Ezekiel 37: 1-14
1 The hand of the LORD came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones.
2 Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry.
3 And He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”
So I answered, “O Lord GOD, You know.”
4 Again He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD!
5 Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: “Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live.
6 I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the LORD.”’”
7 So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone.
8 Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there was no breath in them.
9 Also He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.”’”
10 So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army.
11 Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They indeed say, ‘Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!’
12 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 from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.
13 Then you shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves.
14 I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken it and performed it,” says the LORD.’”
|Again, this is one of the best known chapters in this book. It is another one of the remarkable visions given to Ezekiel and recorded by inspiration for us to read and study. There are several interpretations of this vision but one valuable lesson which comes from it is that when the Spirit of God moves, life comes out of the place of death.
Looking at it in its context, it again focuses on the future of the people of Israel as contrasted with their existing conditions. Ezekiel had been promising them that God would one day restore them to their own land. He had spoken of the cities being rebuilt and of new leadership under God’s hand. To the people who were slaves in a foreign heathen country far away from their ancestral homes, all this seemed an impossible dream.
When Jerusalem fell and they were transported, any faith they had seemed to have been shattered. This vision was one of God’s ways of trying to bring Israelites new hope. They were like those dead bones in that valley. God challenged Ezekiel with a direct question, “What do you think Ezekiel? Do you think these bones will ever live again?”
The obvious answer might have been a strong “no”, but Ezekiel was in touch with God and he seems to have said, “Lord you know. You can do anything.” Then God gave a direct command, “Speak to these bones.” As Ezekiel did what God told him to do and say, the bones started to come together. It could be a picture of God gathering the people together before taking them back to their land. Many believe God is doing it again today.
But the bones, the skeletons, still had no life. Then God told Ezekiel to speak again, this time to the wind - it is the same word as “Spirit”. Now new life began to appear in a miraculous way. In the last verses of our reading, God Himself said this is a picture of what the Spirit of God can do. He can bring new life to those who are dead in sin. It is still wonderfully true today. Where the word of God is given and believed, new life comes through the Spirit of God and that person is born again. What a wonderful message. What a wonderful salvation. Only a vision back then, but a tremendous illustration of the truth.