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by Shirley Carr
9/18/2014 / Devotionals
Read Ezekiel 37: 1-13, The Valley of Dry Bones
What is a valley? A valley is a low area of land between hills or mountains, typically with a river or stream flowing through it. According to Merrium-Webster, a valley is an elongate depression of the earth's surface usually between ranges of hills or mountains. A valley is a low point. I believe that you who are reading this know what it is like to be in a low place.
In the passage known as The Valley of Dry Bones, we encounter God, the prophet Ezekiel, and very dry bones in a valley.
Consider Ezekiel, who at the age of 25 when he went into exile and 30 when called to be a God's mouthpiece. Ezekiel, who has been noted as a man of broad knowledge, acquainted with matters of culture, could grasp large issues and deal with them in grand and compelling images. Ezekiel, more than any other prophet, was directed to act out prophecies.
In this passage God asks Ezekiel a question- a question about restoration and life. God asked Ezekiel- Can these bones live? Read, Ezekiel's response (Ezekiel 37:3). I am convinced that Ezekiel already knew that the bones could live- simply because He knew that God but Ezekiel says "O, Sovereign Lord, you alone know." Sovereign LordGod who has the Authority to do what he pleases. Take a moment to think about what God has done for you and thank him for who is His to you.
Have you ever been in a low point in life? A point where, like God, you are looking at things dried up; like Ezekiel, you are surrounded by things dried up; or like the dry bones, your situation is dried up and dead? You may feel like Ezekiel or even the dry bones. You may be like Ezekiel, in a low point and having to look at everything dried up around you.
God tells Ezekiel to prophesy to the bones and God tells Ezekiel what to say. Here are your points for restoration and life:
Point 1. God commands Ezekiel to prophesy to the bones and God tells Ezekiel what to say. Ezekiel begins to prophesy as he was commanded and there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together bone by bone. When Ezekiel looked flesh appeared on them and skin covered them but there was no breath in them.
When you feel like Ezekiel: Open up your mouth and begin to speak what God told you- even in a low point. Watch God bring the pieces together. He will protect and cover what he entrusted to you. He will do it even if you don't see a sign of life in it. The noise and movement is evidence of God at work.
When you feel like the bones: It will get noisy and there will be movement around you while he is connecting you back together again- even when you have no life in you.
Point 2. God commands Ezekiel to prophesy to the breath from the four winds, that the winds may breathe into "these slain" that they may live. Ezekiel prophesies as he was commanded and the bones stood up on their feet- a vast army.
When you feel like Ezekiel: Even when it appears to be no life around you. God has given you the ability to speak life from all directions of life and into those who have been killed. It a an army of people ready to take a stand and those who are already standing.
When you feel like the bones: You may have had experience with a person, a place, idea, or a thing that took the life out of you and left you for dead but God uses that experience or those experiences to breathe into you new life so that you stand---and you are not alone. You are apart of an armynot a clubnot an organizationnot a business you are apart of an army. Everything that left you for dead, everything that took the life out of you, and everything that killed you is your ground for a testimony to help someone else. You are apart of God's fighting force!
Point 3. God begins by explaining to Ezekiel about his chosen people. God tells him that his chosen people are saying that their bones are dried up, that their hope is lost, that they are cut off for their parts. Then, he commands Ezekiel to prophesy to the army and to tell them that GOD SAIDhe will open your graves and bring you out alive, and take you back to your land. GOD SAID that when you realize that He opened up your grave and lead you back to Israel you will know that He is God. God SAID that He will put His Spirit in you and you shall live and God will place you in your own land, then you shall know that God spoken it and performed it. God's Decree.
Ezekiel can see the people who were at one time dry bones that had been slain in the valley. These dry bones have become and army now standing with protection covering their bones. Different from the prior points, here, we read that God tells Ezekiel who the bones are- the bones are God's chosen people. You can be God's chosen people and end up in a valley of dry bones.
Consider, why, if the people where once dry bones that had been slain and in a valley and having already put them back together and breathed in them, would God say that he will open graves and bring them out? God said this because even after bringing the dry bones from a dead situation ---having covered and protected them he heard what they were saying. It was a reflection of not the dead situation on them but the grave in them. God promised to place His Spirit in them. Know that for every dead and grave situation God is the Spirit of Life and Resurrection.
God also promised to return them to their land. In practical terms- for some, the land may be actual property; it may be a place of wholeness, or even a promise. As children of the Most High God, we have a Father, a King, that has prepared a home for us in heaven and that is reassuring.
In the final verses of the passage, God declares that by what he performs and what has been spoken- you will know that it is God and God alone. While this is a popular passage in the Bible and so may people have taught on it, preached about it, and even referenced it, I had a question. So I took it upon myself to ask God. I asked him, "Why don't we see Ezekiel's respond to you telling him to prophesy in the final verses?"
Here is what God shared with me and I hope that it helps you. God told me that restoration and life did not begin when Ezekiel began to prophesy, but it began the moment God told Ezekiel what to say and it is was- ALREADY DONE. Amen.
Valley. (2014) Merrium-Webster.com Retrieved. September 17, 2014, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/valley
EVEidenz, copyright Pen You In 2014
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