Dec 30, 2020, 2:42 PM
God has a knack of drawing one’s attention to Him on the one hand and sustaining it on the other. He did that to Moses when He captured his attention in a bid to provoke him into investigating how a burning bush was strangely burning without being consumed. Just when Moses arrived on the scene to satisfy his curiosity, he heard a voice that called him by name. God Himself spoke to Moses and gave him an assignment. He further revealed the mission to him. After a long exchange back and forth because Moses was reluctant to go on such a mission, he finally conceded. With his brother Aaron to accompany him, both of them set off for Egypt to accomplish God’s will.
The Children of Israel had been sent by God into slavery in Egypt for four hundred years by way of punishment for their stubbornness and unbelief. Having learnt their lesson the hard way, the time for their release was in sight. That assignment was given to none other than Moses who had speech difficulties. He was initially reluctant and must have felt inadequate for the task; but God would empower him to carry it out successfully.
When God sends someone, on whatever mission, He ensures that he is adequately equipped. He does not allow His messenger to risk his life unnecessarily. The fact that the choice fell on any of their shoulders is not a matter of chance but an assurance that the one chosen is the right man or woman for the assignment.
God took another of His prophets called Ezekiel, and after parading a valley full of dry human bones before him, asked him, “Son of man, can these bones live?” Treading cautiously, Ezekiel timidly replied, “O Sovereign Lord, You alone know.” (Ezekiel 37:3) Ezekiel could not have given a better response. There is nothing that God does not know. Why? Our God is Omniscient [All-knowing]; Omnipresent, [Ever-Present] and Omnipotent [All-Powerful]. The Bible records that nothing is hidden from Him. He has power to accomplish anything. “I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” (Jeremiah 32:27) “Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor His ear too dull to hear.” (Isaiah 59:1)
“Prophesy to these bones and say to them, “Dry bones, hear the word of God! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones. I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I 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.” (Ezekiel 37:4-6)
What picture does this large number of skeletons in this account signify? That the wages of sin is death. It looked like a mass grave whose inmates could have died as a result of a plague or could have been victims of a military onslaught. That must have been a tragic way to die – with no burial. It depicts the ultimate end of the pleasures of sin.
God still put Ezekiel on the spot when He required him to prophesy to the bones so that they may live again. That must have been quite a challenge for prophet Ezekiel. However, he exercised faith. “So, 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.” (verse 7)
This scene brings to mind the account of ten lepers who met Jesus on the outskirts of the city, who begged Him to heal them. He asked them to go and show themselves to the high priest for a clean bill of health. (Luke 17:12) It was in the course of their journey that they received their healing. And so, we observe that Ezekiel obeyed and did as he was told and the results took him by surprise.
Here’s what occurred: “I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.” He prophesied again and breath came into them. Ezekiel began to see results when he put his faith on the line. After all, he was just a vessel by whom and through whom the prophecy would come to pass.
Progressively, the dead bodies were revived; bone to bone, flesh to flesh, sinews to sinews and finally breath. What looked like complete disorder and in utter disarray all of a sudden assumed form. Again, this account paints a picture of what the Resurrection would be like when the bodies of those who died in the Lord would be revived at the sound of the last trumpet.
“Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all be changed – in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet shall sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable shall clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.” (1 Corinthians 15: 52-53)
When we look around us, what do we see? Is it anywhere near what God showed Ezekiel in that valley? Dead bones! God wants us to live for Him; to be the light and salt of the earth, so it would retain its savour. To this end, we must come alive.
Apostle Paul laments: “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God.” (Romans 3:10) This miraculous event occurred some 600 years before Christ, yet it is still relevant today. God expects us to make the difference in our surroundings. Let us prophesy life into all that is dead around us - beginning with ourselves!