“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.’ So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.”
This past month I sat in two different church services where the text of Ezekiel 37 was the focus. Both sermons held the same message, which was this: God can make dead things come to life. To expand a little more, things that you may have deemed as dead or over (dreams, goals, relationships), God can revive and make new.
This is not the first time I’ve heard this message. I must admit that after hearing these messages twice, my mind went to orphans we serve, children for whom all of life must seem as hopeless as dry, lifeless bones.
My mind also went to some of my own dreams and relationships which have recently felt very “dead.”
These are things I immediately rush to God, squeezing it tightly with my fists, begging to revive it. I haven’t gone through the proper mourning process before asking God to do something new, to change the situation, to make it better. Hear me when I say: is a normal response and I should take those things to God. God sees all those things and can revive brokenness.
But those aren’t the bones that are talked about in this passage. This passage isn’t about reviving bones which still have flesh on them, that still have painful wounds.
Ezekiel 37 tells us that God also sees and knows things that we have buried. Things we have long forgotten. Things we pay no attention to, bones that have been mourned over and moved on from. God is there. God is there ready to speak life into the things for which we think no longer matter or things for which we’ve long since given up hope.
God knows the valley of dry bones we have within us.
While, yes, there is an obvious truth that God can make all things new, I believe there is yet another truth to be heard. That is truth is this: God sees and knows all parts of us.
The chapter begins with Ezekiel stating: “The 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.”
I love that it is by the hand of the Lord that Ezekiel is brought to the valley of dry bones. It is something that God knew of, something God saw. It’s also important to note that these bones were “very dry” which meant they had been there for a long time. These bones belonged to things which were long forgotten.
These dry bones weren’t something that Ezekiel noticed and asked God about, they were something God brought to Ezekiel’s attention. God then proceeded to ask Ezekiel if these bones can live. Ezekiel answered wisely by saying, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.” God then invited Ezekiel to prophesy to the bones and see the miracle at hand.
This truth is important to remember because we don’t just serve a God who sees the now and the future. God sees the things of the past and knows the potential of it still, after it is long forgotten.
God is in the business of restoration and can/will use anything to make us whole.
As we minister to orphans, many of whom feel their pasts contain nothing but dry bones, we can assure them that the God of restoration can bring life into them.
And may you be encouraged today, too, knowing that God sees your future. God sees your present. And God sees your past. God knows your dry bones and knows that they can hold life.
“Doing small things with great love,”
The Boaz Project, Inc.
Saturday, May 4
The Gathering Place, Greenwood, IN
This event includes:
- Family Fun Zone
- New Course
- Professional chip timing for the 5K
- A tech tee-shirt with pre-registration (cotton blend youth sizes)
- Option to walk, run, or sleep in!
- Finish line celebration with awards, live music, and snacks
We hope you will join us on Saturday, May 4, 2019, at The Gathering Place in Greenwood!
Register here: https://boazproject.org/5k