Sunday, August 15, 2010

Valley of Dry Bones

Ezekiel 37

1 The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. 3 He asked me, "Son of man, can these bones live?"
I said, "O Sovereign LORD, you alone know."

This passage is one of the most familiar of the Old Testament. Ezekiel, however is not that well known, even though this book is about his ministry to Israel in a very turbulent time in their history. One of my OT professors called Ezekiel, "The 'nut' of the Old Testament". He meant this in two ways. 1) His actions and the way he illustrated certain things in his ministry certainly qualified him as being eccentric in his actions. Over the top. Outrageous. Crazy, some people might say and 2) This is a very complex man and a very complex message that he brought, and while the way he illustrated it, could be interpretted as complex and erratic, the message was clarion clear and unwavering.

In this passage, he presents all of Israel as dead. So much dead and long dead, that there was nothing left but dry bones...as far as Ezekiel looked in the valley. Scattered...dry...once human bones. Of course the reason they were like that was because of sin. They did not follow the LORD's commands and decrees. The very worse parts of the Old Testament had come true and now they find themselves in this predicament. Dry. Used up. Abandoned.

The LORD asks Ezekiel a simple question. "Son of man, can these bones live?" From a human perspective, the answer was clear. "No!" There was no way that these very dry bones could once again life. But Ezekiel was not having a conversation with a human. He was conversing with the LORD All Mighty. Maker of Heaven and Earth. Supreme in all the universe. The great I AM. Because of this, Ezekiel answers wisely. "O Sovereign LORD, you alone know." Just because it was impossible from a human perspective, Ezekiel, knowing the true nature of the LORD, answers that he did not know, only the LORD knew the answer to that question.

I bet many of you feel sometimes that you are 'dry', when it comes to the spiritual things of the LORD. I know I have felt that way at different times in my life. You might even have felt that there was no hope for you; that the LORD had abandoned you, that there was nothing left.

But if you take the passage at it's face value, you see that with the LORD there is always Grace. Always Hope. No matter how you feel, God is still there. He still wants to use you. His Word can restore you. If He can raise the dead, He can certainly put a fire back inside you and give you Hope and a Mission. In this case, he not only restored Israel and made them live again, but he brought them together as a fighting machine for His Glory. He brought them to their land which they lost and he now restored their place in the world. Ezekiel is all about restoration. The LORD is all about restoration. Restoration and Mission.

How about you today? Where are you at in your walk with the LORD? Do you feel dry? Do you need restoration, life and purpose? That's what the LORD wants for you as well! If you have not been attending church, go out and find a Bible believing and preaching one where the people of God can minister to you and help restore you to the proper place in God's Kingdom. If you have abandoned reading the Bible, God's Word...start reading today. If you have stopped praying..start today. Let others pray for you...remember about getting to a good church...they can help. Don't waste another second feeling left out or useless. Get back into the ministry the the LORD wants for you...do it today!

Blessings all!

--EDL