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your dry bones

The hand of the Lord was upon me. He brought me out by His Spirit and set me down in the center of the valley. It was full of bones. He led me around the valley. I saw there were very many bones, and they were very dry. He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I answered, “O Lord God, only You know that.” He said to me, “Speak in My name over these bones. Say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the Word of the Lord.’ This is what the Lord God says to these bones: ‘I will make breath come into you, and you will come to life. I will join you together, make flesh grow back on you, cover you with skin, and put breath in you to make you come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”

So I spoke as I was told. And as I spoke, there was a noise, the sound of bones hitting against each other. The bones came together, bone to bone. I looked and saw that parts had grown to hold them together. Flesh had grown, and they were covered with skin. But there was no breath in them. Then He said to me, “Speak to the breath in My name, son of man. Tell the breath, ‘The Lord God says, “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these dead bodies to make them come to life.”’” 10 So I spoke as I had been told. The breath came into them, and they came to life and stood on their feet. They were a large army.

11 Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are all the people of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is gone. We are all destroyed.’ 12 So speak in My name and tell them, ‘The Lord God says, “I will open your graves, My people, and make you come out of them. And I will bring you into the land of Israel. 13 Then, My people, you will know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves and brought you up. 14 I will put My Spirit within you, and you will come to life. I will place you in your own land. Then you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken and have done it,” says the Lord.’”

In previous posts I covered verses 1-2. The next verse is one of my favorites in this section. “He said to me, ‘Son of man, can these bones live?’ I answered, ‘O Lord God, only You know that.'” Be aware that when God asks a question, He already has the answer. The answer that Ezekiel gave was absolute wisdom. Only the Creator knows the answer to that and all questions. Period. Our “good judgment” is anemic compared to His true wisdom.

Do you have any “dead, very dry bones” in your life? Have you had something or someone you had high hopes for, then an incident occurred that took all your hopes away? Read verses 4 – 14 again. The Lord has a resurrection planned. It may not look like it did in your mind, but it is going to be His resurrection just the same.

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very dry bones

Ezekiel 37:1-14

The hand of the Lord was upon me. He brought me out by His Spirit and set me down in the center of the valley. It was full of bones. 2 He led me around the valley. I saw there were very many bones, and they were very dry. 3 He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I answered, “O Lord God, only You know that.” 4 He said to me, “Speak in My name over these bones. Say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the Word of the Lord.’ 5 This is what the Lord God says to these bones: ‘I will make breath come into you, and you will come to life. 6 I will join you together, make flesh grow back on you, cover you with skin, and put breath in you to make you come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”
7 So I spoke as I was told. And as I spoke, there was a noise, the sound of bones hitting against each other. The bones came together, bone to bone. 8 I looked and saw that parts had grown to hold them together. Flesh had grown, and they were covered with skin. But there was no breath in them. 9 Then He said to me, “Speak to the breath in My name, son of man. Tell the breath, ‘The Lord God says, “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these dead bodies to make them come to life.”’” 10 So I spoke as I had been told. The breath came into them, and they came to life and stood on their feet. They were a large army.
11 Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are all the people of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is gone. We are all destroyed.’ 12 So speak in My name and tell them, ‘The Lord God says, “I will open your graves, My people, and make you come out of them. And I will bring you into the land of Israel. 13 Then, My people, you will know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves and brought you up. 14 I will put My Spirit within you, and you will come to life. I will place you in your own land. Then you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken and have done it,” says the Lord.’” (New Life Version)

When I read this, I try to slow down, pay attention to details, and put myself in the place I’m reading about.  For example,  verses 1 and 2: “The hand of the Lord was upon me. He brought me out by His Spirit and set me down in the center of the valley. It was full of bones. 2 He led me around the valley. I saw there were very many bones, and they were very dry. ”  So Ezekiel was brought out by the Holy Spirit to a valley.  My first thought is that he was on a high spot overlooking the entire valley, but that’s not what it says.  Ezekiel was put in the center of the valley, right in the middle of all those very dry bones.  Then the Spirit led him to walk around.  Now, I realize this was a vision and not reality.  So maybe his human thoughts and feelings wouldn’t have factored in.  However, as I put myself in Ezekiel’s shoes, my mind goes into overdrive.  “Death.  Tragic!  Eerie!  Eeeeeeuuuuwww!  What happened here?  How did all these people die?  Why weren’t these people buried, but left to rot, exposed to the elements?  How long ago did this happen?  These bones are very dry, so it hasn’t been anything recent.  There are so many of them!  How can they be given a proper burial?  Who could I get to help me with this huge task?  How long would that take?  What tools / resources would I need to carry this out?”  I can imagine being quite literally creeped out while walking around, always careful not to step on any of the human remains.

