28 March 2017

CAN THESE DRY BONES LIVE?


Ezekiel 37:1-14

Put yourself in the position of 33 men who were trapped 700 hundred meters (2300 ft) underground and about 5 kilometers (3 mi) from the mine's entrance. Trapped in a cold, damp, dim lighted area for 69 days. How would one feel trapped down there for so long? How would you feel? Maybe! Helpless, a little scared; frustrated, weak, tired, thinking to yourself “This isn’t the way I wanted to go.” As day 69 approached after several failed attempts to rescue the men. They tried again and many watched the Live Feed of this amazing rescue around the globe....and I say rescue!! Because that’s what it was an amazing rescue of 33 men stuck in a hole. They couldn’t do anything but wait. They couldn’t dig themselves out of this mess. They couldn’t do anything other than wait on the crews to find a way down so that they could lift them too safely. They were 33 men who helplessly waited to die or be rescued!! They only had 2 options

Can these dry bones live?

Jesus told a similar story about our salvation. This world is in such a hole/mess and we only have 2 oppositions. Die or be rescued! No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:44. Isn’t that wonderful hope for over 6.5 billion people on this earth? He pulled you out of the well of helplessness. He is the One who drew you to Himself, despite our sin! It’s all about His grace and mercy. It’s all about His love and compassion for souls. It’s all about His plan of salvation to lost and broken world. I can’t tell you enough.....how thankful I am that He saved my wretched soul. As the hymn song goes.....”Amazing grace! How sweet the sound....That saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now am found” He is the only One that can bring life to dead bones! We have to understand thatHe is the only One that can create life from nothing. He is the only One capable to give breath to a dead corpse. As Gen 2:7 says “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.”

So who is the one capable to give life to dead, dry bones? (v3) Ezekiel was given a vision after the great display of God’s promise, grace and sovereignty found in the previous chapter 36, despite their wilful disobedience and love for this world. Look with me for a moment at some that powerful dialog the Lord gives to Ezekiel in chapter 36, beginning in (v25)What is the underlining theme of chapter 36?  God said “I will”…”God will do this!’ This brings us to this portion of scripture, where the Lord tells Ezekiel to speak to these dead dry bones.

A nation that scattered, lifeless, bleached just as a dry tree, a dead nation that only God can give life.
Who are the dry bones? It’s not the church! It’s the nation of Israel.
They were a nation at this time with no hope!
They were a nation who fell to idol worship and paganism.
They were a nation who disobeyed God.
They were a nation under captivity.
They were a nation divided...Israel and Judah.
They were a nation without a king or a temple.
They were a nation lost and full of dead bones.

As one writer put it......”There were many who saw the babe, but did not see the salvation" Look what the Lord tells Ezekiel to do in this vision! Speak the word of God to these dead bones. Why would the Lord tell him to do this? As we go back to the well or deep hole that He found you in.............it’s the power of God and His word that brings dead bones to life. Think about that for a moment! The word of God is capable of restoring or bringing to life the driest of bones….dead bones to be clear. The word of God is capable to of giving life to worst of criminals, the worst of sinners like me! As Paul said.......”it’s the power of God unto salvation” Rom 1:16. He also said...... “For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit....” 1 Thess 1:5. Jeremiah said......"Is not My word like a fire?" says the LORD, "And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?” Jer 23:29. The Hebrew writer said “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Heb 4:12

Think about for a moment! When God speaks it makes the earth move. When God speaks people are changed forever, not temporary, but for eternity. When God speaks people tremble with fear and adoration and worship. When God speaks life begins. And God tells Ezekiel to speak/proclaim to these dry bones and watch the power of God. The same goes for you and me. Otherwise we would find something else to do on a Sunday! God promised to resurrect the nation of Israel as we see here in (v7-8a). But that’s not all the Lord does….. Why? They have no real life yet, they have flesh and bones…… but no life! (v8b) “but there was no breath in them” So what does the Lord tell Ezekiel to do?Proclaim again the word of God to these dead fleshly bodies. (v9-v10). Here we see the flesh and bones comes to life...........God promised Israel would be a nation of great power. God promised His people that He would be their God. God promised He would raise them up in the last days. God promised He would spiritually restore them back to that relationship He once had when Joshua said “But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” Joshua 24:15. 

Why the two parts to this process? Why didn’t He speak and they just come to life instantly? He gives everyone on this earth air to breath........we would call this common grace to His creation...whether they hate God or not! But we are not naturally in love with Him! Due to the fact we are all fallen sinners who deserve the Almighty wrath of God.... Something must happen in order for us to be spiritually restored! Its call salvation by His sovereign grace.........which means we must be born again as Jesus told Nicodemus. There are many people walking this earth as nothing more than dead dry bones. You and me before He drew us from that well....... we were nothing more then dead dry bones. But Paul said there is hope for us in Eph 5:14 “Therefore He says: "Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light." There is hope....rest.....restoration.....forgiveness......eternal glorification...... for those who have been awaken by the power of God through His Spirit..... Dry bones brought to life are a beautiful picture of how God saves people. We have no life in ourselves. No human desire or effort can impart life.

How can we live? Only by the bidding of God....only by the power of the mighty word of God breathing life in dead people.” This is exactly what the Lord is promising to His chosen people Israel. This vision was to show Ezekiel that the Lord keeps His promise! This vision was to show that the Lord cared deeply for His disobedient children. (v21) God promised! He would one day restore Israel.....purify Israel......make them a unified nation once again!! (v12-v14) This is the sovereign power of God dealing with these dry bones! Again as Jonah said “salvation belongs to the Lord” Jonah 2:9. We must always remember that salvation is the supernatural work of God in the human soul.

Our salvation depends solely on His power and grace.
He is the only one that can bring life to these dead bones!
He will restore His chosen people again .......in the future!

Let me ask you! Has He been speaking to your dry bones this morning? I’m being serious this morning! Our lives hang in the balance of this one biblical truth! Salvation is solely the power of God unto salvation!! He is the only one that resurrect us in the end days
Are we ready?
Will you be with Him for all eternity?
Are you sure of that?

Has He pulled you from that well that you were left in by Satan and his crafty tricks? Has He spoken to your dead dry bones? Jesus said........”For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will. For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.  "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth— those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.” John 5:21-29. It is the power of God unto salvation It’s the power of God that any of us will ever be saved! So going back to my original question! Can dead bones come to life? The answer to that question is YES!

Exclusively…..
Through His Power because all things are possible through Him.
Through His Word which not only has life but imparts life as well.
Through His Spirit the breath of life to any fallen sinner.
Through His Son Jesus Christ....the very One that made it possible for us to be saves from the well of despair in the first place. As Paul saidYes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us,” 2 Cor 1:9-10. Can dead bones come to life? The answer to that question is YES! 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. 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.' " Eze 37:13-14   

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