Ezekiel 37:1-10; 13-14
Here we find the familiar story of the vision of the “Valley of Dry Bones”. The children of Israel have found themselves in bondage and being scattered with, what seems to be, no hope of coming together again. The “hand of the Lord” touched Ezekiel and carried him away in a vision to show him that there was hope for His people, and that He would surely deliver them. I am thankful that the Lord knows exactly where we are and can deliver us out of whatever situation that we find ourselves in. We, as the church, have to be willing to allow Him the lead us and show us the things that He has for us. The scripture teaches us in Proverbs 29 that, “Where there is no vision, the people perish:…”, but when we give ourself fully to Christ, and ask Him to show us what He has for us, He will make us overcomers.
1 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,
2 And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry.
As we have said already, the situation Israel has found themselves in is one that is very difficult. They have been taken captive, now they are scattered apart, and God has taken Ezekiel away in a vision to show him exactly how bad that it is. The first description that we get of the setting of the vision is that it is a valley and that the valley was “full of bones”. In vs. 2, Ezekiel tells us that this is an “open valley”, which speaks of the size of the valley, and again, reminds us that there were “very many in the open valley”, and lastly, that they were “very dry”, which tells us the amount of time that they have been there.
3 And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord God, thou knowest.
This is the point that the story would begin to go much differently, if it was a member of the modern day church that was in Ezekiel’s shoes. Much like this story, we see many people fall into spiritual valleys and we are quick to give up on them. We have to remember that this is a vision of the spiritual condition of the children of God. God is not showing Ezekiel a vision of a people that have never known Him or experienced His power. We must realize that there is hope for every soul until they breathe their last breathe, and we must reach for them, love them, and pray for them until that point. Ezekiel realizes that there is nothing that he can do to bring life back to this great multitude, but He does recognize who can.
4 Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.
5 Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live:
6 And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord.
Notice here, that there is no condemnation given because of the condition that they are in. The message was simple and to the point, “I will cause breathe to enter into you, and ye shall live.” He did not go into the details of what caused them to be in this condition, just that there was no life in them and that He was going to restore that life, and that along with that life, He would equip them with everything they needed to keep life in them.
7 So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone.
The first step in the reviving of this people was the Spirit moving and bringing the bones together where they belonged. Where the is a moving of His Spirit and complete unity, there will be revival. Let our prayer be, “Lord let your Spirit move in my life, and give me a greater love for your people”.
8 And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them.
After the bones came together, He began to strengthen the “body” and prepare them for revival. He gave them the necessities to retain the life that He was going to put in them. The Lord never gives us something for us to just figure out by ourselves. He will always give us exactly what we need to keep life, but just having the vessel to store the life was not enough to produce life. The shell was complete, “but there was no breathe in them”.
9 Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.
10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.
Here is where we find revival, “And the breathe came into them, and they lived…” What a difference the breathe of God will make! After the shell was complete, and there was a vessel that He could breathe into, the people were revived. All He needs is a vessel that He can fill.
I am glad, though, that this reviving process did not end at, “and then they lived”, but vs. 10 continues and tells us, they “stood upon their feet, and exceeding great army”. God was not finished with His people! He did not just breathe life back into them for them to continue to live in that valley, but for them to live and to be a victorious army! I am thankful that we do not have to stay where we are, but that when His Spirit breathes on us, and gives us life, He makes us able and worthy to Fight the Good Fight of Faith!
13 And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves,
14 And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord.
In vs. 11-12 God explains to Ezekiel that this vision is a representation of where His people are, but also, God is showing Ezekiel where He is going to take them. It was not God’s plan for them continue in the state they were because He had something better already prepared for them!