Desert Plants
Sunday School Lessons

A Solution, No Matter What Ails Us

After observing a vision of dry bones being given flesh and breath, and becoming an army, Ezekiel is given the interpretation of this prophecy.  It’s one thing to see a vision of dry bones coming to life, but Ezekiel has a message for those whose bodies are still living.

Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the people of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’ Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. Then you, my people, will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD.’ ”
Ezekiel 37:11‭-‬14 NIV

https://bible.com/bible/111/ezk.37.11-14.NIV

Remember, at this point, Jerusalem has fallen (see Ezekiel 33:21).  The Israelite people have been scattered, and they are losing hope.  It seems as if they feel like they haven’t just been defeated (like losing a battle), but have gone to the point where they are now beyond hope as a nation: that they will never be the nation of Israel again, and will never return to their homeland.  They may not have thought of the exact metaphor from this prophecy, but they feel like those dry bones in the valley (see Ezekiel 37:1-2).

Through this prophecy, though, God tells the Israelite people that this is not the end of the line for them.  He can literally bring life from dust or dry bones, and He can – and will – restore the Israelite nation to the Promised Land.

In fact, even if the Israelite people were completely wiped out among the nations where they had been scattered, God could bring them back to life from the grave.

Remember the question from God to Ezekiel earlier in this chapter (verse 3), about whether or not the dry bones could live?  The answer can be found in this passage above: Yes they can, and they will!

God doesn’t just promise that the Israelite people will manage to scrape by.  He doesn’t just say that they will manage to keep their traditions in exile, or be able to pass down a family line.  Instead of just a bare-bones life (so to speak), He promises them restoration to their land, and that His Spirit will be in them.

In the end, there will be no question about who God is.  There are times when good things happen to us and we might be tempted to chalk them up to coincidence, luck, or our own skill.  God’s restoration of the Israelites will be so dramatic, so amazing, so impossible, that the Israelites will not only know who brought them back, but they will know His power and the fact that He has kept this promise to them (like He keeps all of His other promises).

Of course, God kept this promise.  Matthew Henry (cited below) refers us to the first chapter of the book of Ezra, when King Cyrus decreed that the Israelites could return to Jerusalem, and that Cyrus would build a temple there.

Let us consider God’s faithfulness today (whether were are going through good times or bad), and then return next time for one more article on this passage.


From Sunday School lesson prepared for September 18, 2022

References:

  • The Lookout, September 18, 2022, © 2022 Christian Standard Media.
  • Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
  • Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible (Complete). Matthew Henry. 1706, via BibleGateway.com.

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