Bones Alive! – by Eliezer Gonzalez
- Bible study
- Christian Evidences
- Christian Living
- Dr Eliezer Gonzalez
- Eternal Life
- New Testament
Aug 25, 2015 1667
One of the most striking images in the Bible that has stayed in my head since childhood is the valley of the bones. In Ezekiel 37, the prophet was shown, in vision, one of the most horrific sights of antiquity: a valley where a battle had happened long ago. Major battles tended to happen in valleys because they allowed for visibility, and for horses and chariots to be used.
This valley was strewn with the bones of the defeated. Time and scavengers had broken down the skeletons so that the bones were scattered everywhere. The whole valley was full of them. It must have been a massive defeat!
One of the most dishonourable things that ancient people could conceive was to remain unburied. And so this was one of the most shameful and horrific things that the prophet Ezekiel could have seen.
Then God asks Ezekiel, “Son of Man, can these bones live?”
This question is too hard for Ezekiel to answer. He looks around him at the stillness and desolation, and he responds, “Sovereign LORD, you alone know.”
But God does know how. God has a way, and it involves Ezekiel. God tells Ezekiel to speak to the bones. What a stupidly hopeless task that must have seemed! The worst, most useless sermon ever!
But God tells Ezekiel what he must preach to them, “Dry bones, hear the words of the Lord!” (v.4) And then he continues with a message of hope, a message of healing, a message of new life (vv.5–6.)
And as Ezekiel obeyed God, there was an enormous scraping and a rattling sound all across the valley floor as the bones came together to form skeletons. Can you imagine the sounds and sights? And then those skeletons were covered with flesh and then with skin.
But there was no breath in them, so God commanded Ezekiel to speak to the breath – to the four winds – to come into the dead, so that they should live.
Again Ezekiel obeyed, and the dead stood up on their feet so that there stood before him a vast army of living men.
You and I have been given a task that too often seems hopeless, to go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation – Mark 16:15. Not only is the task vast impossibly vast scope, but it is us who are in that valley, and everywhere we look is spiritual death. Everywhere there is a profound rejection of the gospel of Jesus Christ, either overtly, or by the manifold counterfeits of false religion.
Although we stand in the “valley of death” we should “fear no evil” (Psalm 23:4), because God has way of doing the impossible. And that way involves us – you and me.
God uses Ezekiel. He calls Ezekiel “son of man” to emphises the role of the human element. That’s the role that you and I must play.
God could have spoken to the bones himself. Instead, he asks a human being to speak to them. It was only as Ezekiel spoke to them that they were put together, healed, and raised from the dead.
God is looking for a mighty army today. You may not know how that will be, but God knows how. He is looking for a mighty army of those who have been saved by the blood of Jesus. You see, provision has been made for the everlasting life of everyone who believes in the name of Jesus Christ. However, God needs you. I don’t know why. I don’t know why has loved you so much as to involve you in this. But he has.
So God is calling you to share and support the gospel with every word you speak, every activity you undertake, and all means at your disposal.
Are you happy to sit by yourself in a valley of dry bones?
Or will you speak the word of life to them, like Ezekiel did?
Well, what are you waiting for? Start speaking to those bones.
– Eliezer Gonzalez