Dead Bones That Live

December 29, 2012

by Jeff Breeding

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Ezekiel 37 is a marvelous chapter. It is a vision from God, given to the prophet Ezekiel. In the vision, Ezekiel sees a valley of dry bones. The bones cover the entire surface of the valley. Imagine it – old, brittle bones as far as the eye can see.

The LORD asks Ezekiel a strange question: “Can these bones live?” As you are reading the chapter, you think, “Of course not! They are dry bones!” Ezekiel’s response is similar: “O Lord GOD, you know.” That’s like saying, “I have no idea, but I’m not going to put anything past you God!”

Then the LORD says something even stranger. He tells Ezekiel to speak his Word over the bones. That is strange. Who would think to speak to dead bones? They are dead. They can’t hear! Can you imagine what Ezekiel must have been thinking? But the prophet does what the LORD commands.

As he speaks, there is a rattling sound. The bones begin to come together. Flesh is laid over the old, dry bones. Breath is pumped into the once dead lungs. And the bones live. Dead bones live. What seemed crazy and strange a few verses earlier has miraculously brought new life.

What made the difference? Those dead bones heard the Word of God. And the Word brought life. Death and dryness was driven out by the life-giving Word of God. That is the power of God’s Word. It brings life where there was once only death.

How many of us can relate to that valley of dry bones? I can relate. There are times when it feels like my heart is full of nothing but old, brittle bones. There seems to be no spiritual life. Just coldness. Dryness. What will make the difference in my heart? What will bring life? The powerful Word of God. When the Word enters my dry heart, life springs forth. It may seem strange at first, like Ezekiel prophesying to a valley of skeletons. But over time, the Word brings life, just as it did for Ezekiel.

I want to invite us as a church to commit ourselves to seeking new life from God’s Word in 2013. What kind of difference would it make if we made 2013 the year of hearing God’s Word on a daily basis? In one sense, we don’t have to guess what it would be like. We see a vision of what would happen when we read Ezekiel 37. If you want to find new spiritual life and vitality this year, it will come only through the Word of God. Will you seek it?

Tomorrow, I will post a few plans for reading the Bible on a consistent basis during the upcoming year. And on New Year’s Day, I will post four tips for getting the most out of the Bible in 2013. So check back!

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