Ezekiel 37:1 The hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones. 2 And he led me around among them, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley, and behold, they were very dry. 3 And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” 4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. 5 Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. 6 And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord.” ESV
In 70 AD, the Roman General Titus defeated and destroyed the city of Jerusalem. For nearly a decade the Jews had tried to free themselves from their Roman oppressors, yet the massive force of the Roman army eventually prevailed and the Jews were defeated.
For the next two thousand years, many of the Jews wandered throughout the earth. But in the later part of the 19th century, something significant began to happen. A movement known as Zionism began to develop. (Zion is an ancient name for Jerusalem. see 2 Sam 5:7) The primary goal of the Zionist movement was the returning to the Jews to their homeland and the reestablishment of the state of Israel. On May 14, 1948, when the modern state of Israel was officially declared and the valley of dry bones came back to life.
But that is not all of this amazing prophecy.
Ezekiel 37:7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I prophesied, there was a sound, and behold, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. 8 And I looked, and behold, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had 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 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 the breath came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army… 12 Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will bring you into the land of Israel. 13 And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. 14 And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the Lord.” ESV
Though the Jews as a nation have returned to their homeland, they have not as a nation returned to God. Most of the Jews have yet to receive Jesus as their Messiah and Savior. Prophetically speaking: the bones have come together, but they still lack breath. (Note – the biblical word for ‘breath’ and ‘Spirit’ are the same)
We read from the book of Zechariah – “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn.” (Zechariah 12:10 ESV)
It will be during the Tribulation Period that the Jews will finally come to Christ and receive Him as their Lord and Savior.
How does all of this apply to you and me? To me it says that with God, nothing is impossible. With God there is always hope. Whether it is the restoration of a broken relationship, or the returning of a rebellious child – the breath of God can cause the dry bones to come back to life again.
My desire is that this devotional will encourage you to keep praying for the restoration of that which needs to come back to life.
“Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord God, you know…”