Is Restoration Even Possible?
We all go through trials and difficult times in this life; things happen to us that tend to squeeze our joy and test our faith in God. As Christians you may feel at times empty, stagnant, and hopeless in the world. You may feel like God has left you; that he is not answering your prayers; you may feel you are running on empty, you need to be revived again, but you may not even know it’s possible; you don’t even know where to begin.
The nation of Israel felt like that during the time of the exile or captivity. God allowed the captivity of his people because of their disobedience. The enemy came and destroyed the city of Jerusalem and carried captive its inhabitants to Babylon. One of those captives was a priest named Ezekiel. Five years into the captivity God chose Ezekiel to bring a message of hope to the exile.
Ezekiel gets a vision in which he is taken by the Spirit of the LORD to a valley full of dry bones. Ezekiel was guided to walk around the bones. Ezekiel said that there were many bones, very dry.
The LORD’s question: Can these bones live? Can the condition of these bones change? Is there hope for these dry bones?
Ezekiel answer: (v.3) You alone know LORD
God commanded the prophet to preach to the dry bones: “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.’ ”
God’s message: I will change your current condition and when I do, you’ll know me better, you will know that I am the LORD.
Ezekiel did the preaching and things began to happen as he spoke the word of the LORD (v.7)
God’s word is powerful; it produces changes
A noise, a rattling noise
The bones began to connect to other bones
Tendon and flesh appeared and skin covered them
No breath was found in them. They were now dead corpses.
They were no longer dry bones, they were now dead bodies
God commanded the prophet to prophesy to the breath. (9) “prophesy to the breath and say to it, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come from the four winds, O breath and breathe into these slain, that they may live.
The meaning of this vision:
The dry bones are the house of Israel (v11) They had said, “our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.” This is how they felt.
God was sending them a message of hope and restoration. You feel like dry bones? I will revive you; I will make you new. Have you been feeling hopeless? God says: “I have not forgotten you.”
Restoration is always possible
(v.12-14) I will bring you from where you are. Just like I can make new bodies of dry bones. I will change your condition.
-I will bring you back to your land. Then you will know that I am the LORD.
-I will put my Spirit in you and you’ll live and settle in the land. (v,14) Then you’ll know I have spoken and done this.
God’s restoration for his people will not only be physical, it will also be spiritual. God had said Through Ezekiel in the previous chapter that he would give his people a new heart and a new sprit (26:24-28) God had promised to put his Spirit in his people to move them to obey his commands. God’s Spirit brings life to what is dead; He is what compels us to listen to and obey his commands.
God declared that when he has fulfilled this, his people will know him better. You will know that I am the LORD. This phrase runs throughout the book of Ezekiel. Whatever God does, he does so that people would know him better.
Israel’s survival depended on God’s power and not their circumstances. They needed to hear the word of God through the prophet Ezekiel. This is what the Sovereign LORD says. Hear my word and know that I have spoken and if I speak, I will do exactly as I have said. Hear the word of the LORD. God said to them, I am the one who can restore you, revive you. I am the LORD who can transform your situation, I can create beauty from chaos. I will restore you and you will get to know me better. But you have to trust me. Hear my words, I have spoken.
God said to his people, your restoration may be gradual, but it is certain. (bones, then tendons and flesh, then breath of life.
If you have been feeling dead spiritual; if you have been going through a tough situation which makes you feel hopeless. God is saying to you today, I am not done with you yet. I can restore you back to life for my name’s sake.
If God were to ask you the question? Can your mess be fixed? Can these bones live? Is restoration possible in your marriage? In your home?
The answer he expects from you is, Yes Lord it is possible because you are able.
20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.