from the devotional book, PICTURES OF GOD
Ezekiel 37:1-14, 23-28
The Israelites were sitting in Babylon, far from home, helpless captives of their enemies. They were a people defeated and disgraced. Their religion, their lifestyle, everything they had and had known was gone. Their nation no longer existed. They felt abandoned by their God – though in fact, they had abandoned Him.
In Ezekiel 36:16-38, God had made amazing promises to these people through His prophet, Ezekiel, who was there ministering as an exile among them. But such incredible assurances needed to be more than lofty words, so God confirmed the words with a vision, recorded in Ezekiel 37:1-10.
Ezekiel sees an entire valley full of human bones – very dry and very dead, beyond any hope of life. God challenges Ezekiel with the question, “Son of man, can these bones live?”
God commands Ezekiel to prophesy to the bones – that is, to speak God’s sovereign Word to them. When he does, the bodies first come back together as corpses. Then, at the Word of God through Ezekiel, God’s breath* brings them back to life, and they stand up on their feet – a vast army (v.10). Note that the same elements that brought life to the unformed earth – God’s sovereign Word and His Spirit* – now bring new life to what was dead.
What a stunning picture of the new life that God’s Spirit brings to us now and at the resurrection! The same Breath* of God that renews us now will soon bring us a completely new life, both spiritually and physically.
Why is God so unbelievably lavish with His undeserving people? Because He passionately wants the entire world, every nation, every society, every family, every person, to know how holy, gracious, and forgiving He is. Ephesians 1:6 & 12 tell us that we were created and redeemed to show the world how good and loving is our wonderful God. Never forget that this is our calling. This is why we are here.
*In the original Hebrew of this passage, the words translated “Spirit”, “breath”, and “wind” are all the same word. God’s Spirit is the wind of His power and the breath of His love. God’s Spirit is His life in motion.