If you saw a news headline that declared, “Dry bones come back to life!” you might think you were reading from a tabloid news outlet or maybe the entertainment section. You certainly would not expect it to be written by an eyewitness reporter who was on the scene when it happened. But the prophet Ezekiel did experience such a miracle. He was used by the Lord to prophesy over a stack of dry bones, and they came back to life.
Let’s read the story, then realize the implications for us today.
1 The hand of the LORD was on me, and he brought me out by his Spirit and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me all around them. There were a great many of them on the surface of the valley, and they were very dry. 3 Then he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I replied, “Lord GOD, only you know.”
4 He said to me, “Prophesy concerning these bones and say to them: Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! 5 This is what the Lord GOD says to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you will live. 6 I will put tendons on you, make flesh grow on you, and cover you with skin. I will put breath in you so that you come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD.”
7 So I prophesied as I had been commanded. While I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 As I looked, tendons appeared on them, flesh grew, and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.
9 He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man. Say to it: This is what the Lord GOD says: Breath, come from the four winds and breathe into these slain so that they may live!?” 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me; the breath entered them, and they came to life and stood on their feet, a vast army.
Apart from a miracle from the Lord, there was no hope for these bones to live again. The people who had died in the valley were long gone and all that was left of them were stacks of dry bones. The dry bones were hopeless.
The Lord asked Ezekiel, “Can these bones live?” And Ezekiel answered rightly, “Lord GOD, only you know.” How incredible is that response by Ezekiel! He recognized the limitations of his knowledge, power and abilities. Yet, he didn’t try to limit God. Ezekiel didn’t know all that could happen, but he knew that God did.
When situations seem hopeless, respond with faith and gut-level honesty like Ezekiel did, and acknowledge that only God knows how things will unfold. And like Ezekiel, act in obedience to the word of God.
God directed Ezekiel to speak words of prophecy to the bones. Imagine how crazy that must have seemed to Ezekiel. It would be like today if God called you to go to a cemetery and speak to the dry bones there. Yet despite how Ezekiel may have felt about the situation, he obeyed the Lord.
The Lord answered in a powerful way!
In a miracle that only God could do, the bones began to reattach themselves. It seems like a video sequence that today would be produced by CGI technology, yet Ezekiel saw it happen in real life. Tendons and ligaments appeared, holding the bones together. Skin grew back over the bones. Then God instructed Ezekiel to speak to the lifeless bodies, and the breath of life was given to them once again.
These dry bones had come back to life!
What are some implications for us today?
- In every situation, our all-powerful Lord is sovereignly in charge, and he can do whatever he chooses to do. Have faith in him. Believe.
- Only God knows the future. Only he knows ultimately what will happen in every situation. Stay humble before him and stay close to him. Trust in him. Listen to him.
- No person is hopeless and no situation is hopeless when your hope is in the Lord. Nothing is impossible with God.
- If God can give new physical life to a valley of dry bones, he can give new spiritual life to people who are dead in their sins.
- Only God brings new life, and he gives new life to people who trust in Jesus as Lord and Savior.
- God can use you to help bring new spiritual life to others by speaking the word of the Lord to people, telling them that Jesus can give them new life.
16 For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Anyone who believes in him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God.
2 Corinthians 5:17
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come!