Valley of Dead Bones (Ezekiel 37)
“The spirit of the Lord 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.”
Picture of just how HELP-LESS and HOPE-LESS we are.
Back and Forth … Forces us to look at our MESS and realize how desperate we really are and how badly we need help. We realize our life is UNMANAGEABLE and we are POWERLESS to change ourselves.
Full of Bones … Regrets, Past Mistakes, Lost Hope, Death of a Dream [Spiritual Inventory]
Very Dry … Life was sucked out of them. Looked beyond repair. Hopeless. Usefulness was gone; Wasted, Spent, Used Up, Nothing Left.
He asked me THIS QUESTION, “Can these bones live?”
Do you BELIEVE that I have power to bring these bones back to life again?
Do you BELIEVE I have power to make something beautiful out of the mess you are in?
Some people are afraid to hope because they have been hurt so many times in the past. They do not think they can face another disappointment. So they refuse to hope. They give up believing something good can happen to them. We’ve all heard it said, “If you don’t expect anything good to happen, then you won’t be disappointed when it doesn’t.” So they stay in the Valley of the Dead Bones — thinking this is all there is to life, just misery and struggle and more misery.
I answered, “O Lord, You alone know.” [In other words, it doesn’t look so good. It doesn’t look like anything can be done.]
God doesn’t come and tell us “Everything is Ok. You are fine. It’s not that bad.” God sees the dead bones. He acknowledges the pitiful state we are in. But he doesn’t stop there!
We look at the dead bones in our life and say, “There is nothing left.” But God looks at our dead bones and says, “Do you believe I can make these bones walk again? Can they serve a purpose and be useful again?”
Then he said to me, “SPEAK to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the WORD OF THE LORD!’” I will bring them to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.
[Power of God’s Word to change things around. Speak God’s Word over your life — over your situation — whatever that needs to be changed.]
Must take action! Even when we don’t feel like it or it seems awkward or doesn’t make sense. We must DO IT regardless of how we feel.
So I did as I was told. [Ezekiel obeyed, despite how he felt inside.]
The bones came together. But . . . there was NO BREATH in them. (1st OBSTACLE)
No Breath … Sometimes we can try and fix things ourselves. Everything looks OK from the outside, but we are empty inside –breathless” from trying to keep it all together.
Perhaps our situation has changed, but our Soul is still dead. Our Heart is wounded in such a deep and profound way that it leaves us “breathless” — lacking the energy to keep going.
Maybe we’ve stopped the bad behavior. But inside, we are still dead. We never go beyond the behavior to uncover the root causes.
Again, the Spirit of the Lord said to me, “Speak to the Breath.”
And I did. They came to life and stood on their feet–a vast army of them.
As soon as they had breath . . . What did they do? They grumbled and complained!
They whined, “Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone, we are cut off.
[Good indication of what got them there! A NEGATIVE MIND.]
Speak to my people, “O my people, I am going to OPEN YOUR GRAVES and bring you UP from them. I will put my Spirit in you and you will LIVE.”
Picture your mind as a GRAVEYARD and each negative thought you have is engraved on a tombstone. Can you see the tombstones in your mind? Which negative thoughts are engraved there? Those negative thoughts that replay over and over again in your mind?
When God asks us to EXAMINE our dead bones and take an INVENTORY of our past mistakes, He doesn’t stop there. He gives us a road map to our healing. Although He doesn’t do the work for us, He does instruct us on what to do. And when we come into agreement with His plan for our lives, He ACTIVATES HIS WORD to fulfill His Purpose for our lives.
He doesn’t just fix the situation we find ourselves in. He also wants to heal our wounded heart and breathe life back into our dead soul. And He wants to transform our negative minds too so that we don’t end up back where we started — in a big mess. We can do that by continually speaking God’s Word over our life. It is a PROCESS of renewal.
God wants to heal ALL of us — our BODY, our HEART, and our MIND.