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Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Dry Bones of Impossibility (Ezekiel 37:3-4)

 "He said to me, "Son of man, can these bones live?" I said "O 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!"

Have you ever felt completely hopeless? From all accounts Israel ceases to exist as a nation. Ten tribes were carried into captivity by the Assyrians and now Judah has been taken captive to Babylon. A tiny remnant remain in the land. All hope of restoration is gone. Things, however, are never as they first appear, especially for those to whom God has made promises. Restoration would come but it would totally depend upon God's power and not upon man's ability.

God gives His prophet a vision of dry bones. Into this valley of dry bones God breaths His very life. The impossible occurs. Flesh appears and life is restored. And it is all God's doing.
God loves the impossible. Just as skeletons do not return to life so Israel will not be restored as a nation unless God does something. Restoration of life doesn't depend upon what man can do but what God can do. Just as God can bring skeletons to life so He promises to restore Israel.

Do you have a pile of dead bones in your life? Broken relationships or health, wayward children, financial ruin. Each seems irreparable because unless God does something they are irreparable! God, however, is able to take the piles of dead bones and give them life.

Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading:
Ezekiel 37-39
  • Where does the Spirit of God take Ezekiel and what does He ask Him?
  • What does God tell Ezekiel to do and what does this require of Ezekiel?
  • What happens when Ezekiel speaks to the dry bones?
  • Who do the dry bones represent?
  • What purpose does the vision of dry bones serve?
  • What does the lack of hope do to a person?
  • Who do the sticks represent in Ezekiel's visual?
  • What kind of covenant does God promise to make with the people?
(It is important to know that after the exiles return to Israel they no longer worship idols. Captivity cured them of their reliance upon and worship of idols.)
  • Why does God have Ezekiel prophesy against Gog?
  • What is the origin of Gog's evil scheme?
  • How does God deal with Gog when they attack Israel?
  • What does Israel learn about God through this event?
  • How long will it take Israel to clean up the mess?
Turning truth into prayer
Joni Eareckson Tada defines suffering as "God using what He hates in order to accomplish what He loves." Evil does not originate with God. God does, however, use the evil that evil men do to discipline His people but that does not mean that God condones evil. In fact, He punishes evil-doers for the evil that they do. Our God is Big! Bigger than those who do evil. So big that He takes the dry bones of my life and reconstructs them by His Spirit. Thank the Lord for the dry bones in your life. Thank Him for resurrection life.