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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

“Running Down Everywhere”

Ezekiel 37:1-14

God is a God of the impossible. God shows Ezekiel what is left of Israel. What is left?  The answer is simple. Nothing. Ezekiel sees only a valley of very dry bones. There are many of them. The glory and hope of Israel appears to lie irretrievably in the past. The days of David and Solomon are long gone. Nothing could be more devoid of life than all these “dry bones.”

What hope can the prophet take from this vision? There doesn’t seem to be any. The bones themselves testify to the fact that Israel is completely cut off. There is no hope. God asks Ezekiel if the bones can live.  Ezekiel can only say, “O Lord, God, you know.” This is in effect to say that there is no human hope.  And truly there is none. God then tells Ezekiel to prophesy to the bones.  He is to say, “O Dry bones, heart the word of the Lord.”

How can bones hear? The body is all gone. There are no ears to hear.  Yet what do we read?  God commands Ezekiel to call upon the “breath.”  The breath is the wind which is the same word as the Spirit.  What we see is the resurrection of a whole people.  The bones come to life.  They have bodies now and they are a “vast multitude.”

We can look around us and see a whole host of spiritual dry bones. Churches are closing at an alarming rate.  Christians can feel dried up as though there is nothing left, no energy, no strength, no movement. This however, as this text makes clear, is when God acts. The breath, the Holy Spirit, comes upon dry bones and revives them.  We are never without hope. We, like ancient Israel, can feel that “our hope is lost.”  However, it never is.  God does what is humanly impossible (Matt. 19:26).  God is still active, even among dry bones.

Gracious and faithful Lord I sometimes feel like my life has become full of dead and dry bones.  Revive me in the power of your Spirit.  Continue to give me the new life that comes only from you.  I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.