Text: Ezek 37:1 -4 7-10 (King James Version)
"Father, I am your servant, willing and desiring to be used to bless your people."
The Fields are white and the laborers are
C.H. Spurgeon said, "If God does not save a man by truth he certainly will not save them by lies, and if the old gospel is not competent to work a revival, then we will do without the revival;"
Ezekiel 37:1 The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones,
Ezekiel 37:2 And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry.
Ezekiel 37:3 And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest.
Ezekiel 37:4 Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.
Ezekiel 37:7 So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone.
Ezekiel 37:8 And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them.
Ezekiel 37:9 Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.
Ezekiel 37:10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.
Introduction: If ever there was a time that we need a breakthrough. If ever there was a time that we need a word from the Lord now is that time. It don't take a rocket scientist to figure out that we are living in some perilous times. Bro and Sis we are living in a land that is full of dry bones that desperately need a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
Our communities have become a wasteland that is filled
with dry bones. Bones that feel as though all is lost. Bones that are caught in
a situation that seems to be hopeless. Things don't look too good. In fact, The
situation looks mighty bad.
When ever you see a bone something is usually wrong. Most of the time when we see a bone we quickly associate it with death. Even when eating most of us have since enough to know that when we see the bone its time to get another piece of meat. A bone becomes "a dry" when it has no attachment to life. A bone becomes dry when it has nothing that will provide nourishment. A dry bone has no substance.
A dry bone this evening is anybody that has no spiritual attachment to God. Any body that has a broken fellowship. Anybody that has a wavering fellowship with the Lord is a dry bone. A whole lot of our churches are comatose. There not dead but not all together alive.
A lot of times we look back on the story of Sodom and Gomorrah as the example of a evil nation. Twin cities that were full of a whole lot of dry bones. A bunch of hard headed and hard hearted group of folk that rejected the word of God. But, I can't help but to wonder sometime if we are any better than they were. The only visible thing that separates us is the fact that we are still here. And we dare not get big headed and think that we are here on our own account. We are here because of the fact that God's grace spared us, and we are able to survive because his mercy sustains us.
I heard Mississippi Mass Choir say Justice thought that I should die but Grace and Mercy said nah I've already paid the price.
I. No hope on the horizon
The prophet Ezekiel was a contemporary of the prophet Jeremiah. Both Jeremiah and Ezekiel exercised their ministries before and during the Babylonian exile. God had a particular mission for Ezekiel. Jeremiah ministered to the children of Israel that were still in Jerusalem. But Ezekiel was carried off with the group that were in captivity by the Babylonians. The name Ezekiel means God will strengthen. Ezekiel was to inspire and strengthen the generation that was born into exile and to remind them that the Lord God almighty was still on their side.
Don't think that Ezekiel had a easy task. The people
that he was ministering to were depressed. They were defeated in battle, removed
from their homeland, mocked by the people that conquered them. There was nothing
easy about this mission. Trying to provide inspiration to a people that did not
want to be inspired. Trying to provide hope for folks that felt all was
hopeless. Trying to encourage folks that didn't wont to be encouraged. In the
137 number of Psalms the children to Israel were so agitated and aggravated that
they threw their harps, their instrument so praise the threw them into the trees
and they declared How can we sing songs of Zion in a strange Land.
Many of us come to church Sunday after Sunday and we act like we are in a strange . . . .
We are a lot like the Children of Israel when all is well, I well bless the Lord at all time....
When we've go a good job..... I'm gone be like the tree that's planted by the rivers of waters and honey I shall not be moved.
When money is in the bank... The Lord is my shepherd and I shall not want.
Oh but when the winds of adversity blow our way. When our money is funny and our change is strange we get a case of amnesia.
We forget that Everyday is a day of thanksgiving.
We forget, we forget that all work together for the good of them that love the Lord.
We don't want to hear the fact that it rains on the just as well as the unjust.
When we fill as though life has dealt us a bad hand. What we really want to know is ELOI, ELOI, Lama Sabathani
II. The Mission
When we look at this text Ezekiel declares that the hand of the Lord was upon me, Brothers and sister we need to realize that it is the hand of the Lord that leads us and guides us, the very hand of the Lord that strengthens us ad sustains us. It is the hand of the Lord that protects us. "The hand of the Lord was upon me, and brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord".
It's the Spirit of God that makes all the difference in
the world. The Holy Spirit is the key to knowing God, as the apostle Paul wrote:
"No-one can even make the confession, Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy
There is no way that a Child of God could make it if it was not for the hand of the Lord.
