THE VALLEY OF DRY BONES

Reading Ezekiel 37

INTRODUCTION.

Etched indelibly in many people’s minds over the past number of years, is a mental picture of the killing fields of  Nigeria, Iraq, Yugoslavia and other places. Many foolishly thought the world had learned it’s lesson with Hitler, and such things could never blight our world again - how wrong they were!

This location of Ezekiel’s vision, must have been similar to one of those killing fields!

It was as if there had been a great battle - the imagery is not just that of skeletons lying about - but human bones, scattered everywhere - totally mixed up!

 Many years ago, I remember listening to a missionary officer telling of how, in the summer, when they ran short, of water, they had to go and dig to try to find some. The interesting thing is this, they  had to dig in the valley.

This was the only place they could find the life-giving, and life-sustaining water they so much needed!

It reminded me of the times when we have perhaps been deep in the valley spiritually, and then have found that water of life, that has given us the power and ability to rise up again!

 

POINT I.

( a) Admittedly, we cannot have a continuous mountain top experience.

( b) We are spoken of however, as eagles in  Isaiah 40:31

Eagles do not live in  the valley, but on the mountaintop.

(c) When we start, going down the mountain of  our spiritual experience, we are getting nearer the valley, the place of the bones!

( d) We may look perfectly all right on. the outside  Jesus spoke of the Pharisees as, being  likened to whited sepulchers. But, inside they were "dead, men’s bones!

(e) Let  us make sure  we are not among the  dry bones. down in the valley of  despair,  selfishness. self-importance ,  backbiting , hate (which we would prefer to call dislike) , bad temper , fault-finding etc .

 

POINT 2.

(a) VERSE 7. At God's Word, the bones came together, "BONE TO HIS BONE" .

(0) We, must  stand together as God’s people.

(c ) "BONE TO HIS BONE" We  must fit, into the place God has for us. Every bone in the vision, fitted into it's exact and proper place, ready to do the job it had been made to do. As the song says, "The knee bone connected to the  thigh bone” etc. We must have as our priority, to seek out the place God has created us for, and fit in where He  wants us, humble a place as it might  be.

POINT 3

( a) VERSE 8,. Now we find the bony skeleton receiving  sinews (muscles) flesh and skin.

(b)To all accounts they looked alive BUT THERE WAS NO LIFE IN, THEM

(c) Even if we have all the LOOKS AND WORKS OF A CHRISTIAN We may even have the  SKIN in the form o the Uniform    WE may possess much Christian knowledge (the  flesh).

( d) We may even have  the ability to do many things in the Corps. (playing in the band, singing in the songsters, and a host of other things)

THIS IS THE  MUSCLE 

( e) BUT IF WE HAVE NOT GOT THE BREATH OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD WITHIN US, THEN ALL THESE THINGS ARE  COMPLETELY USELESS!

We could have all the wonderful gifts and capabilities, and yet in ourselves, be spiritually dead  and dormant.

(f)  Our granddaughter has a teddy she calls Dillon’. And everywhere she goes, so must Dillon!

She talks to him, and treats him like a little brother. But if I join in and maybe say, “Don’t throw Dillon around like that - you’ll hurt him!  She’ll look at me as if I’m daft, and say, Don’t be silly Grandad, he’s not alive!

(g) Well this army in the valley was, up to this point, no more use than an army of tailor’s dummies.

(h) I remember in college, one of the cadets singing a song entitled ‘toy soldiers’! The point being, that we can go through all the motions like clockwork - and indeed, everything run like clockwork - but there’s no life in a clockwork toy!

 

POINT 4.

( a) ,VERSE 9. "BREATHE UPON THESE SLAIN THAT THEY MAY LIVE

Unless we are slain to self, "Crucified with Christ" as Paul puts it,  it is impossible to be filled with His Spirit .

(b) It isn’t a case of how much we have of God!” Rather, it’s, "how much He has of us?" that counts.

(c ) We must be willing to come, realising we are as helpless as were the  bones.

ARE WE WILLING  TO HUMBLE OURSELVES THAT MUCH? ­

(d) God says, "If My people which are called by my Name, shall HUMBLE themselves, and PRAY, and SEEK MY FACE, and turn from their wicked ways  THEN will I hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land" (2Chron. 7:l4)

CONCLUSION.

(a) If we are willing, then we can have the experience of the bones, for  "BREATH CAME INTO THEM, AND THEY LIVED"

{b1) As soon as that happened, they, "STOOD UP UPON THEIR FEET" .

In other words, took up their fighting positions!

(a) Thus becoming an EXCEEDING GREAT ARMY!

(d) The difficulty is getting God’s people to accept their state , as being down in the valley amongst the dry bones - and allowing God to make us willing to COME TOGETHER in true fellowship, even with those we dislike: and to make us willing to HUMBLE ourselves and to be SLAIN for Christ! Only then, are we at last in the place where we can sing, with expectation,. and not  hypocrisy,

BREATHE ON ME BREATH OF GOD,FILL ME WITH LIFE ANEW

(e) Bob Gass, in his “Word for Today” daily readings says this:

Look at Ezekiel's valley of dry bones. They were dead, dry and disconnected. But when God breathed into them, they suddenly became a force to be reckoned with...........

When the Spirit of God came that day, broken things were mended and dead things were brought back to life. And He can do the same for you, too!

Notice also, there was "a great shaking" (Eze 37:7). Before God uses you, He'll 'shake up' your comfort zones, your proven methods and your cherished traditions. Your present condition is no prob­lem to Him, for He already sees your future. Just get into His presence today and cry, "Breathe on me, Breath of God." When He does, you'll never be the same again.