When the Bones Don’t Live

Ezekiel 37:1-10
The hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley;[a] it was full of bones. 2 And he led me round among them; and behold, there were very many upon the valley;[b] and lo, they were very dry. 3 And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord God, thou knowest.” 4 Again he said to me, “Prophesy to 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[c] 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[d] in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord.”

7 So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold, a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to its bone. 8 And as I looked, 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,[e] Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath,[f] and breathe upon 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 upon their feet, an exceedingly great host.

Ezekiel (chapt 37) shares a powerful vision of God bringing dry, dead bones to life again.  The vision was God’s promise that Israel, now captive in a foreign land, was about to see their fortune change:  God would soon set them free and they would go home.

What about the times when God does not bring the dry bones of our lives back to life again?  The Pentecost story in Acts 2 has something to say to us about that.

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