The valley of dry bones! The Lord to Ezekiel: “Son of man, can these bones live?” (37:3). This story is always such an encouragement to me. These bones represent the dead, dry bones of the nation of Israel. There is no life here. No movement. No hope. But the Lord says he will breathe on them, and they have breath. He will put sinew and flesh on those bones. Though dead, they will live!
And then, the description of what happened! There was a sound, a rattling. And the bones came together. And sinew and flesh came upon them. And the wind blew into them, and they lived, and they stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.
Here, and at home, we talk to people and give them the good news. They are people like those before Ezekiel. They hear the gospel but they do not really hear it. They are lifeless. They do not see. They do not stir toward Jesus. It’s as if we are talking to a bunch of dead, dry bones. But here’s the thing. The same God who showed Ezekiel these things and brought life can take the seed we sow and cause it to grow. We till, and we sow, and we water, but God gives the increase. “O Lord, let the testimony of your word, which we give to others, find fertile soil and grow and bear fruit in their lives!”
O Spirit of the living God, in all the fullness of your grace, wherever human feet have trod, descend upon our fallen race.
Baptize the nations; far and near the triumphs of the cross record; till Christ in glory shall appear and every race declare him Lord! -- James Montgomery (1823)