Can These Bones Live?Bro. David Chancellor
11/2/2003 6:00 PM
The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, 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. And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest. Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say 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. 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. 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. 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.
People are familiar with the story of Ezekiels old dry bones. This was written to encourage peoples faith and to get them to think about what God could do. These people were discouraged. If youre discouraged, look what God can do! God asked Ezekiel, Can these bones live? Ezekiel said, Lord, you know. He didnt say, I dont think so! If the most positive you can be about a situation is, Lord, you know then hold fast to that. Pour out your situation to God. He can change things.
Ezekiel spoke Gods words to these bones. What he spoke happened, because he spoke what God gave him. As people, we can take in small things, but God is able for great things. As the picture came together for Ezekiel, God told him that Israel was discouraged. God wanted them to see that they could be encouraged by what he could do. Ezekiel was to tell Israel that their dry bones could have life. He could change their discouragement to hope.
I will put my Spirit in you, and you shall live The Old Testament kept pointing forward to Christ and what he would do. They were all looking forward to what we see and know. Weve seen the fulfillment of the prophecy. Were living in the day where Gods Spirit can be in us and we can live. God says and then he does. God is able to accomplish what he promises. This prophesies about what Christ would do. It talks about the spiritual work that Christ would do. This was for all mankind. Christ set up a kingdom that were part of today.
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
What does this say to us today? Christ paints a picture of mans soul. The outside looks okay, but the inside is filled with dead bones. Can these bones live? Most people today have some type of religion that they hold on to. With all the religion that exists, most people fit the picture that Christ paints here. They have religion on the outside, but they dont have God within. Can these live? Religion is often the biggest hindrance to people getting help. Is there any hope for these? Can the gospel get past the religion to the souls of man? God wants us to see Ezekiels picture. Can the dry bones live? Can that change? We believe that it can. God can still work in our day and time. There may be more entertainment today than at any other time, but God can get through to people. God can interrupt the course of our lives. Life is busy in Washington DC, but when a hurricane blew through, they had to shut down. Life is busy in California, but the fires came, and things came to a stop. The course of events can change in our lives. God can interrupt our lives and show us where we have needs. Do we really take in what God can do? God can change the life that is full of iniquity and hypocrisy. People dont have to go on being socially acceptable and religious. They can seem like an impossible case, but God can change them. The condition Ezekiel saw seemed hopeless, but the working of the Spirit of God changed that. Gods Spirit can change lives. Men can come out of their whited sepulchers and be alive and be real. This change can be made if God is allowed to work in the heart. Dont let the devil discourage you about those you see around you. Have faith that God still works among men. Be encouraged. The devil wants to hide behind the condition of the world and think that it doesnt make any difference. God needs us to be encouraged and to stand up. Be stirred to realize that God can make a difference. See the great and exceeding strong army, not the dry bones. See what God can do. God can change things. He can take a different road. Mankind has a choice, but they need a different picture of the choice. They need to see that Gods way brings real happiness. Only in Gods way is there happiness. Many have been taken in by the devil. Someone needs to hold up that theres hope in Christ. God would have us to get inspired with the gospel. Prophecy is about inspiration. People need to hear the message that it doesnt have to be that way. God can make a difference. These people had lots of religion, but inside they were dead. The life of Christ can come when people realize that their religion has failed them. God has something that can give real life and strength and purity of heart. Look on the lost and see the ones that can live. It should stir us; there can be a change. The devil would try to discourage us, but God can make a change. See Ezekiels dry bones, and know that these, too, can live.