4, “Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy to these bones and say to them’, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones; I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.'”
Ezekiel obeys God’s instructions and the scripture goes on to speak about how the dry bones came to life. The dry, lifeless bones, came to life. In verse 10, Ezekiel says, “So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them, they came to life and stood up on their feet- a vast army.” Each time Ezekiel spoke to the dry bones, they reacted to his commands.
Now this was the clincher for me…
Verse 11-14 reads, “Then he said to me: ‘Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’ 12: Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: O my people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them. I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13: Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. 14: I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in my own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord.'”
I started to think, could it be that we have a valley of dry bones in our lives? Maybe there are dead relationships in our lives? Dead dreams and ambitions? Dead self-esteem? As Proverbs 18:21 states, “Death and Life are in the power of the tongue.” Perhaps, like the Israelites, your words are producing dead harvests. Your words are withering away at your joy, your happiness, your peace and your prosperity (everything that Jesus died to provide for you).
If this is your situation, there’s hope- “O my people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them.” God is ready to open up that grave you’ve buried yourself in, whether it’s a grave of guilt, shame, fear, etc., God’s willing and able to bring you out. And for dry bones in your life, mirror the actions of Ezekiel and speak directly to those areas.
Here’s a little practice using verse 9: “Relationships, finances, dreams, self-esteem, confidence- all things in my life that are lifeless and void, “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into these slain, that they may live.”
And if your dry bones are stubborn, add Matthew 21:21 which reads, “And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen.”
Don’t be surprised when those dry bones come to life!