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Called into the Valley

Ezekiel 37:1-14

The Valley of Dry Bones

The 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. He 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. He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”

I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”

Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! 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.’”

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. I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them 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 it, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’” 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.

11 Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the people of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13 Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. 14 I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord.’”

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The picture does little justice.

Ezekiel would have been called into a valley full of bones.

Death and destruction would have been the words to describe what he was seeing.

I imagine the scene would have been dark. Overcast. Spooky. Can you imagine? Not a sight that one would necessarily want to see. I think of Aragorn in the Return of the King when he goes into the canyon to call the Army of the Dead to his service.

Thats thing that hits me with this passage.

The Lord called Ezekiel, a prophet and messenger, into this valley and asked him to see it.

What do we see when we look around?

Are we missing the mess around us.

I know I do. I try to make my life so neat and orderly that I miss the death that is around me. I miss all that the Lord is wanting us to speak life into.

But take heart; take courage! Ezekiel did not wander there on his own, he was led. And, he did not ask, "Lord, what shall I say?" He didn't assume that he knew how to fix things. No, Ezekiel waited and God, the creator of all things and the One with the power to speak life, he told Ezekiel what to say.

God invited Ezekiel into doing what He had been the first to do. He wanted Ezekiel to play his small part in God's grand redemption narrative.

What then are we missing?

What is God inviting us to speak Life into?

Or have we ignored the call into the valley because we do not want to go where so few will?

Are we afraid of the valley?

Johnathon MillerComment