In fact nobody, rather saved or not can make it without the hand of the Lord. Before I had sense enough to know that there was a God on my side I can look back now and realize that I was more than just lucky, I realize that it was the hand of the Lord that was protecting me. I think that's what keeps my feet grounded the fact that Jesus loved me enough, that while I was yet a sinner he died for me. See, now I know what it means to cry out FATHER I STRETCH MY HAND TO THEE...
The text goes on to say that the hand of the Lord set Ezekiel down in the midst of a valley full of bones.
This leads me to know that Ezekiel was not there because
he wanted him to be there. The songwriter said the Lord didn't bring me this far
to leave me. We need to realize that the same God that brought us is the same
God that can keep us.
Once Ezekiel was down in the valley the Hand of the Lord caused him to pass round about these bones. In other words, Ezekiel surveyed the bones. Ezekiel took inventory, Ezekiel got down with the bones to see what condition they were in. Too many times we are afraid to get down with the bones. Too many of our church's have supper saints - folks that don't want to get down with the bone. Brothers and Sisters in order to effectively witness we have to get down with the bones. Only when you find out the where and the how, the Lord can use you to move them from where they are to where they need to be. After Ezekiel's observation, After Ezekiel's calculation, after Ezekiel's interrogation he observed that the bones were very dry and they were very many.
After accessing the situation the Lord came to him saying, "Son of man, can these bones live? Ezekiel, I brought you here by my might and by my Spirit. You've had a chance to access the situation. I know things don't look too good; in fact the situation looks mighty bad. A battle ground full of bones, no blood, no muscles for movement, no flesh, no vital organs, no attached limbs, no tissue no ligaments these bones have nothing that is associated with life, but son of man I want to know what you think. Son of man shall these bones live.
I like what Ezekiel did. Ezekiel placed the decision into capable hands. Ezekiel placed the decision in the hands of the Lord. Ezekiel didn't say yeah Lord I know exactly what you are going to do. If he had said yes he would have been presumptuous. Ezekiel didn't say no Lord. Had he said no he would have been doubting the power of the Lord God Almighty. Ezekiel said O Lord God, thou knowest. Sometimes we look around the world we live in, we look at the corruption in society, we look at the crime, we look at racism in the work force and we wonder if these bones can live. All we need to do is put it in capable hands and say Lord God thou knowest.
The word that God gave to Ezekiel was to preach to the bones! Tell them O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Over 2000 years and the message is still the same today. O yea dry bones hear the word of the Lord.
Ezekiel did as the Lord told him to do. When I first
started preaching it use to bother me when people wouldn't say amen. But I
learned if I just preach God's word the spirit will bring the right kind of
noise. Some of the same folk that shout Hallelujah on Sunday, shout who let the
Dogs out on Saturday, God's word has a way of bringing things together. As
Ezekiel preached the word there was a noise and behold a shaking and the bones
started coming together. There is power in the word of God
All of a sudden
Ezekiel saw foot bones that stood in the way of sinners
Have now stood up to old ankle-bone.
He saw ankle bones that was not standing on the promises of God
Have now stood up to old leg bone.
He saw leg bones that walked in the counsel of the un-godly.
Have now walked up to old knee bone
He saw knee bones that didn't heed the word of God when it said At the name of Jesus every knee must bow and every tongue must confess.
Knee bone bowed down to old hipbone
He saw hipbone that sat in the seat of the scornful
Had now sat up to old back bone
He saw back bones that refused to carry each other burdens in the heat of the day.
Back bone has not reach down and got shoulder bone.
Shoulder bones that would not bear the cross
Had now reached down and picked up to old neck-bones
Neck bone was stiff in sin
Neck bone had grabbed old head bone
Head bone that was too head strong in sin
Had reached down and grabbed old arm bone
Arm bone that refused to hug their brother in love
Had now reached down and hugged hand bone
Hand bone that refuse to shake one another hand
I heard that the bones came together
All of a sudden there was hope for a hopeless situation,
These bodies look alive but they were still dead, they had no breath in them
Preacher you've done your part now here is what I want you to do.
Preach to the four corners of the wind and tell them to breath into these bodies. Then Ezekiel moved out of the way, and let the Spirit move at God's command.
Brothers and Sisters you may be high, you may be low, may be rich, maybe poor. But when the Lord get ready.
On a hill about 1/2 mile outside of old Jerusalem Jesus the Christ. Died so that dry bones might be restored, released, redeemed, revived