The Valley of Dry Bones Pt. 1
The title of this series comes from Ezekiel 37: 1-14. God commanded Ezekiel to do some wild and crazy things. This passage is no different. The first part of this series will focus on verses 1-6 which reads:
“1The hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones. 2 And he led me around among them, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley, and behold, they were very dry. 3 And he said to me, ‘Son of man, can these bones live?’
And I answered, ‘O Lord God, you know.’
4 Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. 5 Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. 6 And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord.’”
God shows Ezekiel a valley filled with bones through a vision. There is a vast number of them. The use of the language “valley” and “dry bones” has significance. The valley could be referring to battle grounds where many people died. However, this is also an example of judgement due to sin. Ezekiel also refers to “dry bones”. These dry bones give us a great picture. The bones are dead. But even further, the dead bodies have decomposed to the point that no flesh remains.
Then, in verse 3, God asks Ezekiel a question, “Son of man, can these bones live?“
What a crazy question! If I was Ezekiel I would probably not answer the way he did. Can these bones live? They are dead! Even further, they have been dead for a long time. I don’t know about you but I have never seen a dead person come out of a grave. And if I did I probably would have peed my pants. I know that God can do whatever God wants, but even so, I probably would not have responded the same way Ezekiel did when he says, “O Lord God, you know.“
This response floors me. The wisdom in this statement is deep. We, as humans, need to have a correct mindset. A mindset that is humble. A mindset that looks to God for our answers. After Ezekiel’s answer God gives an amazing command to Ezekiel in verse 4 when he says, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.”
Now at this point I would be rolling my eyes and freaking out a bit. Why on earth would God want me to speak to these dead bones? Why would God ask me to tell them the word of God if they don’t have ears? These questions are similar to what I get when I tell people about my theological position on the free will of God and the enslaved will of man. When I tell someone that God needs to do a resurrecting work in someone’s life for them to hear the message of to Gospel they will undoubtedly respond saying, “Why do evangelism then if God is the one doing the work?” Well, here we see exactly why we do evangelism in verses 5-6:
“5 Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. 6 And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord.”
God promises to give these bones flesh, breathe, and life. He says that he will do this through the prophecy of his servant Ezekiel. That is how God accomplishes his will. He uses his people to bring life to others. We speak the truth and God does the work.
That is why we evangelize. That is why we speak to dead people about the life-giving power of God. God promises he will do the work of resurrection. And God tells is why he does it this way at the end of verse 6 when he says, “you shall know that I am the Lord.“
May God be glorified through our proclamation of truth!
Posted on November 8, 2011, in Christianity, Theology and tagged Bible, Christianity, evangelism, Ezekiel, God, Lord, Lord God, Prophecy, reformed theology, Son of man, Spirit of the Lord, theology, Word of the Lord. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.