EZEKIEL 37:3-6: “And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. 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.”
OBSERVATION: Will these areas in my life ever change? Have you ever asked this question. You know that all things are possible to the one who believes. You know that God is able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all you are able to ask or think. And yet, in all honesty, as you look over your life, like Ezekiel, you see a valley of dry bones. These dry bones represent unfulfilled dreams, disappointments, areas of brokenness and need. You look over this valley in your life and wonder – “Will these areas in my life ever change?” The nation of Israel felt the same way. Listen to their words.
- “Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are indeed cut off.’” (Ezekiel 37:11 ESV)
I am sure Ezekiel felt this way too as he looked upon the valley of dry bones in this vision. When asked if these dry bones could live, Ezekiel answered somewhat sheepishly – “O Lord God, you know.” Then the Lord asked Ezekiel to do something quite strange. He did not ask Ezekiel to simply stand by and watch as the bones came to life. Rather, the Lord asked Ezekiel to prophesy over these dry dead bones. He asked Ezekiel to partner with Him in bringing these dry dead bones to life!
Now this is where we come to a fork in the road of our understanding. Many people have misunderstood the partnership that God calls us to and have run with it making it their “own work”. It is a partnership, but only one partner holds the power. The Lord alone has the power to bring that which is dead to life. We can only proclaim His Word and watch Him act. This is what the Lord called Ezekiel to do. He said to Ezekiel,
- “…Say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. 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.”
Here are some important truths to gather from these few short verses:
- Ezekiel was called to speak.
- The word he was called to speak was the Word of the Lord, not his own word.
- Ezekiel was directed where to speak these words.
- Ezekiel was not commanded to address these bones in his name, but in the Name of the Lord.
- Ezekiel was called only to speak what was clearly revealed to him by the Lord, and no more.
- The glory was intended to go to the Lord alone, and not to Ezekiel.
When Ezekiel obeyed the Lord, something wonderful happened!
- “So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I prophesied, there was a sound, and behold, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. And I looked, and behold, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them. But there was no breath in them. Then 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.” So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.” (Ezekiel 37:7-10 ESV)
Where there once was no hope – hope was restored! Where there once was no life – life was restored! How did this happen? Did Ezekiel have to put bone to bone, wrap the bones in sinews and flesh? No – he simply obeyed the Lord in prophesying over these dead bones and then watched as the Lord miraculously brought them to life.
How true is that in our lives? We are not called to work miracles in our lives or the lives of others in our own strength. We are simply called to proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of God. We are simply called to humbly obey and follow the Lord. When we do, God in His own timing, and in His own way – takes that which is dead and brings it to life! It is completely His work and His power. He simply gives us the privilege and joy of partnering with Him by grace through faith.
The power of God is not released in our “confession” of things that we have devised or desired. The power of God is release in our “proclamation” of what He has willed and what He desires. The power of God is released in our lives as we proclaim the Gospel of the Kingdom and obey His command to make disciples.
- “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:16-17 ESV)
- “And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by accompanying signs.” (Mark 16:20 ESV)
Lord, help us to get off our seats and into the streets with the message of Your Good News in Jesus Christ! What miracles will we see as we do?
In Jesus Name!