Powerful Meditation on Ezekiel 37–Valley of the Dry Bones.


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I pray as you read this blog that God speaks to you as he did to me powerfully out of Ezekiel 37. I invite you to subscribe to this blog to get updates direct to your inbox.

Be Blessed

Peter Pilt

In a recent preaching series I am focusing on Old Testament Prophecies specifically Ezekiel 37. Here are a few thoughts so far out of that chapter.

BACKGROUND of Ezekiel 37
God had called His people, the Jews, out of captivity in Egypt.

For over 100 years, they had been in Egyptian captivity. God brought them into the Promised Land, and gave them a land and a King, and made them a nation. BUT … they turned against God, and God allowed them to go into captivity once again.
Nebuchadnezzar and his Babylonian army invaded Israel. They had reduced Solomon’s Temple to ashes, and had taken many of the Jewish people back to Babylon as captives. This is the condition that Ezekiel is in. The nation of Israel is DEAD. BUT … God has a vision for the nation.

Ezekiel 37:1-14

37 The hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. 2 Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. 3 And He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”

So I answered, “O Lord God, You know.”

4 Again He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! 5 Thus says the Lord God to these bones: “Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. 6 I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.”’”

7 So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there was no breath in them.

9 Also He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.”’” 10 So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army.

11 Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They indeed say, ‘Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. 13 Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves. 14 I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken it and performed it,” says the Lord.’”

A way to look at the in three sentences is:-

The Placing of the Prophet
The Predicament of the People
The Power of Proclaiming the Word

Major Thoughts.

1) GRABBED BY GOD

In the Message Paraphrase – this prophecy starts off

1-2 God grabbed me.

In your life there are going to things that will grab you. Other things that will grab for you. What you allow to grab you will determine your year.

Look at the Parable of the sower – one of the types of seeds were the seeds that as they grew they were grabbed by the cares of this world

I want God to grab me throughout my life.

· I want to be grabbed by a fresh passion to live a life sold out for God

· I want to be grabbed by God’s Presence in my daily quiet times and in church

· I want to be grabbed by a God’s heart for the lost, the broken, the hurt, the lonely, the hungry, the naked and the thirsty.

· I want to be grabbed by God’s power, refiring my faith in the power of God, the power of prayer, the power of the Holy Spirit and the power of life lived yielded over to God.

· I want to be grabbed by God’s Word, I want the word to wrap itself around my mind, infuse itself into my thinking and direct and light the path of my life

· I want to be grabbed by God’s love, his acceptance, his valuing of me and rest fully in the fact that my identity, my purpose and life is fully located in Him

· I want to be grabbed by God’s Challenges. I refuse to live cursed by mediocrity, surrounded by self imposed limitations and adopting a victim mentality, instead I will stand up in the spirit realm and allow God to grab my life and make me a Mighty Man

· I want to be grabbed and changed by a changeless God.

· I want to be grabbed by the things that matter.

As you read this….Would you allow God to grab you afresh.

How do you that.

1) Position yourself – The hand of the Lord came upon Ezekiel – position yourself to allow the hand of the Lord to come upon you

2) Prioritise your spiritual walk. – Talk of vampire Christians. Vampire Christians are Christians who want the saving blood of Christ but they don’t want to be discipled or transformed by Him

3) Hunger for more of God – John 7:37-39

4) Keep your heart sweet before God. Heb 12 – Root of bitterness springs up

5) Resist the distractions of life that try and grab you. Parable of the sower

6) Be open to change.

Ezekiel was repositioned when God got a hold of him.

He was taken up

We must be open to change – The challenge is that as we get older, we get more staid in our ways. How open are you to being changed by God?

Reality is that whatever grabs will reposition you.

I was grabbed by the concept of Digital Missions in July of 2010. It has repositioned us as a church and myself.

That’s why you must make sure that we are grabbed by God

2) Can these Bones Live

Can These Bones Live?

Ezekiel is faced with a seemingly hopeless situation.

And God asks him a very interesting question. “Son of man, can these bones live?”

Ezekiel looks out over the carnage. Bones are lying everywhere. I doubt very seriously if they were all nice and neatly arranged. They had been certainly ravaged and torn apart by scavenging animals. Then they had been exposed to the elements for any number of years.

Likely the bones of individual bodies were scattered everywhere.

Ezekiel ponders His answer. Of course had it been anyone else asking the question, the answer would have been obvious.

Ezekiel’s first thought was probably what yours and mine would have been. Are you joking?

These bone have been laying here for years. What do mean, “Can they live?”

