Monday, April 4, 2011

Dry Bones With No Hope

The hand of the LORD was upon me, and He brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and set me down in the middle of the valley; and it was full of bones.

He caused me to pass among them round about, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley; and lo, they were very dry.

He said to me, "Son of man, can these bones live?" And I answered, "O Lord GOD, You know."

Again He said to me, "Prophesy over these bones and say to them, 'O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.'

"Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones, 'Behold, I will cause breath to enter you that you may come to life.

'I will put sinews on you, make flesh grow back on you, cover you with skin and put breath in you that you may come alive; and you will know that I am the LORD.'"

So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold, a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to its bone.

And I looked, and behold, sinews were on them, and flesh grew and skin covered them; but there was no breath in them.

Then He said to me, "Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they come to life."'"

So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they came to life and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.

Then He said to me, "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel; behold, they say, 'Our bones are dried up and our hope has perished We are completely cut off.'

"Therefore prophesy and say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Behold, I will open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves, My people; and I will bring you into the land of Israel.

"Then you will know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves and caused you to come up out of your graves, My people.

"I will put My Spirit within you and you will come to life, and I will place you on your own land. Then you will know that I, the LORD, have spoken and done it," declares the LORD.'" Ezekiel 37:1-14

A strange story to begin this message with isn't it. This was the message the God place on my heart last week. There is a scriptural connection with the historical nation of Israel and the current church. I believe that the message to Ezekiel regarding the state of Israel is appropriate for today's U.S. church as well.

Walk through a store or a local shopping mall and attempt to pick out the Christians from the non-Christians. How accurate do you think you would be. It is amazing to me that two Christians can work in the same place for months or for years and not know that they are not alone.

The visible witness for today's church is gone. Here is where we return to the text.

"these bones are the whole house of Israel; behold, they say, 'Our bones are dried up and our hope has perished We are completely cut off.'"

"Our hope has perished" is a description of today's Church. Joy? Not so much! We are buried under our circumstances and have lost the vibrancy of our lives in Jesus.

What is the answer? The text seems to indicate that there is a two step process to returning the dry bones to an exceedingly great army.

Step one is for a few of God's anointed to begin to pray that the dry bones will begin to hear the Word of the Lord. Step two is for God's anointed and for the "hopeless" bones to begin to pray for the breath of the Spirit of God to come from the four corners to do is life giving work.

Are you one of God's anointed for this purpose? If so, begin to pray and suggest this blog to others who might pick up the mantle. If you are not prepared to stand in the gap for His church simply consider passing this blog on to someone else who might enjoy the challenge.

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