February 13, 2017
READ: Ezekiel 37:1-14
I will put flesh and muscles on you and cover you with skin. I will put breath into you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord (v.6).
“Mom, I have an idea for a painting.” A spiritual representation of the restorative work of God, the picture had formed in my son’s mind during a worship service and included Ezekiel’s vision of a valley of dry bones. Though this most recent design was out of the ordinary for both Micah and his painting instructor, she willingly coached him from the beginning sketch to the final brushstroke.
Sin destroys. Like an all-consuming fire, its reach can’t be underestimated (Galatians 3:22). Describing the spiritual wasteland of dry bones, the prophet Ezekiel said, “[The Spirit] led me all around among the bones . . . . They were scattered everywhere across the ground and were completely dried out” (37:1-2). In this vision, where Ezekiel saw only death, God spoke of restoration (v.14). When the Lord asked the prophet, “‘Son of man, can these bones become living people again?’” Ezekiel responded, “O Sovereign Lord . . . you alone know the answer to that” (v.3).
Obeying the Spirit, Ezekiel then told the dried-out, dead bones—without nerves, brain stem, or ears—to listen to the word of the Lord (v.4). Though it meant speaking what was yet unseen, he believed that what proceeded from the heart of God was greater than any consequence of sin (Rom. 3:23-24). By God’s work, bone came to bone, and sinew and muscles joined with flesh (Ezekiel 37:7-8); then “breath came into their bodies. They all came to life and stood up on their feet—a great army” (v.10).
In the valley, all had seemed hopeless, barren, and broken. But God’s word restored what sin had stolen (Isaiah 55:3,11). Ezekiel’s vision demonstrates that no matter how widespread the sin, God’s power is greater (Romans 5:20-21).
365-day plan: Exodus 18:1-27
Read Jeremiah 31:20-25 and consider the power of God’s restoration.
If you were to create a painting to represent God’s restorative process in your life, what would it look like? How does the transforming work of the Holy Spirit continue to move you toward wholeness?