Then Ezekiel remember who he is speaking to.
Look at verse one.
LORD – Jehovah – The self-existent one.
Then he gives his wise answer.
“O Lord GOD, you know

He answered that way because as far as he could see, the situation was plainly and desperately HOPELESS.

And yet, in faith, he recognised that NOTHING IS HOPELESS WITH GOD.
God, this situation is in your hands.

The God of the Impossible

As we look deeper into this story this morning, the thing I want us to remember more than anything else is that

NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE WITH GOD.

  • When Sarah was 90 years old and God told her that she would bear a son, He reminded her…
    Gen 18:14
    Is any thing too hard for the LORD?…
  • God reminded Jeremiah…
    Jer 32:27
    Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?
  • The angel Gabriel reminded Mary…
    Luke 1:37
    For with God nothing shall be impossible.
  • Jesus encouraged His disciples…
    Matt 19:26
    …With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

Maybe as you read this blog there is some area of your life that you would describe as being a valley of dry bones.

Maybe you have even scoffed at the idea that these bones could live

1) Maybe it’s your marriage.

2) Your finances – debt

3) Your dreams

4) Family Relationships

5) Your health

6) Your attitude

7) Your Faith and your Spiritual Journey

8) The call of God on your life

Can these bones live

Only you know Lord.

If you right now have a valley of dry bones in some area of you life: – the word of the Lord for you for 2013 is

Ezekiel 4:4-6

4 Again He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! 5 Thus says the Lord God to these bones: “Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. 6 I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.”

Similar to Mark 11:23 – Speak to the Mountain.

What if you began to prophesy to the bones and say to these bones – Hear the word of Lord – you shall live

What if as God grabs you afresh, that you activate the prophetic in your life and your begin prophecy to the long dead areas of your life. The areas you have given up

3) Allow God to Breath on your life.

John 6:63 connects the vision of Ezekiel with the ministry of Christ.
“It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.”

The “wind” in Hebrew is “ruach” it comes from the same root as the word for “breath.” This is the same as Acts chapter 2 and the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. The wind in Greek is “pnoe” it comes from the same root as Spirit (Ghost) – “pneuma”

Acts 2 speaks of a phenomena we know as being Baptized in the spirit.

• Acts 2:16-17 (NIV)
[16] No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: [17] “In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.”
c) If it was true for Peter that God was pouring out His Spirit in the last days as a fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy, then HOW MUCH MORE is it a fulfillment for God to continue to pour out His Spirit today. It has never been ‘laster days’ than it is today! These are the days that God wants to pour out His Spirit!
• Acts 2:38-39 (NIV)
[38] Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. [39] The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”

d) Jesus told His disciples to wait for the promise of the Father, to tarry in Jerusalem until they had received power form on high.

God has poured out the Holy Spirit, and it would do us well to follow Jesus’ command to His disciples; if you have not been baptized in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues then are you willing to wait in the Lord’s presence today that He might fill you? If you need a fresh refilling of the Spirit then are you too willing to spend time at the altar seeking Jesus that He might fill you again.

e) The baptism in the Holy Spirit is God provided power—power with a purpose—power divinely placed today and for all time.

How you can receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit.
John 7:37-39 (NIV)
[37] On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. [38] Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” [39] By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

1. Come thirsty!
a) Jesus will not force Himself upon you; He won’t grab you and make you speak in tongues any more than I’m going to grab you and forcibly dunk you under water. Jesus says, “If anyone is thirsty.”
b) What is your desire today? Are you thirsty? Let Jesus quench the thirsting of your soul!

2. Come to Jesus!
a) Jesus said, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me.” Come to Jesus.
b) You’re not coming to a certain church, or the right place at the altar. You don’t have to seek out me as the pastor or anyone else. Come to Jesus! Don’t seek the gift, seek the Giver. Jesus must be sought.

3. Come to drink.
a) Jesus said, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.” When you are thirsty you don’t just want a drink, you want to drink it. Thirst will make you stop everything else you are doing to go and get a drink. I was mowing the grass this week and I had to stop and get a drink; the grass would have to wait as I went to the sink and got a cold glass of water.
b) Come thirsty, come to Jesus and come to drink! Your expectation should be that Jesus will quench your thirst; He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit just as He has promised!

4. Know that the gift is for you and believe it!
a) Jesus said, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes . . .”
b) Jesus said He is ready to give living water to whoever will come to Him to drink. The gift of the Holy Spirit is for you; God is ready now to baptize you in the Holy Spirit. THE PROMISE IS FOR YOU!

