Isn’t that one of the worst things you can see! Low battery, my phone is about to die. We all get that way on occasion. Sometimes we are tired and need a vacation. But sometimes we are tired and need a revival.
Ezekiel 37 reminds us that there is hope for the hopeless in Christ.
Ezekiel 37:1-3 records:
The 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.”
These were some of the darkest days for Judah. The people were in Babylonian captivity. They could remember the beautiful temple being destroyed. They could still hear the cries of the people being taken into captivity, the pleading of the dying, and the sounds of the walls coming down.
But now there was this man named Ezekiel, a priest and a prophet, came with a message which followed from the meaning of his name–God strengthens. But what about these people? They were so far gone, things were so bad, could revival really be in the future?
The desolation of the people is displayed in God’s prophetic description “a valley of dry bones.” It was the scene of a battlefield. It was intended to remind the people of how God had punished them before.
It is also a scene of our spiritual life at times. We can be so far cut off from God that our heart feels like a battlefield and we lost! Ezekiel’s question was an emotional one. Perhaps it was with tears in his eyes he said, “Can these bones live?”.
We feel that way often. Hopeless. Despondent. No where to turn. Could there be any hope for us?
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.”
Hope is in the Gospel. The remedy for the depressed spiritual condition of the people was preaching. Some have said, “Christianets desires sermonets from preacherets.” Too many congregations have perished by being starved of the Word. To revitalize the people, God prescribed the preached Word.
Ephesians 6:17 encourages us to “take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” If we are to make spiritual victories we must have the Word of God.
Psalm 19:7 tells us, “The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul.” How wonderful that we can be restored by God through his word!
We sometimes say that a person is not what he used to be; and, physiologically speaking, it is an accurate statement. Every minute, five million cells in the human body are destroyed and replaced. The physical miracle of renewal takes place without personal awareness. But spiritual renewal requires constant vigil and desire. “It is the Spirit that gives life” (John 6:63). (G. Curtis Jones, 1000 Illustrations for Preaching and Teaching (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1986), 164–165.)
GOD’S PLAN FOR REVIVAL REALIZED
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. 9 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.” 10 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.
11 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.’ 12 Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will bring you into the land of Israel. 13 And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. 14 And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the Lord.”
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Eze 37:8–14.
Preaching may have fallen on hard times, but God’s plan is still yet the same. Preach, pray, teach, and he will give the increase.
I wonder what the future could hold for us? How great could our lives be if we return to the Lord?