Dry and lifeless, yet able to be restored: Image credit: Ian Greig

Read Ezekiel 37:1-14

Ezekiel in a vision was told to ‘speak forth, in faith’ to dry, dead bones – which then came alive. With a relationship through Jesus, we can hear God’s call and respond to it with our words, backed up by heaven. We can speak “life” and bring change to situations the Lord shows us. 

 1-3 The hand of the Lord was on 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, “Sovereign Lord, You alone know.”

4-6 Then He said to me, “Prophesy [speak forth in faith] 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.’ ” 

What’s the message for us today?

Resuscitation and ventilation are words we are hearing a lot at during this current epidemic. Doctors and nurses must be feeling “harassed and helpless”, in Jesus’ words, because very poorly and infectious respiratory patients need a lot of hospital time and skill.

Jesus’ words are in Matthew 9:35-36 NIV and they are in the context of the Lord’s compassion for those struggling with sickness: 

 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 

We are not without a shepherd. We have Jesus, God’s Son and by our choice, our Saviour, who is full of compassion, and whose rule, or kingdom, is the very opposite of epidemic sickness, fear and hopelessness. And in Jesus we have His Holy Spirit in us – the power that raised Jesus from the dead, the power to bring life and hope. 

The fear all around us today, is that death is stalking us and that we have no answers. But that’s a lie: we look to a God who sent His Son as Saviour to conquer death, and to offer us new life in Him. 

 We can address that fear thought and name it for what it is. “Fear, I speak you as one who is in Christ Jesus. You do not rule me – He does. You are a lying thought, sent by the father of lies, and I stop you right there. My shepherd is the Prince of Peace and the Victor of the Cross and so I disarm you and banish you now, to go to His feet. I call down life and peace to occupy the ground that was held by fear, and to hold that ground for the Lord of life and peace. Amen.” 

Ezekiel saw at first a picture of hopelessness. He saw the bones of the defeated army of his ancestors and the reason for his exile. It was not a nice picture. But God doesn’t leave him there — He instructs him to do something about that picture, to change it. 

He is to speak over the bones, to literally speak life — physical and spiritual life — into them. Today, we have a similar role. To use our words of faith to bring God’s kingdom order, especially where the enemy’s disorder is staring us in the face. 

Our God is the definition of love. He is also a giver of life, and wants to draw us in to partner with Him, as He did with Ezekiel.

• What is the good news here?

We may feel harassed and helpless, but we are NOT sheep without a shepherd – Jesus is our shepherd and that gives us confidence. And equips us to act. 

• What is our take-away?

You may have made that choice many years ago, but you can tell Jesus again today that You want Him to be your shepherd and Saviour – and your voice of truth against all the lies and fears trying to dominate your thinking. His life in you makes you a lifegiver!  

  • Ezekiel, in his vision, had to trust God and do what He said. Are we prepared to do that?
  • Ezekiel was shown a picture of complete hopelessness. He was challenged to confront that picture and see it with God’s eyes. What is God saying to us about how we see the present epidemic and its sufferers?
  • What is the “word of the Lord” i.e. what is the Holy Spirit saying about the “dead bones” of national faith and our spiritual awakening to see this frightening epidemic situation from God’s perspective?

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