Dry Bones, Hear the Word of the Lord!

The story in Ezekiel 37 has always been one of my favorites. Like, one of my most favorite stories in the whole Bible. It is incredibly exciting to me and FULL of HOPE! Here’s what it says:

“The hand of the Lord was upon me, and He brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”

I said, “O Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”

Then he said to me, “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.”

So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.

Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, 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.'” So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and they stood up on their feet – a vast army.

Then he said to me; “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel.”

There is so much good meat in these verses that I could talk about it all day. I won’t. I’ll just give you a few observations.

1. After the Holy Spirit has shown Ezekiel the valley full of dry bones, He tells him to speak to the valley. He doesn’t tell him to ponder what He says. He doesn’t tell him to believe what He says. He doesn’t even tell him to understand what He says. Because Ezekiel’s understanding is not important here. The Holy Spirit tells Ezekiel to speak what He says. Our words are so incredibly important. They have power to uplift and encourage and they have power to tear down and deetroy. Our words have lasting significance. It is crucial that we choose our words carefully in order to build up and not tear down. We might not be able to keep negative thoughts from entering our minds, but we absolutely must have the self-control to stop them before they become words in our mouths. And when we have occasion to speak encouragement, peace and life to someone, for goodness’ sake, DO NOT remain silent. A verbal (or written) “thank you” can lead someone to keep going when they have been feeling frustrated. Your words can change someone’s perspective for the good or for the bad.

2. Ezekiel had not finished speaking what the Holy Spirit told him to say, when God began to use his obedience to accomplish His purpose. Ezekiel couldn’t even finish his sentence before God had already begun to rattle those old bones and bring them back to life. Our obedience accomplishes God’s purpose in this world. And oftentimes, it accomplishes it quickly. What a blessing that He would involve us in His work!

3. If God can make a vast army out of a valley of old, dead, dried up bones, just imagine what He can accomplish through you and me when we surrender our lives fully to Him! When we allow Him full control, He does things through us that we never even imagined possible. But when He speaks the next step to us in His still, small voice, we must DO IT, no matter how strange it seems to us. He sees the entire plan and we see merely a very small portion.

I have received so much encouragement from this passage. I would love to hear if it has impacted your life as well.


  1. this goes along so well with what i've been reading lately… The Lord is amazing, I want to be used like Ezekiel…I can't help but smile when I read things like this in the Bible.

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