Water in the Desert 3 – Ezekiel 37:1-14

water-in-desert-pic-754528The 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[a] 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 I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin 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 it, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’” 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.

11 Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the people of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.12 Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13 Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. 14 I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord.’”

Merciful God, this valley of shadows smells like death. Life seems so far away from this place. We see in our sick loved one tendons and flesh, but very little breath (v.8). Our bones are so very weak and dry from these endless days of suffering. We prophesy to all that is not as it should be, “Dry bones, weary souls, hear the word of the LORD: In the name of Jesus, breathe fresh breath from the four winds into this situation. Help us to rise up each morning and face each day in your power!”  We stare disease in the face and ask , “Can these bones live?”  And we cast everything we have and are on this realith: “Sovereign LORD, you alone know” (v.3). Ultimately, we draw courage and hope today knowing that even though we may have days where we feel like “our hope is gone” and “we are cut off” (v.11), we know that Jesus has conquered the grave, and therefore even if death should visit this valley we will indeed rise and stand on our feet — we just don’t know if it will be in this life or the next. So we say, “Sovereign LORD, you alone know.” Amen

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