By :Elder Enoch Ofori Jnr
With graphic imagery, God through the prophet Ezekiel narrates a moving story of hope and restoration for all His people. If you want tutorials in how to “walk by faith and not by sight” (as 2 Cor. 5:7 directs), Ezekiel 37 is the one for you!
The narrative opens with a scene of hopelessness and closes with one of new life and vitality. Between these two extremes of despair and hope, we see a miracle God Who brings total restoration! Christ is hope’s planter!
In the vision, Ezekiel is made to see a valley full of dry bones. The Lord then asks him, “Son of man, can these bones live?” The prophet replies, “O Lord GOD, Thou knowest” (Ez. 37:3).
That was the only rational answer the prophet could give. Who except the miracle God could make those dry bones live again?
That’s the attitude to adopt in the face of hopelessness. Only God can make hope come alive, and so we should trust Him to bring it to pass. As Mary answered when the angel Gabriel announced to her, her virgin birth of the Messiah, we should also ask God to ‘let it be unto us’ according to His Word (Luke 1:38).
Accordingly, Ezekiel ‘let it be’ according to the word of the Lord that he should prophesy on the dry bones to make them live by saying unto them, “O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD” (vv 4-6):
“So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone.
”And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them” (vv 7-8).
In carrying out the Almighty’s instructions, miracles occur! But then, there was no life in the matched-up, skin-covered bones with sinews and all. So the Lord commanded the prophet to prophesy again, this time, to the wind:
“Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.
“So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army” (vv 9-10). Halleluiah!
As the Lord explains to the prophet, “the valley of dry bones” that comes back to life, at the prophet’s prophetic word of command issued under God’s direct instruction, symbolically refers to Israel’s national restoration after nearly two millennia of worldwide dispersion:
“Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts.
“Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.
“And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves,
“And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD” (vv 11-14).
Today, the State of Israel is the living proof that God does not fail to fulfill His word (see our article “Israel – God Intervenes in Modern History” under Prophecy Briefs).
But does a line sound familiar, the anguished cry of despair? “Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost!”
It’s time to let God’s word take control and do its wonderful work! With God there’s nothing like hopelessness! With Him nothing is impossible (Luke 1:37). Indeed, what is impossible with man, it’s possible with God (Matt. 19:26).
Each one of us certainly has his/her own “valley of dry bones” that overwhelms us with its sense of sheer hopelessness and impossibility. Let’s not trust in our fears. The moment has come to prophesy upon it as God would direct!
Is it a hard-to-cure sickness? Prophesy the relevant word of God: He sent His word to heal your disease; by His stripes you were healed (Ps. 102:20; 1 Pet. 2:24). Is the enemy trying to put you to shame? “Whosoever believes on Him shall not be ashamed” (Rom. 10:11). Is it poverty? He called you to inherit a blessing; Christ became poor that you might become rich through His poverty (1 Pet. 3:9; 2 Cor. 8:9). Is the enemy frustrating you; does failure loom? You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you (Php. 4:13).
In all situations, ‘God knowest’ (2 Pet. 2:9; Ps. 34:19), and so we must trust His word about the particular situation we find ourselves in, pray on the authority of that word, while we continue to believe. “The just shall live [hope, etc] by faith” until He fulfils His unfailing word (Heb. 10:35, 38).
We hope not in vain: “Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it (1 Thess. 5:24).
So “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) (Heb. 10:23).
Indeed, what else should shake our faith when He is able to call those things that are not into existence as though they were? (Rom. 4:17). On this solid foundation of hope and faith did father Abraham walk with God, “fully persuaded that, what He had promised, He was able also to perform” (Rom. 4:21). Thus Abraham didn’t consider the fact he and his wife Sarah had passed the age of child-bearing—humanly speaking enough grounds to give up all hope—“but was strong in faith, giving glory to God” (vv 18-20).
This is the faith we been called to! The Lord Jesus says “all things are possible to him that believes” (Mark 9:23). Don’t stand transfixed before your valley of dry bones; prophesy on it, and life and hope shall spring forth according to your faith based on God’s prophetic word of truth! Halleluiah!