I have not always been happy excited about where God has led me.  What I need to remember is that He has a reason.  The purpose is to teach me something.  However, in my self-centered state, it’s rare that such a thought even goes through my mind.  If I will chill out and remember, I sometimes have the deepest lessons in the not-so-happy times.  When I go through them, chunks of my unpleasant humanity fall off me.  I emerge more humble, with a stronger knowledge of Who He is, and what He is able to lead me through.  If I will get past my present state of standing in the middle of my egotistical misery, I might be able to ask what the purpose of it all really is.  It would be helpful if I could even have a selfless thought such as, “Lord, please let me see this through Your eyes.”  Even a question like, “Father, what is it that You’re wanting to teach me as I walk these uncomfortable steps?” would help put me closer to where I’m supposed to be.  The bottom line, along with being consumed with my lack of personal comfort, I simply don’t trust the One that I gave my life to.

nothing between He and I

Ezekiel 37:1-14

“The hand of the Lord was upon me. He brought me out by His Spirit and set me down in the center of the valley. It was full of bones.  He led me around the valley. I saw there were very many bones, and they were very dry.  He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I answered, “O Lord God, only You know that.”  He said to me, “Speak in My name over these bones. Say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the Word of the Lord.’  This is what the Lord God says to these bones: ‘I will make breath come into you, and you will come to life.  I will join you together, make flesh grow back on you, cover you with skin, and put breath in you to make you come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”
So I spoke as I was told. And as I spoke, there was a noise, the sound of bones hitting against each other. The bones came together, bone to bone.  I looked and saw that parts had grown to hold them together. Flesh had grown, and they were covered with skin. But there was no breath in them.  Then He said to me, “Speak to the breath in My name, son of man. Tell the breath, ‘The Lord God says, “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these dead bodies to make them come to life.”’”  So I spoke as I had been told. The breath came into them, and they came to life and stood on their feet. They were a large army.
Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are all the people of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is gone. We are all destroyed.’  So speak in My name and tell them, ‘The Lord God says, “I will open your graves, My people, and make you come out of them. And I will bring you into the land of Israel.  Then, My people, you will know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves and brought you up.  I will put My Spirit within you, and you will come to life. I will place you in your own land. Then you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken and have done it,” says the Lord.’” (New Life Version)

This is the first in a series of posts taken from these captivating fourteen verses.  I have always been drawn to this portion of Scripture.  God being the incredible God that He is, each of us will read these words and get something different out of it.  What I’m going to share in these posts are simply what He spoke to me.

“The hand of the Lord was upon me.”  I recently turned around and got back on track from one of life’s rabbit trails.  Had I continued on it, my choices would have put distance between my Lord and me.  It causes me to think of Matthew 24:24, that as children of God, we are still vulnerable to being led away from God.  I don’t want that.  My ultimate desire and source of greatest fulfillment is to be walking so closely with Daddy that His hand is on me.  I don’t want to lose that.

easy?

I may have posted this quote from Max Lucado before, so please forgive me if I have.  What a rich gift this man has!  Grace for the Moment is a devotional, where he quotes himself.  This is from Volume 1, page 180, quoted from his book:  In the Eye of the Storm.

“Let me encourage you….God never said that the journey would be easy, but he did say that the arrival would be worthwhile.”

rest

God needs us to rest

so He can do the rest.

gap

Have you been to the dentist lately?  Did you have a conversation about tooth decay?  Well, you’re going to love this post, because I’m going to talk to you about it again.  Now, you need to know I’m not a dentist.  However, I see something I think is important.

Any time I’ve had a cavity, it’s because I didn’t keep that tooth clean.  You see, food sits on our teeth after we eat.  If it isn’t cleaned off, it can cause damage our chompers.  So, it’s simple that we need to brush every day.  You’re probably thinking, “Yes, I know that.  What’s your point?”  Just keep reading.

In our spiritual lives, we are exposed to junk either of our own choosing, or something we’ve stumbled on.  It’s like the physical food we chew on.  When we have seen it or thought about it, it’s like chewing on physical food.  We need to clean our spiritual teeth to get off anything that might cause decay.

“Finally, my brothers and sisters, always think about what is true. Think about what is noble, right and pure. Think about what is lovely and worthy of respect. If anything is excellent or worthy of praise, think about those kinds of things.” – Philippians 4:8, New International Reader’s Version

If we have “stuff” on our teeth that needs to be cleaned off, it’s the same as when we first came to Jesus.  We need to tell Him what we did.  He already knows all about it, but it’s good for us to confess what happened plus hear ourselves say it.  This could be compared to flossing.  It brings what was previously hidden out into the open.

Next, ask Jesus to forgive you.  When you ask it and really mean it, He immediately forgives you.  Think of it as brushing the teeth.  No, it’s so much better than that.  It’s even better than going to the dental hygienist and having an expert thoroughly clean your teeth.  When God wipes away the things we never should have done, it’s like having our teeth cleaned with a supersonic cleaner that leaves no food residue.  All we have to do is ask for forgiveness and mean it.  Before we’re even done asking for forgiveness, He has forgiven us.

When was the last time you had a visit to The Dentist for a spiritual cleaning?

 

simplicity

Jesus loves me.

This I know

For the Bible tells me so.

Little ones to Him belong.

They are weak,

But He is strong.

Yes, Jesus loves me!

Yes, Jesus loves me!

Yes, Jesus loves me!

The Bible tells me so.