To my friends with prodigals of varying shapes and sizes…
“He brought me (Ezekiel)…and set me down in the midst of the valley, and it was full of bones…there were very many human bones…and He said to me, “Can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord God, You know!”
For 36 chapters prior to this, God has been giving Ezekiel the history of His children and their rebellion. 36 chapters! What were God’s children like?
impudent and hard of heart (2:2)
rebellious whether they hear or refuse to hear (2:5)
rebellious, who have eyes to see and see not…have ears to hear and hear not… (12:2)
This type of rebellion was not the “I’m sorry officer, I didn’t know the speed limit changed.” This was not a matter of breaking the cookie jar. This was a walking towards the pigs, feeding the pigs, and then laying with the pigs. This was the prodigal son parable repeated yearly – with the same prodigal.
These people of God’s were spiritually dead. Having tasted the Covenant, they chose their own way. “Galvanised corpses may have muscular movements, but they are dead, notwithstanding their twitching. They that live without God are dead while they live.” (MacLaren)
You can picture this kind of deadness. For some of you, dear hearts of my heart, this is a haunting when you wake up every morning nightmare.
You have reason to despair… as far as you, or they, are concerned. “As far as outward resources are concerned, despair was rational, and hope was absurd.” (Alexander Maclaren, commentary on Ezekiel)
But we are not concerned with you, or they. We are concerned with God. “Thus says the Lord God to these bones: ‘Behold, I will cause breath and spirit to enter you, and you shall live…and you shall know, understand, and realize that I am the Lord (calling forth loyalty and obedient service). ..There was a thundering noise, and behold, a shaking and trembling and rattling, and the bones came together…and the breath and spirit came into the bones, and they lived and stood up on their feet, an exceedingly great host…”
Did these dead bones do ANYTHING to bring themselves back to life? Were they repentant and therefore deserved to be brought back to life? Not if the last 36 chapters is an indication.
These dead bones DID NOT IN ANY WAY hinder God from making these bones rise up, putting flesh on them, breathing life into them.
God will NEVER EVER let ANYONE, ANYONE, have the last word. Not even death.
“Faith has the prerogative of seeing possibilities of life in, what looks to sense, hopeless death.”
He asks you today, “Daughter of Mine. Can these bones that you’ve fed, read to, loved, hugged, cried over, rent heart over as they walk away, these bones that mock God by simply making Him a non issue – can these bones live?”
Well, can they?