Only God can bring life where there were once dry bones. He not only restores our sinful lives when we repent and turn to Him, but when we belong to Him, He helps us recognize the enemy’s plan to lure us back into sin. Satan is neither omnipotent nor omniscient, but he has had a few thousand years to figure out what kind of bait we will bite! God’s Word helps us see it for what it is!
Ezekiel 37 & 38
Ezekiel 37 & 38:
Dry bones & God’s sovereign care
In chapter 37 Ezekiel sees a vision of a valley filled with dry bones. God tells him He is going to bring the dry bones back together, cover them with flesh, and breathe His Spirit into them.
The dry bones represent the Israelites who had been dispersed among other nations and whom He promised to restore to their land and give His Holy Spirit.
I can’t read this passage without humming the old song “Dry Bones” that many of us sang as children. As I was looking for a YouTube version, I came across this powerful video illustration of Ezekiel’s prophesy.
God also brings resurrection life to our sinful, dry lives. He redeems our pasts, restores where death and devastation has occurred, and breathes life into marriages and relationships that have fallen into disillusion or disinterest.
In chapter 38, God begins to speak to Gog and Magog, a powerful nation and its ruler, who would come against the Jews with great numbers of people after they had been restored to their land. According to Matthew Henry’s Complete Commentary on the Bible this probably took place sometime shortly after their return from captivity.
Even though God was assuring His people that they would be restored, He didn’t want them to believe they could expect complete rest from trials and tribulations in this life. Jesus told His disciples much the same thing:
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (Matt. 16.33).
While Ezekiel 38 had a near future fulfillment, it also speaks of a time that is still to come. Revelation 20:
7 Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. 9 They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them.
After the millennial reign of Christ, Satan will be loosed briefly once more, so that those people who were born during that time will have a chance to either accept or reject Christ. Afterwards when he attempts to come against God’s people, he and his followers will be destroyed and cast into the lake of fire.
We should take great comfort in this portion of Scripture in Ezekiel 38 about God’s sovereign care. Although, God may use our enemies to test and strengthen us, we can be sure He will give us the grace we need, either to deliver us from the danger or see us through it.
Pray for our pastors
Verse 9 begins, “Let Your priests be clothed with righteousness.”