Ezekiel’s Army (06-10-21)
Bible Reading: Ezekiel 37:1-6,10
The hand of the Lord was on 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. 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. He asked me, "Son of man, can these bones live?" I said, "Sovereign Lord, you alone know." Then he said to me, "Prophesy to these bones and say to them, 'Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.'"
So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet, a vast army.
Ezekiel, along with his fellow countrymen and women, had witnessed the destruction of their beautiful temple, the loss of their homeland and the slaughter of many of their friends and relatives. They were now living as exiles in a foreign land.
Into this situation God gives Ezekiel a vision of a valley full of the dry bones, the broken skeletons of an army that had been defeated in a battle. He asks Ezekiel ‘Can these bones live?’ While Ezekiel’s reply ‘Sovereign Lord, you alone know’ might appear to dodge the question, in reality he is acknowledging that God is sovereign, and that anything is possible.
The key phrase in the revival of these bones is ‘Hear the word of the Lord’. Prophecy is speaking God’s word over a situation and, as Ezekiel did this, revival happened in stages. First the bones came together to form skeletons, then flesh came upon them to form bodies. Finally breath came into them to give them life and they stood together as a vast army.
What was true for the valley of dry bones became a reality for the nation of Israel. It can also become a reality for the people of Afghanistan and other displaced people around the world today. We may not know what God’s sovereign will is for these nations, but we do know that it will involve justice rather than tyranny, peace rather than strife, freedom rather than slavery and hope rather than despair. Let us speak these words over the troubled areas of our world and trust our sovereign God to make them a reality and that the world will know that God is indeed Lord
Ezekiel’s vision is also true for the Church and true for your life and for mine. Our Sovereign God can bring revival into situations that appear lost and beyond hope. He can bring dry bones back together, he can put flesh on the skeletons of the past, and into these bodies he can breathe new life. This is possible because Jesus is indeed Lord.
Sovereign Lord, into the troubled areas of this world we speak justice, peace, freedom and hope.
And in your Church, Lord, revive us by your Holy Spirit, that we may declare together that Jesus is indeed Lord.
Holy Spirit, living breath of God.