Ezekiel 37

Vs. 1, The hand of the Lord was upon 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.”  About 1 ½ ago, I preached on this very passage!  Question: When will this vision come to fruition?  Many biblical scholars point to this vision as the restoration of the physical and spiritual Israel.  In the past century, Israel has become an official nation again.  And, according to your biblical doctrine, God will one day restore Israel and Jesus will reign with them for 1000 years.  But going back to the vision: It must have been quite a scene to see a valley of skeleton bones all over.  God restores the dry bones and gives them life.  We also see the illustration of the two sticks becoming one to unite God’s people.

Regarding application…Make Us One.  Vs. 22, “I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. There will be one king over all of them and they will never again be two nations or be divided into two kingdoms.”  While the verse is a prophecy to Israel, the application is useful for all of us.  Many of us are dead in our transgressions and don’t realize we are like the dry bones.  As He breathes life into us, we will one day be restored as one body in Christ!  When I think about the heartache of broken families, broken churches, broken nations…it grieves so many.  This hope for a better future is something that not only brings comfort now, but should inspire us to do our part in hastening that day.  What can we do now to help bring about God’s will of restoring that which is broken?

Jeremiah 8

Vs. 9, “The wise will be put to shame; they will be dismayed and trapped.  Since they have rejected the word of the LORD, what kind of wisdom do they have?”  This was their worst sin…they were rejecting the word of the LORD.  God is saying we ought to no better than horses or birds…yet we were ignorant because of sin and deception.  They were decieved because they thought they had wisdom.  Just because they had the Temple & the law did not make them Godly or protected.  The Bible is continually the number one seller in the world, but that doesn’t mean society is getting more Godly.  They would find out they they would miss their opportunity and God would judge them harshly.  We see Jeremiah’s concern as he laments for Judah as we close the chapter.

Regarding application…Broken Heart.  Vs. 21, “Since my people are crushed, I am crushed; I mourn, and horror grips me.”  We see why Jeremiah would be the weeping prophet. Iimagine if you could have known the killings in Norway could have been prevented.  Imagine if you had the opportunity to run to all the people and students who were killed.  Yet, how many of these people would have listened to you?  How many would have taken you seriously?  This is what was happening to Jeremiah.  Think how sad you would be if you knew without a doubt these people that you are warning would all be dead soon.  It really is a overwhelming thought…the sadness would be gut wrenching.

One thing that about Jeremiah is that his heart was definitely not hard.  His broken heart kept him faithful in enduring the monumental task that God had given him.  No matter how hard our lives are…may we never harden our hearts to the plight of others.  Sometimes, you may be watching t.v. late at night and run across one of those commericals with children who are starving to death and some organization asking for your help.  It’s easy to want to turn the channel and not think about the less fortunate.  Believe me, having just gone to Mexico on Missions, I got to see the poverty and children with nearly nothing.   But, Jeremiah chose not too…Jesus would choose not to…we must choose not to.  We must remember that our lives are not just about us.  There is a world out there that needs the message we hold in our hearts.  It’s an incredibly sad task to put yourself out there and see the reality of the pain people endure & will endure if they don’t turn to Jesus…but we must!  Are you prepared to have a broken heart?