“The hand of the LORD came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the LORD and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. He said to me, “Mortal, can these bones live?” I answered, “O Lord GOD, you know.” (Ezekiel 37:1 – 3)
The people of Israel (and Judah) had been through a lot. Tired in their hearts and in their souls, they felt little life in them. And according to some of the prophets, it showed in their worship practices and devotion to the Divine. Maybe some of you, beloved reader, are tired in your hearts and souls. Maybe the events of the past few weeks or past month and a half have tired you out and left you with such weariness that hope is a distant feeling. If so, the words of Ezekiel and his experience of the Lord may be reviving to you.
“Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live.
I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the LORD.”
So I prophesied as I had been commanded; and as I prophesied, suddenly there was a noise, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them.” (Verses 4 – 8)
I know when I sat down to write about/to this passage, I was bone-weary and almost pressed beyond my endurance. But you are readying this some seven days from now, and who knows what might have transpired between my “now” and your “now”.
Ezekiel had prophesied to what is the shell of the body, but the
breath or spirit remained dormant. Think of that as the body going
through rote motions but has not thoughts or feelings – just
actions that are without emotions or intent.
“Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Lord GOD: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.”
I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude.” (Verses 9 – 10)
As I sat and thought about these verses, reading and re-reading the
words, it occurred to me that Ezekiel’s prophesying (which I suspect
was much like preaching) healed the bodies and spirits of these
people. Unquestionably our current situation needs healing, not to
mention those who have contracted the virus that is sweeping the
globe. That is a strange concept for our modern times, that we are
helpless with all of our scientific and medical skills. Scary too.
Maybe we do need the old fashioned healing of the Divine.
“Then he said to me, “Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.’ Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people. I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken and will act,” says the LORD.” (Verses 11 – 14)
This week contains one of the church celebration days; yes, coming in the last part of Lent. While we may be in the season of reflection and self-examination, we are also looking forward to the times to come. A good reminder in our current situation.
May you, beloved reader, be healed from whatever dryness and weariness that you are experiencing. And may the Divine bring rejuvenation to your living. Selah!