For He Himself has said: "I will never leave you nor forsake you."
Last week I started looking at the story of the dry bones in Ezekiel 37:1-10. It was a place of hopelessness and despair where Ezekiel had to acknowledge that only God could do the impossible there.
The interesting thing is that after Ezekiel turns to God for the answer to this hopeless situation, God’s first instruction to him is to “speak” to the bones. Here is the reality, these bones have no life in them. In fact, they are dry which suggests that there isn’t any hope that life could ever return. On top of that, as I mentioned last week, they are a disconnected mess. No bone is attached to or even near a body to which it might belong. Yet, He tells the prophet to “prophesy to these bones…” (Ezekiel 37:4) I decided to look up the word “prophesy” and it simply means to “say that (a specified thing) will happen in the future.” God wanted him to speak to something that had no future!!!
Last year, after suffering a mild heart attack, I honestly felt that I had no future. I found it difficult to see myself back in my church and back on my job. I was honest with God about how I felt yet God directed me to do something specific: I had to see myself, in faith, back in church and back on my job and I had to declare it!!! Was that easy? NO! But I did it in faith. I chose to see it in mind and I chose to speak it. Additionally, God reminded me of a verse He had given me at the start of the year: “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11). God was going to be the One to give me a future when I could not see it. In fact, He is my hope and my future and that was never so clear to me as when I went through that challenge.
How many of us have been through situations that felt so hopeless we couldn’t even see past it, we couldn’t see ourselves making it, we couldn’t see any good coming out of it? Maybe some of us are going through that now. I am reminded of Jairus. He asked Jesus to come to his house because his daughter was dying. Jesus did not get there on time and Jairus lost hope. His daughter’s future had ended – or so it seemed. Jesus’ response to her death was simple: “Do not be afraid, only believe” (Mark 5:36). Jesus saw the future that Jairus could not see. When Jairus believed it was over, Jesus knew that it was not. Maybe that’s what God is saying to someone today. It’s not over, there is still a future!
But my story for today isn’t over either! God told Ezekiel to say something specific: “O dry bones, hear the Word of the Lord!” (v.4) Those bones were not going to come to life on the words of Ezekiel but on the Words of the Lord! God’s Word is alive! We speak words and don’t always back them up with our actions. God speaks His Word and actions follow. When we look at the creation in Genesis, from verse 3 to verse 29 there is a recurring line “Then God said…” and whatever God said, He did! God doesn’t speak idle, empty words like we do. When He speaks, He does what He has to do to back up His Words with action.
We have to be careful with the words we speak when we are going through challenges. Sometimes, we speak our own words of frustration, anger or fear but they don’t line up with God’s Words about our situation. We speak what we see in our present, God speaks what He sees in our future.
God wanted to give those bones a future. God wanted to give Israel a future. God wants to give you a future, not just a future but the hope that there is a future just for you. I don’t know what your situation is, but God does and to someone He is saying to you in your valley of dry bones, you still have a future! It wasn’t over for those dry bones and it’s not over for you. Listen to the voice of God and speak the words of life that He is telling you to speak. You may not be able, but God is more than able.
If you have not accepted Jesus Christ into your life as your personal Lord and Saviour, I encourage you to do so today. The advantage of having God in your life is that no matter how bad things get, you have the God living in you that will give you a future when there seems to be none and a hope when all hope is gone.
This blog provides inspirational nuggets inspired by the Word of God and serves to encourage and motivate Christians in their Christian walk.