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Meeting God in the Valley of Dry Bones


Seventeenth-century Puritan minister William Bridge prayed, “Ah Lord, my prayers are dead, my affections dead and my heart is dead; but you are a living God and I bear myself upon you.” Our God is a God of life and hope, as we see in today’s reading. The topic of this vision is the end of the exile and the restoration of Israel, but it has also often been read in general terms as being about restoring life to something that was dead—that is, resurrection.

The opening picture is gruesome: a valley full of long-dead bones. It seems a battle had been lost here. God asked, “Can these bones live?” (v. 3). This is a rhetorical question; there’s no chance! But Ezekiel knew God is a God of the impossible, so he answered, “You alone know.” God responded that He would indeed bring life to this lifeless situation.

The restoration of life happened in two steps. First, the bones, tendons, flesh, and skin attached themselves to one another in sequence (vv. 7–8). Second, the breath of life was breathed into the physical bodies (vv. 9–10). These are the same two steps—forming or making and then breathing in—seen in God’s original creation of
humanity (Gen. 2:7).

The bones were the people of Israel (v. 11). Their hope was gone. They were living in exile, cut off from their homeland and (they thought) the covenant and promises of God. But He is faithful! This vision indicated that He would bring them back to their land (vv. 12–14).

The “Valley of Dry Bones” reveals much about God. He’s faithful, always keeping His word. He’s powerful enough to do the impossible. He’s the Creator, worthy to be worshiped. He gives hope and life. And He is in sovereign control of history.

Pray with Us

As we keep Moody’s finances in our prayers, please add the Office of the Treasurer to your list: Edgar Santiago, treasurer, Abigail Vega, Brian Nagel, Holly Motta, and Julie Vinlasaca. Thank the Lord for the professional skills and diligence of this team.

BY Brad Baurain

Bradley Baurain is Associate Professor and Program Head of TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) at Moody Bible Institute. Bradley has the unique privilege of holding a degree from four different universities (including Moody). He has just published his first book, On Waiting Well. Bradley taught in China, Vietnam, the United States, and Canada. Bradley and his wife, Julia, have four children and reside in Northwest Indiana.

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