The Valley of Dry Bones


Text: Ezekiel 37

 

I.         Ezekiel has a vision where he is again moved in the spirit to a new location - Ezekiel 37:1-10

            A.        “Hand of the Lord came upon me” - Inspired - Ezekiel 1:3; 3:22; 8:1

            B.        Moved as happened in Ezekiel 8

            C.        Brought to a valley full of dry bones

                        1.         Representing Israel’s current state while in captivity - Ezekiel 37:11

                        2.         Unburied bones that had been bleached dry in the sun - Psalm 141:7

            D.        God asks Ezekiel if these bones can live - Ezekiel 37:3

                        1.         It looks hopeless because they are so far gone

                        2.         But Ezekiel knows that he is talking with God - Deuteronomy 32:39; I Samuel 2:6; Romans 4:17

                        3.         Ezekiel doesn’t answer “yes” or “no” but that God alone knows the answer

            E.        God tells Ezekiel to prophecy to the bones.

                        1.         It seems like a useless task

                        2.         But doesn’t it also seem like a useless task to preach to a morally decayed society?

                        3.         The message is that the bones would live again - Isaiah 26:19; John 5:25, 28-29

                        4.         Recall that God made Adam from dust (Genesis 2:7), surely He can restore life to dead bones.

            F.        The restoration to life will prove to people that God is the Lord

            G.        Ezekiel did as commanded, an a exceedingly great army resulted

                        1.         The bones came together, bodies were formed, but there was as yet no life.

                        2.         Life (breathe) came from the four winds (all corners of the world) - Isaiah 43:5-6; Jeremiah 31:8

                        3.         They were restored to life - Isaiah 25:8; Hosea 13:14

II.        The explanation - Ezekiel 37:11-14

            A.        The bones represent Israel in captivity. The nation has died and the people have lost hope - Isaiah 49:14; Psalm 77:7-9

                        1.         A parallel to the present age - Ephesians 2:1-7

            B.        The restoration to life is the restoration to the land of Israel - Isaiah 66:14

            C.        Then will come the praise to God - Psalm 126:1-3

III.       The rejoining of Israel and Judah - Ezekiel 37:15-28

            A.        God has Ezekiel take two sticks. One is addressed to Judah and the other is addressed to Joseph, Ephraim, and the house of Israel.

            B.        Ezekiel is to put the sticks together and they will become one stick

            C.        When the people ask for an explanation, Ezekiel is to explain that the sticks represent the divided kingdom and then he is to join them as one in front of their eyes, just as God will make Israel and Judah one nation again - Zechariah 10:6

            D.        This joining will take place at the time of restoration to the land - Isaiah 11:11-16; Jeremiah 30:3; 33:7

            E.        Israel had been divided since the time of Rehoboam. There had been much contention between the two nations. But God is promising an end - Isaiah 11:13; Jeremiah 3:18; 50:4; Hosea 1:11

            F.        Idolatry will end - Isaiah 2:18; Hosea 14:8

            G.        They will live as one - Jeremiah 32:38-39

            H.        Then God will place the descendant of David over them to be king

                        1.         A reference to the Messiah - Jeremiah 23:5; 30:9; Luke 1:32

                        2.         Micah 5:2, 4; John 10:11

                        3.         Bringing them together as one - Ephesians 2:11-22

            I.         They will be given the land - Isaiah 60:21; Amos 9:15

                        1.         It was one of the confusing points with Jesus - John 12:34

                        2.         The problem is thinking that the kingdom will reside on this earth - Isaiah 66:22; Daniel 2:44-45; John 18:36

            J.         They will have a new covenant - Jeremiah 31:31-33; 32:40; Hebrews 8:13

            K.        God presence would be with them - Revelation 21:3, 22

            L.        And Israel would be set apart for God