And the journey continues…..into Ezekiel. Ezekiel is known as one of the major prophets due to the length of the book, 48 chapters. Ezekiel prophesied during a time of great upheaval and unrest in Israel. The northern kingdom had fallen to Assyrians and Judah was besieged by Babylon. Jerusalem fell in 586 B.C. to King Nebuchadnezzar’s army and many of the Jews were transported to Babylon where they lived in exile for 70 years. Ezekiel was among the Jews taken to Babylon and there he received his call from God as a prophet. He was from a priestly family and was able to serve as a prophet-priest during this time.
Chapter 37:1-14 tells of Ezekiel’s vision and conversations with Sovereign God that were to give hope to God’s exiled people. The vision and restoration of ‘dry bones’ has a message of hope for us today.
The Lord took hold of me, and I was carried away by the Spirit of the Lord to a valley filled with bones. 2 He led me all around among the bones that covered the valley floor. They were scattered everywhere across the ground and were completely dried out. 3 Then he asked me, “Son of man, can these bones become living people again?”
“O Sovereign Lord,” I replied, “you alone know the answer to that.” 4 Then he said to me, “Speak a prophetic message to these bones and say, ‘Dry bones, listen to the word of the Lord! 5 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Look! I am going to put breath into you and make you live again! 6 I will put flesh and muscles on you and cover you with skin. I will put breath into you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”
7 So I spoke this message, just as he told me. Suddenly as I spoke, there was a rattling noise all across the valley. The bones of each body came together and attached themselves as complete skeletons. 8 Then as I watched, muscles and flesh formed over the bones. Then skin formed to cover their bodies, but they still had no breath in them.
9 Then he said to me, “Speak a prophetic message to the winds, son of man. Speak a prophetic message and say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, O breath, from the four winds! Breathe into these dead bodies so they may live again.’” 10 So I spoke the message as he commanded me, and breath came into their bodies. They all came to life and stood up on their feet—a great army.
11 Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones represent the people of Israel. They are saying, ‘We have become old, dry bones—all hope is gone. Our nation is finished.’ 12 Therefore, prophesy to them and say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: O my people, I will open your graves of exile and cause you to rise again. Then I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13 When this happens, O my people, you will know that I am the Lord. 14 I will put my Spirit in you, and you will live again and return home to your own land. Then you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken, and I have done what I said. Yes, the Lord has spoken!’
God was giving the exiled Israelites hope of their coming restoration and return to their beloved homeland. God promised to accomplish the return through His Spirit and bring new life to them. Where are you in need of restoration today? Do you have insurmountable problems that need to be overcome? Do you have broken relationships or projects that seem too big even on your best days? Ezekiel knew that only God had the answer to their exile? Only God could restore them and make them a nation again. God assured Ezekiel that He would indeed bring them back and restore them.
Have faith today that God is greater than any problem you face and can indeed bring about restoration of your mind, heart, body and soul. He is Almighty God and nothing is beyond his ability to bring restoration and reconciliation. Walk in faith trusting Him for the answers.