Ezekiel 37:13-13, “‘Then you, my people, will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD.'” (NIV)
How can you emit hope when you are utterly distraught? How can you project positivity when you feel nothing but hopelessness? How can you enjoy the benefits of life when you are crushed by the weight of pain and misery? This was the challenge facing the exiles in Ezekiel. Consequently, this is a struggle believers still battle today. The point being, faith will collide with tragic circumstances at some point. So what happens to faith when it is forced to meet bleak odds? Will it be exercised? Or will it evaporate?
Ezekiel 37 is one of the most curious, yet compelling, passages in Scripture. Ezekiel was supernaturally transported to a valley. And not just any valley. No, a valley that was littered with human remains – dry bones. God questioned the prophet, and asked if the bones could be resurrected. Could death be brought back to life? Ezekiel wisely, and humbly, admitted his human limitation, and yielded to divine wisdom and power. “Sovereign LORD, you alone know” (Ezekiel 37:3). God proceeded to have Ezekiel speak words to the bones, and then flesh reappeared on the bones, symbolizing renewed life.
God was foreshadowing His pledge to take the exiles back to the territory of Judah and Israel, and give them a new spirit – a new life. But there seems to be so much more conveyed in these verses. Specifically, God is the source of hope. Try as we may (and we often do) to find purpose and pleasure outside of God’s sovereignty we will only find ourselves wanting something else – something more. It is just a matter of time before we discover that spiritual rebellion brings about hollowness and death. It does not satisfy. It does not fulfill. Mired in sin, we waste away. So when we read God declare that He can breathe a new spirit into us it should inspire us. It should move us. We need to allow the Lord to guide us, and direct us. We need His Word to feed us, and revive us. In summary, we need to accept what only God can provide: the breath of life.
Kevin Orr (8/31/2018)