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?
Vs. 3, “Like a scarecrow in a melon patch, their idols cannot speak; they must be carried because they cannot walk. Do not fear them; they can do no harm nor can they do any good.” We see how foolish it is to worship things made by humans. Abraham himself was once a worshipper of idols before he trusted in God. By this point, God’s people had no excuse, for they were instructed quite cleary from the Mosaic Law not to worship idols. If only they would comprehend the glory & majesty of the true Living God! Theologian A.W. Tozer, “…the essence of idolatry is the entertainment of thoughts about God that are unworthy of Him.” Our temporary idols of today may not be made of wood, but they bring just as much competition as the wooden & golden idols of yesterday
Regarding application…Our Way & God’s Way. Vs. 23, “I know, O LORD, that a man’s life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps.” We are on the road of life and the moment we turn from God…we take a major wrong turn. It would be like witnessing a car go down the wrong side of the street. Most people would think or call out to them about how incredibly foolish & dangerous it is to drive in the wrong direction. Yet that is exactly what we do when we direct our own steps. Verse 23 is reminds me of what the Apostle Paul would say to the Corinthians, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” (I Corinthians 6:19-21)
Our lives once belonged to us…but now we are slaves to righteousness. On the road of life, we have only “One Way…Jesus!” By the Grace of God He gave us intellect & will…but we are not meant to fathom the ways of God. In our endeavor to live a life for Him…sometimes I think we as Christians overanalyze ourselves more often than we should. We analyze the “why’s” of our Christians lives…when all God said was to have faith & obey. Sometimes we make life more difficult than it should be. It’s almost refreshing to know that it is not up to “US” to figure it all out! Let’s truly thank God that we simply have to follow the directions. The next step you take…ask yourself…is it my way or God’s way?