Wednesday Word 9.13.2017
Ezekiel 37:1-14 New International Version
37 The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 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. 3 He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.” 4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! 5 This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. 6 I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’” 7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them. 9 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’” 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army. 11 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.’ 12 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. 13 Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. 14 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.’”
A lot of people confuse the noun “prophecy” with the verb “to prophesy.” We think of a prophecy as a foretelling, a message or a warning about the future. We all know the term “self-fulfilling prophecy,” where we so thoroughly convince ourselves that we are such and such that we wind up becoming that very thing. That is not always a good thing! The action of prophesying doesn’t mean fortune-telling. It means to speak as if by divine inspiration, to speak out on behalf of the holy, or to give religious instruction. It means to share the Good News.
I believe that God could simply have called those people up from the dead. After all, one word from him and the world came into being. Yet, Ezekiel was there, not just to witness, but to participate in this amazing miracle. Ezekiel told the dead, lifeless bones to live just as God had instructed him, and live they did. That from which all semblance of life had long past became re-energized and reconstituted into human beings who drew their very breath from God and lived again. Ezekiel obeyed and new life was breathed into the dry bones.
What would happen if you obeyed God? What impact could you have on someone’s life, a life that may have become parched and desolate like those dry bones on the valley floor? What new life might be breathed into your own existence? In Jeremiah 29:11 we read, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” The first step in those plans might just be to do a little prophesying yourself. Share the Good News of God’s merciful love…something to pray about.
Your sister in Christ, Vicki