Speaking the Bones Back to Life

Prophet Elisee Yao / 14 Jul 2019

The word of the Lord came to Ezekiel in the fifth year of Israel’s captivity in Babylon. God brought Ezekiel out in the Spirit and placed him in the centre of the valley filled with bones. The Bible not only says that the bones were dry, but very dry. There is a difference between being dry, and being very dry. God asked Ezekiel if he thought the bones could live again, and the prophet was wise enough to turn the question back to God, saying, “Oh Lord God, You know (Ez 37:3, NKJV)”. Ezekiel knew that his opinion didn’t matter, because God had the answer. And God said, ‘Prophesy to these [dry] bones…’ (v4).

Consider that at this point in time, Israel thought that God had forsaken them. When the Israelites were taken into captivity, they believed that it was the demise of the Israeli nation. How many people find themselves in this place of utter desperation and abandonment? Where there is no hope anymore. Remember that the bones were very dry. Imagine the world has come to a standstill. Everything feels like it is going in the opposite direction. The United Nations has failed us; worldwide governments have failed us. Everything is failing us. The bones are very dry, and we are looking around for answers.

God was not intimidated by the state of the bones. God wanted an army, so He took Ezekiel to the ‘graveyard’ to raise it. When God wants to do something in your life, He’s not looking for what you’ve got; He’s looking for what He sees in you. There is nothing to look for in the graveyard, and yet God led Ezekiel there. There were many cities full of living bodies at that time, but God didn’t see His army in any of them. He did not seek out His army among the living, but the dead because they had substance. Perhaps while they were alive, they did not know. They died along with their dried up hopes and dreams. But God knew that His plans for their lives were not yet fulfilled and went after them. If you think you are dry, lifeless, and hopeless, God is pursuing you. 

When God wants to do something in your life, He’s not looking for what you’ve got; He’s looking for what He sees in you. 

Today, many Christians are lying in a place of desperation, despondency, and despair, while the greatness of God in them is being abused by Satan. Stuck in a place where it feels as if there is nothing left, and God is sending a prophet to ask, ‘Can these bones live again?’ This is a question for each of us individually. Can you still achieve the purpose of your life when it feels like your future lies in your past? God is asking you, ‘Can these bones live again?’ Will our response be the same as Ezekiel’s faith-filled, God-assured answer: ‘Sovereign Lord, You alone know’ (Ez 37:3, NIV), or will we continue to seek our own solutions.

‘Can these bones live again?’

God told Ezekiel to speak to the bones. There was only one way to revive the bones: to prophesy! “…say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!’” (Ez 27:4, NIV). Surely bones cannot have ears? Even though the bodies were dead, the bones still had ears to hear! Every situation in your life that feels dead, dry, and buried still has an ear. Even when Lazarus died, his ears were still alive. So when Jesus called out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!”[1] he came out of the grave because Lazarus’ ears heard Jesus’ voice calling him. The ear of your situation is well alive.

" ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!’” (Ezekiel 27:4).

Similarly, when Jesus entered Jerusalem the people started praising Him in loud voices, so the Pharisees told Jesus to rebuke and quiet His disciples. Jesus replied: “If they keep quiet, the stones will cry out” (Luke 19:40, NIV). Stones…with mouths?

The countless bones didn’t fall peacefully into the valley. These people probably died violent deaths. So much time had passed that vultures had probably scavenged meat and muscle off of the carcasses, decomposition had taken place, and the combination had displaced the bones. Everything was a complete mess, but the bones had the ability to recognize each other. As Ezekiel spoke, the bones rattled and moved around and joined together perfectly; each set made a complete man as if never disturbed. You see, it doesn’t matter what has happened to you, or how far south your situation has gone, when the word of the Lord is proclaimed, those bones come together: “bone to bone” (Ez 37:7). Maybe some of your bones are lying in different cities across the country today. Someone hurt you and bones fell in that place, or your past hurts have left you feeling as if your life is shattered into pieces. When God calls you, it doesn’t matter where the bones (broken pieces) have fallen, they will come back into place precisely as they were designed to. When the dry bones came together, every single bone knew its place: the finger bones, toe bones, spinal cord, pelvis, skull…the ability to recognize its place was in the bone itself, so they came together.

When God calls you, it doesn’t matter where the [broken pieces of your life] have fallen...

When the bones began to assemble, Ezekiel heard a rattling noise (Ez 37:7). How many of us know that when God is about to move in our lives there is discomfort? When God is about to do something significant, everything starts to 'rattle', shake, and adjust. For example, when a ligament is torn, the whole body moves differently owing to that one small injury. It is the body’s way of compensating: trying to minimize the damage and pain. Just like the rattling sound in the valley, there could be a rattling noise resounding in your life now; something is happening to you. Suddenly, nobody likes you, friends don’t want you around, and people are rejecting you. There could be a rattling in your life and you need to acknowledge it. When you recognise the move of God, start to prophesy! You are your own prophet: open your mouth, speak the Word of the Lord over yourself, and proclaim what God has told you about your situation believing that God is powerful enough to do what He has promised. “God is not a man that He should lie…” (Num 23:19, NKJV); when He says something, He does it!

Ezekiel prophesied as God directed him, and the bones came together, followed by flesh, ligaments, tendons, muscle, organs, and skin, but there was still no sign of life. The word or promise itself does not contain life, the word is the ‘form’. For in the beginning, God formed man, but man was without life until God breathed into his nostrils (Genesis 2:7). Similarly, you cannot just assume that because you have prophesied and proclaimed the Word that it is finished. You need to breathe life into what you have spoken. The problem with some of us is that we stop after the first part. We prophesy and proclaim, but then the thing we are trusting for is still lifeless and we think that what we are doing or saying is not working.

We often forget that there is a second part of the prophecy: God told Ezekiel to ‘prophesy to the breath’ to ‘come from the four winds’ (Ezekiel 37:9). When the four winds came together and breath entered the dead bodies, they came back to life. This was not natural wind, it was wind fueled by heavenly power because it proceeded from the inside of God; it was the Breath of Life. Some situations require engaging in a deeper level of warfare where we cannot just proclaim the Word and promises of God, but we need to align with heaven and ‘speak to the winds’ so that the breath of life can enter the situation.

The dry bones in your life need reviving! Don’t give up; proclaim the Word and ‘prophesy to the breath’.

Full reading: Ezekiel 37:1-9 (NIV)

1The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. 3He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.” 4Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! 5This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. 6I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’” 7So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them. 9Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’” 10So I prophesied as he commandedme, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.

[1] John 11:43-44, NKJV

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