And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest. ~Ezekiel 37:3
As a kid, I was very skinny and thin. My uncles and aunts used to tell me that I needed to eat more because I was “too bony.” Telling someone that they are bony is not considered polite. However, it does describe someone who appears to be physically declining, malnourished, emaciated, and, even, near death. In our passage this morning, Ezekiel is taken to a valley and shown a valley of dry bones.
We see the cause.
“And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry.” Ezekiel saw a very large valley full of dry, human bones. It might have been a ghastly sight to him. He quickly surmised the cause. War was a cause. The valley had been a battlefield. The bones were once men who were soldiers that fought in a war. They were mortally defeated by the enemy. Christians are in a spiritual war against the world, the flesh, and the devil. When we are not vigilant, we can be overcome, defeated, and left to deteriorate into “bones.” Withdrawal is a cause. A withdrawal from eating can result in emaciation. Spiritually, when we do not eat (God’s Word), exercise (prayer), enjoy (attitude), and evangelize, it won’t be long until we starve in our spiritual life until we are bony!
We see the casualties.
The valley was full of bones. At one time, these bones were living men and soldiers. They were kings, captains, soldiers, fathers, sons, and brothers. After they were slain, their bodies were left to the scavenger birds and to decay. These bones were very dry. They had been in the valley for a long time and were bleached by the harsh sun and hot weather. A valley of dry bones pictures a church filled with dead Christians and church ministries: people and ministries that once thrived but had died due to neglect, complacency, and indifference. This valley pictures faith, vision, evangelism, praying, and preaching that were once thriving, but, years after, had died out. Even though we might be busy and, even, on overload, we must not forsake the important matters of fervent Christian living, praying, and soulwinning.
We see the cure.
The Lord tested Ezekiel’s faith in asking him if those dead bones could live again. Ezekiel believed God that they could. First, there was preaching. When you recognize that you are bony and declining, get under hot preaching. Second, there was shaking. The bones started to come together, and as they did, there was a noise and a