Ezekiel is a hard book of the Bible to read. Full of imagery and prophecies, one almost needs a seminary degree to understand it. Yet, the Bible is full of similarities and comparatives that shine light on the hard places. This passage is one of those amazing passages that, if you pay attention, can help you study other verses too:
"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 led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life." [Ezekiel 37:1-5]
Whenever Scripture is very specific about something, there is usually always a nugget of knowledge to be gleaned. The Ezekiel passage was very specific that the bones in the valley were dry -- in fact, it says the bones "were very dry." The Lord tells Ezekiel to prophesy to the bones and address them as "dry bones."
They were dry bones.
The Lord said to the bones, "I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life."
Where else did the Lord God breathe on bones that were not yet living?
If we think back to the beginning, that is how man came to be. "Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being" [Genesis 2:7]. Without the breath of God, man would not live.
That was the creation of man. God formed Adam out of the dust and breathed into him life. The bones in the Ezekiel passage were so numerous as to cover a valley -- certainly the remnants of an aged battle. The bones, dried and withered with age, had no life in them -- until the breath of God breathed onto them and they came to life.
I was dried bones once. I had accepted Christ as my Savior but life had a way of sapping the energy and life out of me. I was hurt by my abusive ex-husband and believed the names he called me. I was dry bones. Domestic violence not only made scars on my physical body but emotional, psychological and spiritual scars -- and no amount of ointment could heal them. It would take a miracle.
The Lord led me to a spiritual retreat that lasted an entire weekend at the beach, and there I rededicated my life to Christ. I sat on the beach, breathing in the salt air, listening to the waves churn and dash against the retreating shoreline, and that is where God Himself reached down, drew me close, and breathed in my nostrils the breath of life. He made me a living being that day. I no longer was the dead woman shuffling through life, believing the lies the Enemy whispered in my ear. Instead, praise Jesus, I had His life in me. He gave His life so that I may have a new life.
No where is this new life more apparent than after Jesus had risen. John 20:19-22 states, "On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, 'Peace be with you!' After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus said, 'Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.' And with that he breathed on them and said, 'Receive the Holy Spirit.'"
Jesus breathed into the disciples the life everlasting, the life filled with the Holy Spirit, to commission them to share Him and His message with the world. He ascended into heaven soon after.
Are you being beaten up by life? Have you been believing the lies spoken in secret by the Enemy? Believe in Christ, give your life to Him -- and He will give peace, the peace that can only be had In and Through Him, and will breathe in you new life, filled with His presence the He longs to give you. The blessings He gives aren't always financial or material, but they are always tied to His presence and power in your life.
One thing I had to learn, though, was to allow the dead person to die. I had to forgive my ex-husband and move forward, unfettered by the weight of unforgiving bitterness. This does not mean I repeated my mistake earlier of being a doormat for abuse. The dry bones were alive again, and not about to be dehydrated again. I was not about to go back "as a dog returns to its vomit," according to 2 Peter 2:20-22.
Romans 6:4 plainly says, "We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life." We only have life through Christ....now, through peace instead of turmoil; and in the hereafter, in eternal life with Jesus. A new life in Christ is so much better than dry bones in the world.
Are your bones dry? Ask for the sweet breath of Jesus to wash over you. Pray for this, and He will do it, gently saying to you, "Peace be with you."
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