Sunday service, Michael Ngubane, 21 February 2016
Ezekiel 37:1 – 11
The Vision of the Valley of Bones
1 The LORD laid his hand on me and brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD to the middle of a valley that was filled with bones.
2 He led me here and there throughout the valley, and I was amazed to see that the surface of the entire valley was covered with myriads of very dry bones!
3 The LORD asked me, “Son of Man, will these bones ever live?” “Lord GOD,” I replied, “you know the answer to that!”
4 Then the LORD told me, “Prophesy to these bones. Tell them: ‘You dry bones, listen to the message from the LORD: “
5 This is what the Lord GOD says to you dry bones! ‘Pay attention! I’m bringing my Spirit into you right now, and you’re going to live!
6 I’m going to grow tendons on you, regenerate your flesh, cover you with skin, and make you breathe again so that you can come back to life and learn that I am the LORD.’”’”
7 So I prophesied, just as I had been ordered to do so. Immediately there was a noise and a rattling—and then all of a sudden the bones came together by themselves! Each bone came together, all of them attached together!
8 As I continued to watch, I saw tendons growing on the bones, and muscles growing and covering them, and then skin covered the flesh from above. But the bodies weren’t breathing.
9 Then he ordered me, “Prophesy to the Spirit, Son of Man. Tell the Spirit, ‘This is what the Lord GOD says: “Come from the four winds, you Spirit, and breathe into these people who have been killed, so they will live.”’”
10 So I prophesied as I had been ordered, breath entered them, and they began to live. They stood on their own feet as a vast, united army.
The Vision is Interpreted for Ezekiel
11 “These bones represent the entire house of Israel,” the LORD explained to me. “Look how they keep saying, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our future is lost. We’ve been completely eliminated!’
The choir sang a song and asked whether it was possible for a young person to live for God. And with man it’s impossible, but it’s possible with God. Why is man so loved by God? What good does He see in man? People just bring shame and disappointment to God. Man is totally corrupt.
God gave Ezekiel this vision of the valley of dry bones. It was evident that there was no sign of life in them. There once was human flesh on them, but then it dried up so that only the bones were left. God asked Ezekiel whether these bones can live. And Ezekiel answered, ‘Lord you know’. Whenever you claim to know, that is the point where you know the least. God can do what man cannot do.
We read also that these dry bones were the house of Israel, who disappointed God again and again. One day they would profess Him to be Lord but the next day run off to something else. So it’s also with people today who one day serve God but the next do something else.
Is God’s life displayed in you or are you dead spiritually?
Maybe child of God you are here disappointed and despair of tomorrow, and it’s as if God had left you. Have you been doing your own thing without God and now complain and ask where God is? You cannot assume that God is in whatever you plan. But it’s a good thing when you recognize when you are dried up and in need, whether you are in the place God appointed you to be.
We also read that as God’s word was spoken there was a rattling of bones, and the bones joined together in their correct sequence. It shows that we should be in fellowship with one another. We’re incapable of going it alone. We need each other. Maybe you’re living your own isolated life and then blame others of not taking notice of you, and blame others for your problems.
26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
Note that even after the bones were joined and flesh came on the bones, there yet was no life. Maybe you think that simply being among God’s children is enough, but there’s no life in you. Cry to God and reveal your true condition to God.
In 2Tim 3 we read of the troublesome days in the last days, people will love themselves, be lovers of money, boastful etc. And people will have the appearance of godliness but without power (2Tim 3:1-5). The Bible warns us of these days.
Do you truly believe in the Son of God. Unbelief is sin. Without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb 11:6). He who believes in the Son has everlasting life, but he that believes not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him (John 3:36). How long will you remain in this condition with God’s wrath on you while you remain in unbelief? He wants to rescue you from yourself and your unbelief. That’s why He sent His only Son to rescue you from that condition that you might live.
Even after the bones came together in Ezekiel’s vision and flesh came upon them, yet they had no life. Then God commanded Ezekiel to prophesy to the bones that life might enter them, and they lived and became a mighty army of God. No one can change a person as God can. He can change the dead and make them live.
Although God had scattered His people among the nations, He hadn’t forgotten them. He still thought upon them and wanted life for them.
We’re commanded by God to fulfill the great commission to proclaim the Gospel throughout the world (Matt 28:16-20). But how can you proclaim to others that Jesus sets free and raises from the death of sin when you’re still dead in sin and not set free? How long will you remain without being set free from your sin? Is God’s life burning in your heart or is it the passions of the world burning in you?
This multitude of bones became a great army for God. Where is this army of God among us? Our country and its young people is in a mess, but where are the young people that can stand up and experience life inside to proclaim life to South Africa?
Don’t think that you can serve God and continue in your sin. He won’t become complicit to your sin. He came to set you free from your sin. Part from the dead and the things of death and be part of the army of God.
Can God use you in your present condition? Darkness is all over the world. Are you part of it, or are you a light in the darkness? There’s a Zulu chorus which says that you’ll never experience the richness of the faith unless you cast off all things of darkness.
God has called us into His army, to be heroes for the Lord, where God’s life is evidently burning in our lives.
There was no hope that these bones could live, but God raised them to live and He can do the same with you. He wants to draw you out of the pit of death. When God’s power meets with a person it’s evident.
There’s nothing as dangerous as thinking you’re alive while you’re dead (Rev 3:1). It’s easy for a raw sinner to know that he’s dead spiritually, but those who are in church every Sunday might think they’re still alive while they’re dead spiritually. Pray that God would breathe His life into you and reveal your true condition