Speak to the Dry Bones!
Recently, the Lord has highlighted for me the story in Ezekiel 37 where Ezekiel encounters the dry bones. As I meditated on the passage, it became evident to me that God has vital, current revelation for us from this ancient story.
You see, Ezekiel was living in a time when there were some similar parallels to the day we live in now. Ezekiel knew suffering and the suffering of the people around Him. He encountered the hopelessness of their situation where defeat, division, and loss of favor were a daily reality. God cared about the state of things then, and He cares about the state of things now. He is a God of redemptive solutions and a God of mighty power!
Ezekiel's Remarkable Vision
It is important to note that in vs. 1 of Ezekiel 37, Ezekiel shares that "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 acknowledged that the vision he is about to share was God's initiative and orchestrated by His Spirit.
This valley of dry bones where the Spirit of the Lord took Ezekiel was not just full of bones, but it says they were "very dry". This scene could certainly have been described as "Death Valley" because there was no sign of life anywhere. The fact that the bones were very dry indicated that they had been dead for a while and there was no sign of life at all. This was a shocking and disturbing scenario I'm sure for Ezekiel to encounter.
What is even more shocking is the Lord's question to Ezekiel, "Son of man, can these bones live?"(Ezk. 37:3a) Ezekiel must have grappled with the "correct answer" to give the Lord and landed on a reasonably safe reply, "Sovereign Lord, you alone know." (Ezk. 37:3b)
Our Own Valley of Dry Bones
It seems we have been in a "valley" season worldwide for several years now. Assault after assault has come for many, traumatizing and leaving many shell-shocked and numb from the battle. We are in a time right now where we can survey the dead things around us, marriages, churches, schools, relationships, and governments, and the Lord is asking us a similar question, "Son of man, can these things live?"
I believe the Lord was looking for faith from Ezekiel. He was looking for agreement! And He is looking for faith and agreement from His people right now as we survey the dead things around us. He wants us to see them with eyes that believe He can work miracles!
An Awakening Word
After Ezekiel answered the Lord he was given his first assignment and that was to command the bones to hear the word of the Lord. We don't need to miss the power of what is being released here. God's word was about to go forth and those words would carry the seed of the miracle that God was going to release. Ezekiel had to release a wake up call before he released the word of the Lord.
"Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!" (Ezk. 37:4b) I believe we are in an "awakening" right now in the Body of Christ and in many other arenas. There has been a numbing complacency and a dumbing down of our faith that has caused a slumbering Bride to not step fully into Her place of authority with Christ. So, Ezekiel was releasing a war cry to the dry bones to come to attention and hear the word of the Lord. Many prophetic voices are now releasing a similar cry to "AWAKEN!", rallying the troops to tune in to God's voice and the activity of Heaven that is getting ready to be poured out on the earth.
"I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD." Ezekiel 37:5-6
God releases a phenomenal power-filled promise over the bones and he chose to use Ezekiel as his mouthpiece to convey His word. God is awakening His Bride to step into this place of partnership with Him to convey and release His words of hope and life into the dead and broken things around us. When we release His promises and words of life and hope, we are scattering seeds that will most certainly bring forth life and a harvest.
"As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it." Isaiah 55:10-11
Many have forgotten the power of God's word as it goes forth! Isaiah tells us that God's word will accomplish the purpose for which it was sent forth. We must lay hold of this truth and began to act like we believe it! Ezekiel saw this truth in action, for Ezekiel 37:7-8 tells us, "...And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. I looked and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them."
Imagine Ezekiel's surprise as his prophecy is interrupted with the sound of rattling! When God's word goes forth it carries with it a miraculous creative force that holds the power to accomplish the word. Remember, God spoke the world into existence. He could have surely spoken to the bones Himself, but He was involving Ezekiel in a teaching and activating moment that reveals again His desire to partner with His people in accomplishing His will on the earth.
"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." Ezk. 37:9-10
Call Forth the Breath!
The bodies that had formed as a result of Ezekiel's obedience to prophesy the word of the Lord, only came to life when the breath of the Lord entered them. It is the "ruah", Hebrew word for breath, wind, and Spirit of God, that entered them and caused them to come to life and stand to their feet as a vast army. What a word this is for us today! It is only the energizing, and life-giving "ruah" or Spirit of God that will awaken and call forth His army in this hour as well. But, He has chosen to use His people as His mouthpiece to release His seed filled promises and breath that will accomplish the desires of His heart.
After Ezekiel had prophesied to the breath and saw the vast army arise, the Lord took a moment to explain the meaning of this interactive vision Ezekiel had just experienced.
"Then he said to me: "Son of man these bones are the people of Israel. They say, 'Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.' Therefore prophesy and say to them: ''This is what the Sovereign LORD say: My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. Then you, my people, will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD.'" Ezekiel 37:11-14
I feel many in the Body of Christ unfortunately find themselves in this place of feeling, "dried up", hopeless, and cut off. The enemy's attack has been relentless and even seasoned warriors are in need of a time of receiving the re-energizing and life-giving "ruah" of God. God promised the Children of Israel that he would open up the graves that had buried and covered them and bring them up from them. I hear Him speaking this same thing to His Body today. We are not to give up on things that appear or look dead, but listen to His voice and prophesy into those situations where He is calling forth life. I believe that His life-giving Spirit will roll back the years that have been stolen and cause a return of youthfulness and life to people, situations, and relationships that have appeared as "dry bones".
What a great time to be alive! What a pivotal moment we are in as His people; a time where we can partner with Him to release life and hope knowing that He has spoken, and He will surely do it!