The hand of the LORD was upon 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, “O 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.
I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you
and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you,
and you will come to life.
Then you will know that I am the LORD.’ “
At this time of year children are thinking of what costume they will dress in for what some call Halloween and many Christians call Fall Festival. At any rate, it is the time when stores are filled with skeletons and ghouls and such. As Believers we don’t dwell on the macabre. But there is a wonderful story in the Bible regarding skeletons that is a great story to relate to children or adults in this season.
Ezekiel was a Prophet of God who lived in Old Testament days. The Lord often had the prophets do things that would seem extremely strange to us and probably to the people back then also. If you simply hear something it may or may not make an impression on you. But if you see something, especially something spectacular, you are likely to remember it for a long time. So oftentimes God would have the Prophets give a sort of “over-the-top” object lesson to the Israelites. In this instance, the Lord took Ezekiel to a valley that was filled with human skeletons, the Bible says “dry bones”. Probably it was once a battlefield. Then the Lord asked Ezekiel the strangest of questions. He said, “Ezekiel, can these bones live?” If it had been me I probably would have said, “Of course not, Lord! These people are not only dead, they are fully decayed!” But not Ezekiel! He knew the Lord too well. He said, “Lord, only you know that.” It’s a good thing Ezekiel thought that way because the next thing the Lord said was, “Prophesy to these bones and say, ‘Dry Bones, hear the Word of the Lord. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord!’” The Lord did just what He said He would do and verse ten says, “So I (Ezekiel) prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.” Wow!
The scripture goes on to say that the reason the Lord did this was to restore hope to the House of Israel. They were saying, “We feel like our bones are dried up and all hope is gone. We are captives in a foreign land with no help in sight!” But the Lord told them, “I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land.”
As born again Believers, God gives us that same promise. Do you sometimes feel as if your spirit is a pile of dried bones? Circumstances of life have left you feeling depleted of hope and you’re in desperate need of a fresh infusion from the Spirit of God. You need Him to breathe upon you. Prophesy to your own dry bones and say like David did in the Psalms…
Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad?
I WILL put my hope in God! I will praise him again
—my Savior and my God!
Psalm 43:5 NLT