One Year Bible
Old Testament passage for Monday, November 18, 2013: Ezekiel 37:1-38:23
1 The hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. 2 Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. 3 And He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” Ezekiel 37:1-3 (NKJV)
Ezekiel is one of the most visionary prophets. Through his book, he gives us not just prophetic words, but visions from God. Perhaps the most famous is "The Valley of Dry Bones" (Ez. 37:1-14).
The theme of this vision is the restoration of lost causes. Israel, God's chosen people, were like scattered skeletons dead and dry. The first question God asks of Ezekiel is "Son of man, can these bones live?" (37:3)
We might ask similar questions. Can this marriage be healed? Can a church be re-birthed? Can a broken life be restored?
In the midst of desperation and defeat, it can be difficult to believe again. After years of bad experience, it seems impossible for a new day to dawn.
Everything in the vision changes when Ezekiel begins to prophesy. God, Who can do anything, required Ezekiel to begin speaking His Word. He commanded him, "Prophesy to these bones" (37:4).
Here are a few observations:
1. God requires that we speak His Word over our situation. We all tend to underestimate the power of the declared Word of God. Whether it be by anointed preaching or by personal confession, the Word of God is powerful! (Heb. 4:12) We don't have to understand it, be are just called to release it.
2. God's Word rearranges our world. When Ezekiel began speaking, he heard a noise. It was a rattling as the bones began coming together (37:7). When resurrection life begins to work in us, it brings change! Whereas once we were weak, hopeless, and defeated, we become strong. We shift into new patterns of health and wholeness.
3. God's Word works in conjunction with His Spirit. In a sense, Ezekiel not only spoke to the bones, he also spoke to the wind (the Spirit). If the Word of God gives the structure, the Holy Spirit gives the life. It is the Word and the Spirit working in conjunction that produce full impact. It has been said, "The Word without the Spirit -- we dry up. The Spirit without the Word -- we blow up. The Spirit WITH the Word -- we grow up."
God is raising up His army in our day. It is according to Ezekiel's vision. Despite what seems to be nothing but dry bones, yet God sees "an exceedingly great army" rising up.
Our part is to begin speaking (prophesying) His Word over our lives, our churches, our cities, our world. There is nothing more powerful that the anointed declaration of God's eternal Word. When we do this, we are serving as His agents of Kingdom advance. God guarantees our success. It is HIS success through us. He Who has spoken will also perform it.