Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
Talk about vivid, intensely interesting language! The Bible tops all books.
Ezekiel tells how God showed him Israel as a valley filled with dry bones, "bleached by the sun,"--a vast panorama of spiritual death. Then He asked the prophet a simple question: "'Can these bones live?' I said, 'Master God, only you know that.'" It was a representation of the spiritual state of God's true church then. The primary focus of the vision is not the physical "first resurrection" and the "new earth," although that can be one application. But no one who is spiritually dead now will have a chance of coming up in the "first resurrection." It's now that we must experience a living conversion.
According to what Christ says in Revelation 3:14-21 of His true church in these last days, "the valley of dry bones," is disturbing. It's not ancient history.
Ezekiel could have prayed for those "dry bones" 24 hours a day for a century (endless prayer meetings!), and nothing would have happened. (Some churches fast and pray and still nothing happens to change their spiritual death.) Now note: several times in Ezekiel 37:4-12 (Peterson, The Message), the Lord told the prophet what to do: "prophesy over these bones"--and he did. God wasn't about to resurrect them unilaterally; He demanded the prophet's help. Even the final "breath" that entered them was the fruit of Ezekiel's "prophesying" (vs. 10). They must have "the everlasting gospel." The "dry bones" must be fed with the Word.
Is your church "dead"? The children being starved? The youth? Yes--pray; but don't overlook Ezekiel's lesson--nothing will work except the proclamation of "the everlasting gospel," "the third angel's message in verity," the Word of the cross (Rev. 14:6-15). That will make the bones "live." Yes!
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: June 21, 2002.
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