Though Ezekiel lived with his fellow exiles in Babylon, his divine call forced him to suppress any natural expectations he may have had of an early return to an undamaged Jerusalem. For the first seven years of his ministry (593-586 b.c.) he faithfully relayed to his fellow Jews the stern, heart-rending, hope-crushing word of divine judgment: Because of all her sins, Jerusalem would fall (see chs. 1 – 24). The fact that Israel was God’s covenant people and that Jerusalem was the city of his temple would not bring their early release from exile or prevent Jerusalem from being destroyed (see Jer 29-30). The only hope the prophet was authorized to extend to his hearers was that of living at peace with themselves and with God during their exile.
After being informed by the Lord that Jerusalem was under siege and would surely fall (24:1-14), Ezekiel was told that his beloved wife would soon die. The delight of his eyes would be taken from him just as the temple, the delight of Israel’s eyes, would be taken from her. He was not to mourn openly for his wife, as a sign to his people not to mourn openly for Jerusalem (24:15-27). He was then directed to pronounce a series of judgments on the seven nations of Ammon, Moab, Edom, Philistia, Tyre, Sidon and Egypt (chs. 25 – 32). The day of God’s wrath was soon to come, but not on Israel alone.
Once news was received that Jerusalem had fallen, Ezekiel’s message turned to the Lord’s consoling word of hope for his people — they would experience revival, restoration and a glorious future as the redeemed and perfected kingdom of God in the world (chs. 33 – 48). Copied from http://www.biblestudytools.com/kjv/ezekiel/
Ezekiel 37 (King James Version)
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, 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. 3 And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live ? And I answered , O Lord GOD, thou knowest . 4 Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. 5 Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live : 6 And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live ; and ye shall know that I am the LORD. 7 So I prophesied as I was commanded : and as I prophesied , there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together , bone to his bone. 8 And when I beheld , lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them. 9 Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy , son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain , that they may live . 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived , and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army. 11 Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say , Our bones are dried , and our hope is lost : we are cut off for our parts. 12 Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. 13 And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, 14 And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live , and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD
I am always impressed with Ezekiel the way he answered God when asked can these bones live. Thou knowest? Most of us would say of course they can God, you can do anything if you say so. God does not say well can they or can they not but says to Ezekiel speak to these bones so they might live. How many times in our own life encounters have we come across a bunch of dry bones. They can be in the form of loved ones, friends, acquaintances or they can even be our lives and if we are not careful we will start to categorize a class of dry bones that have expended their lives and become a pile of dry bleached out lifeless bones with out any chance of ever having life again into the classification of all is lost without any hope. (Yes I know this is a prophesy about Israel being restored but scriptures can be used to influence a nation or an individual.) I am sure the seven nations of Ammon, Moab, Edom, Philistia, Tyre, Sidon and Egypt were all ecstatic over the demise that Israel found itself in and if we are not careful we can do the same thing to a fellow human and place them in the category of unredeemable dry bones. I know because I have a good friend that I prayed for 38 years before He gave his life to Jesus and all the time other people would tell me to quit wasting my time on him. But God does answer prayers in His own perfect time. So yes those bones can live and walk around as we speak the word of the Lord to them.
I know if you are seasoned enough you will remember this song.
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In Him, Mike