5. Ask Jesus to fill you.
a) Jesus said, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me as the scriptures have said . . .”
b) Let’s not make this harder than it really is. Jesus has those who are thirsty to come to Him and drink; now are you just going to walk up to Jesus and demand a drink or are you going to ask? LOOK WHAT THE SCRIPTURES TELL US:
• Luke 11:9-13 (NIV)
[9] “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. [10] For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
[11] “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? [12] Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? [13] If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
b) WE CAN ASK! “Jesus I’m thirsty; please give me a drink. Lord, I’m here fill me with your Holy Spirit.” God wants to fill you with His Holy Spirit; the Lord wants to give you this gift more than you want to receive it. Don’t be afraid! Jesus has invited you to come, so accept His invitation and come to Jesus and ask Him to fill you with His Holy Spirit.

6. Expect to speak in tongues! Jesus will fill you just as He has promised.

a) Jesus said, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me as the scriptures have said streams of living water will flow from within him.”
b) Jesus didn’t say it might happen; He said it will happen! Streams of living water will flow from within you. John explains in verse 39 that by living water Jesus meant the Spirit whom those who believe in Him would later received. The book of Acts shows us that when the Spirit is received the initial physical evidence is that you will speak in other tongues. Expect God to do what He has said; when He fills you, you too will speak in tongues.

7. Don’t be afraid—step out in faith and receive!
a) Jesus said, “Come to me and drink,” so drink up and satisfy your thirst! When it is all said and done it is still an act of faith. Dead faith refuses to act—in other words, dead faith remains silent. Begin to speak. Pray audibly and give praise to God in your known language, and then begin to speak in an unknown tongue. The same step of faith that brought you to confess Jesus as your Savior and Lord is the same step of faith to begin to speak in tongues—you just do it!
b) Some people might say, “But Pastor, How can I know it’s God. I’m afraid I might just be in the flesh.” Have you ever done anything not in the flesh? You got saved and you were in your flesh. . . you were baptized in water in your flesh . . . you got dressed and came to church this morning in your flesh . . . you’re sitting here right now in the flesh. That’s how it works; God fills a flesh and blood body with His Spirit. God is going to fill you, so ask and receive. The way you receive is by speaking just like you always do except that the Holy Spirit enables you to speak in an unknown tongue.
c) Believe God to do it. Have faith in God and now step out in faith knowing that the Holy Spirit will enable you just like He did on the day of Pentecost.

4)Dead Bones have ears

Dry Bones have ears – if only you can speak.

Mountains have ears – if only you can command.

When Ezekiel came face to face with dry bones, he was only asked to do one thing, because the bones have ears. Even though they are bones and they are very dry.

Prophesy to your situation

Proverbs 21:11 Death and Life are in the power of the tongue.

5) Prophesy what you are becoming not what you are

Face the current reality – Ezekiel assessed the current situation accurately. Having faith doesn’t meant that you cant see reality as it is.

God will always ask you what you see. He is interested in our perspective

But then asks you to speak faith into the situation.

6) Living without life.

7 So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there was no breath in them.

The bones begin to come alive when Ezekiel speaks the words, but there is only the appearance of life. There are bodies without “breath” — a weird kind of life — there are bodies, but no “breath”, no “Spirit” no “soul”. Ezekiel has to call upon the breath or winds to give authentic life to the bodies.

“The tragedy of life is what dies inside a man while he lives.” Albert Schweitzer

John 10:10 10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

The Question Hasn’t changed.
“Can these bones live?” There is no life apart from the Spirit of God.

Life begins with God’s breath in Genesis.

When humanity turns away from God, life departs. Physical, intellectual, social and emotional life may continue for a time – but the real substance of life as God designed it for us, is spiritual life — that life which is the image of God in us. Without this spiritual life, we are the zombie-like creatures in Ezekiel 37, which have bones, and flesh, but no spirit.

Christianity should not be a hobby – but a transformational encounter with the Living God, that effects and permeates every part of our lives.

And as we do that – that’s where we find true joy, true, happiness, true peace.

Be Blessed

Ps Peter Pilt

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Categories: Nowra City Church, Sermon Notes, Theology

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2 replies

  1. We are here in this time to prophesy life to our generation. Most of us use our speaking to continue our current situation instead of speaking what we want it to be. We know from His word that God want us to prosper and be inhealth even as our soul prospers (3 John 2) but we relate the current facts instead of prophesying change. God created by words and He made us in His image with the same potential. Trouble is our creative speaking takes time to materialise and we often allow doubt to negate our faith during that time. I was looking at a picture of the Nelson Mandella memorial and was reminded he spent 27 years in prison but eventually became the nations Prime Minister his incarceration not distorting his sense of justice. Sometimes I wonder if the longer the wait the greater the reward IF we do not lose heart.

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