In Ezekiel 37 God takes Ezekiel out to a valley of dry bones. God asks him if these bones can live. Ezekiel, showing his savvy, gives God the perfect answer…one that is worth remembering if God ever asks you a tough question, “O Sovereign Lord, you alone know.” God demonstrates how he works by telling Ezekiel what to say and so Ezekiel starts to preach to the bones. The bones rattle around and begin to connect. But they are still dead. So God tells Ezekiel to speak to the bones again and tell them that the breath of God is about to enter into them. Ezekiel informs the bones of what God is going to do and God sends his breath into them and brings them back to life.
Evangelism works like that. God tells us to speak to the dead, dry bones out there and God is the one who brings them to life. We speak and say what we are told to say and God works to bring people back to life. I realize this is out of context because these verses are about God’s own people coming back to life and I am applying this to speaking the word of life into the lives of the spiritually dead but I think the principle still applies. It worked that way with Moses & Aaron in Egypt…they spoke but it was God’s power that backed it up. What is more, God takes a hopeless people and gives them hope. He is the giver of life. He is the resurrection and the life.
Read these final words from Ezekiel 37:11-14,
“Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: O 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. 13 Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. 14 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.’”
I am so glad God is in the business of renewing and restoring things, even dead things. He is the ultimate giver of hope and giver of life. He has the final say…not the grave, not the valley of defeat where these men fell, not Israel in a foreign land worshipping foreign gods and not a church in disarray and decline. Where we see dry bones, God sees a vibrant people. Let’s catch that vision!