April 9 – Life from Death

Read Ezekiel 37:1-14

Those were discouraging days for the nation of Israel. Due to their own rebellion, God brought judgment upon them. He used a godless nation and king (Jeremiah 25) as His rod of correction. Under King Nebuchadnezzar, Babylon invaded Jerusalem, destroyed the temple and city, and carted Jews off into exile. As a result, the background of Ezekiel 37 reflects people who were distant from God and now also distant from their homeland.

In all likelihood, you, too, can point to times when God felt far away. The situations and circumstances of your life may have seemed virtually hopeless. Perhaps you felt alienated and exiled from the blessing of God. It was a spiritual desert.

Welcome to the valley!

That’s where God took Ezekiel. As he looked across the valley, lifeless bones littered the ground. The bones were indicative of countless Israelites who were spiritually (and some physically) dead. As a nation, it must have seemed as if there was no future…no hope. And this visual of dry bones probably only confirmed that. But, in the back of Ezekiel’s mind, he knew that all things were possible with God. When asked if the bones could live, his response was very cautious. He replied, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know” (v. 3).

What followed was a description of the miraculous. God caused the bones to rattle. He added tendons, flesh, and skin. Then, the Spirit of God brought new life. All of that pointed to the restoration that God brought to the nation years later…and it points to the resurrection of believing Jews in years to come.

God is able to bring life from death. He can do that in your situation as well. He can give hope in the midst of your hopelessness. He can breathe new life into what seems to be lifeless. Be careful, though. There are no guarantees that He always will do that. There must be for all of us a worshipful and even expectant recognition of what He can do. At the same time, there must be a humble acceptance of what He chooses to do.

In the end, if you are a Jesus follower, you can count on a future resurrection that will cause your once temporal body to be raised as a glorious one. He will bring life from death!

Steve Kern

 

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