The Valley of Dry Bones
It is written,
“The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord God, thou knowest.”
Imagine standing in a wide valley, flat and featureless, littered with human bones. Bleached, cracked, scattered in every direction you look, you behold the evidence of carnage and unbelievable suffering. Every once in a while, a skull looks back at you through empty sockets as if to ask, “Why?”
This was the disturbing scene that confronted Ezekiel in the vision he saw. This was the pitiful aftermath of a battle fought and lost years and years ago. Every one of those bones told of a lifetime of hopes and dreams destroyed in an instant and lost forever. That valley wailed of ultimate failure and heartbreak.
Here is a truth,
“For those who do know know God, the valley of dry bones is their ultimate destination, but for all those who know Christ Jesus, it is not the end but merely the prelude to a new beginning.”
The question God put to Ezekiel was,
“Son of man, can these bones live?”
The question I put to you today is similar,
“Believers in Christ, can your bones live?”
Many of us, including me, sometimes feel like we are torn apart, weathered, and scattered like these bleached bones. There is literally nothing left of what we thought we once were. We have fought seemingly in vain only to have what little strength we possess vanish before our eyes as we fall in the field of battle.
Not only are we fallen but all those we have been with us have fallen or are falling too. Everything in our lives have culminated in this scorched earth that claims the dubious distinction of becoming our final resting place. Everything that we held most dear is now just a temporary feast for the fouls of the air and the beasts of the field. This valley held such a bleak sight that even Ezekiel could only say,
“O Lord God, thou knowest.”
It is written,
“ Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord.”
First, through God’s prophet, He speaks to these bones. Mind you, He did not write them a letter but He spoke directly to the dead and told them what was going to happen. Moreover, God ended up by saying that after he performs this miracle they will realize exactly who He is.
We all come to a place where everything we have done or tried to do simply fails. We, like these dry bones, are beyond any natural help or hope. Left to ourselves we will continue to beach our bones in the wilderness of this world until we crumble into dust. It is at this point, when all hope is lost, that God comes to show Himself to be the Almighty.
God feels the need to continually demonstrate His sovereignty over everything in our lives because we lose sight of who He really is. We become so bogged down in the cares and worries of this life that we lose sight of Who we serve and what He is capable of doing. Admittedly, being a bunch of dry bones is pretty depressing, but, nevertheless our condition does not preclude His salvation.
With God it is never over until He says so. Even death is not an obstacle for Him. There is never anything in our lives that He cannot overcome, change, and totally turn around simply by speaking. What looks impossible for us is merely the next thing to do on His list. Though we lie totally helpless and unable to do anything God is not perplexed, perturbed, or pessimistic in the least. In fact, God views our utter failure as an opportunity for Him bring Glory to His Holy name. God likes Red Sea experiences.
Therefore, here is a truth,
“Whatever is going on in our lives, however desperate or hopeless it may seem, it is not a problem for God to change everything in the moment, in the twinkling of an eye.”
Furthermore, it is written,
“So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them. ”
Note, God did not speak to the bones Himself but instructed Ezekiel to do so. Often times, God will direct us to speak into impossible situations and declare, by faith, the miracle that He is about to do. God is often looking for someone, anyone, to have the audacity to believe for the impossible so that He can do the miracle. Our greatest faith is demonstrated when everything else says He can’t do what He says. When we stand and declare God’s words to that which cannot possibly happen it please God to do just that.
“Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.”
Have you ever had the wind knock out of you when you have fallen? It is one of the most unpleasant and frightening experiences in life. Suddenly, what you have taken for granted is gone and unless it comes back very soon you are finished. Just as God breathed the breath of life in to the first Adam God needs to breath His breath of life into each one of us so that we may live. Without the breath of God, i.e. the Holy Spirit, though we appear to be alive we are not. This is what God did to the whole human race on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit filled the 120 in the upper room. It was God giving mankind mouth to mouth resuscitation. Never think that you do not need to speak in tongues for that is the sign of the breath of God in your life and without it you cannot truly live.
“ So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.”
Ezekiel did as God commanded and through that act of faith our heavenly Father performed the impossible. Not only did He restore that which was dead but they that lived became an army ready to do battle.
While, in the natural realm all seems lost and the battle that we fought seems to have gone against us, with God, though we are dead we shall live again. There is no defeat that our Father cannot over turn if we will but speak the word that He has given us. There is no crisis that we cannot recover from when God is involved. If God can raise up dry bones and make them live don’t you think He can take our problems and make them disappear too?
Let us all suspend disbelief and speak exactly what our Father gives to say. Let us all look at the dry bones in our own lives and cry “live!” In the midst of the most terrible of circumstances it only takes the smallest of faith to move a mountain. God is waiting, ready, and even eager to show how great He can be if someone will believe Him and take Him at His word. I know how hard this can seem to be but that is what makes us different from the world and able to overcome it in His name. We believe, therefore we receive and we will conquer all in Jesus Holy name!