Ezekiel 37:1 The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones,
Eze 37:2 And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry.
Eze 37:3 And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest.
In verse 11 God told Ezekiel, "These bones are the house of Israel." But I believe there is a very real lesson for the church today.
Many of today's modern churches have become like Israel: Dried up, just a memory of where the life had been.
A lot of Christians are looking at the state of the churches and becoming discouraged. They just don't see how revival can ever come again.
But I want to tell you, if God can raise up dried bones into an army, He can still send revival. But we have to kick out discouragement and hope in the Lord.
Can I tell you something? When the dream dies the bones dry.
God set the prophet down in a very discouraging place. But the man who spoke to the bones had no power on his own to bring the life back, only the commission of God to speak life to a dry bone. And the life was in the Words of the Lord.
We all want to walk through the flower garden and smell the sweet fragrance. But God is calling a people right now who will walk through the bone piles of humanity and speak the Words of Life to a generation that reeks of the stench of death.
The prophet didn't work God's work from a distance. He was among the dry bones.
You see maybe we have dry bones for neighbors, companions, fellow workers, even sitting beside us on a church pew. The Bible says that we have been placed in the middle of a crooked and perverse generation.
Why? To shine as lights and speak Words of Life.
God is looking for some people who will let Him send them to the most hopeless and helpless. A people that are not looking for fame or fortune, but are looking to have the hand of the Lord upon them.
Now 3 things tested this prophet's faith.
1. The Bones Were Very Many
It didn't look like a good place for revival. The very multitude of the bones made the work seem impossible. But Ezekiel spoke the Words and left the revival up to God. He believed that God was equal to the task.
Things seem very wicked right now. But friends, God is still equal to the task of saving and restoring. No difficulty can surpass His resources.
Sometimes we look at the condition of our churches and the moral decay in our nation and we get discouraged. We look at the call and look at our own ability and our own wisdom and think the job is just too big. But if we have faith and trust in God's ability and wisdom things will begin to come together just like the bone pile, bone to his bone in order.
2. The Bones Were Very Dry
No sign of life. If we aren't careful we will classify people as hopeless or hopeful according to our own wisdom.
You know, we see the family that is somewhat churchy. They maybe come once in a while, Easter or Christmas, good people but just haven't committed their life to Christ and we are hopeful.
But what about the family where Dad is a drunk and very abusive. Mom is on so many pills she's out of it. The 15 year old girl is pregnant and the son is into the occult. Can these bones live again?
Ezekiel's answer, "Lord, Thou knowest." Ezekiel didn't try to sort the bones. He didn't look at the condition of the bones to find the answer. He trusted that the God who had made them in the beginning could remake them at His will.
The same is true spiritually. Everytime someone is born again another soul is pulled from the bone pile and raised in the newness of life.
The point is this: Don't try to sort the bone pile just speak the Words of Life to all we can and then let the Word work. Don't be discouraged because the bones are very dry.
3. The Prophet Was Told To Do A Very Foolish Thing
He was to preach to bones that can't hear.
Maybe God is dealing with us to speak to some who don't seem to listen and we think: "What's the use?" But God's Word can bypass the natural ear and speak to the spirit. Sometimes to accomplish God's work we will have to look foolish in the eyes of the world.
1 Corinthians 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
1 Corinthians 1:27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise.
Ezekiel was willing to do something that would look foolish. Are we?
Let's talk about the means of the miracle. Ezekiel spoke the Word of God to the bones and the Spirit of God raised them up. It wasn't because Ezekiel was well educated. It wasn't because Ezekiel was such a good speaker or a man of great means, but it was because, now watch this, he was a man, a vessel, chosen of God who spoke not his own words or his own opinion. He just spoke God's Word to the problem. That was his part, his total part.
God's Word and faith in God's Word is the equipment for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2ti 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
Church, we have been set down in this world among the dry bones. To work in this valley we must be people of prayer, who will speak God's Word to the lost, even when we look foolish. We speak the word and trust in the power of the Spirit to raise them up.
Let's not be discouraged by the number of the bones or the condition of dryness they are in.
My prayer today is that we may go forth with the touch of God's hand upon us, His Word in our mouths and faith in our hearts that the power of His Spirit can raise up even the driest bones.
CAN THESE BONES LIVE?