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Can These Bones Live?

He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?  I said, “O Sovereign LORD, you know.”

Ezekiel 37:3

As Ezekiel stood seeing in a vision, a valley of dry bones; bones that the Bible describes as “very, very dry and scattered abroad” he must have wondered whether any hope was possible.  To the naked eye, it appeared that the bones were brittle and completely devoid of life.  There was no way, a reasonable person could imagine that these bones would ever come to life.  Therefore, when God questioned him, “Son of man, can these bones live?”  Ezekiel could only answer by saying, “O Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”  Ezekiel knew in his heart, that no human being could ever bring about change.

Beloved, have you ever looked at a desperate situation and thought, it’s never going to change?  Has your human mind ever told you, “This is hopeless!”  You are not the first to think in this way and you will not be the last.  As the house of Israel experienced captivity in Babylon, they too felt hopeless.  They wondered, “How can we sing the songs of the Lord in a foreign land? (Psalm 137:4).  Many of them were dead in sin and yet God intended to raise them to holiness and restore them to the land of their fathers, and he eventually did in his time.

I don’t know what you are going through today.  Maybe you are on the verge of giving up and letting go.  Perhaps your grief and your tears have blinded you and silenced your voice and your joy.  Maybe sin has overtaken you, and you feel as though you can no longer sing the Lord’s song in a “foreign land.”  Or maybe an illness has reached its crescendo as it ravages your body.  Instead, of looking at what God can do, you may have reached the end of your own strength and decided you can do no more.  Today, God asks you the same question about your situation, “Child, can these bones live?”  How will you answer?

To the captives in Babylon the LORD said, “Then you will know that I am the LORD, when I bring you into the land of Israel, the land I had sworn with uplifted hand to give to your ancestors (Ezekiel 20:42).  God makes the same promise to you today.  No matter what a reasonable person may think, God is on your side and his promises for you stand true.  He says in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,”…”plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  May his peace lead you back home into the embrace of his hope and his joy. 

Eternal God, there’s not a friend like you.  You are the one who sticks closer than a brother; the one that will never forsake me.  Lead me back into your embrace and let me dwell in your hope and peace.  I know that through you, these dry bones will live again.  Amen.