Journey to Jerusalem Day 34
Monday, March 30 Ezekiel 37:7-14
7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I prophesied, there was a sound, and behold, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. 8 And I looked, and behold, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them. But there was no breath in them. 9 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.” 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.
11 Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are indeed cut off.’ 12 Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will bring you into the land of Israel. 13 And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. 14 And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the Lord.”
The great question – “where does life come from?” – remains unanswered except by writers like Ezekiel. For Ezekiel, the answer is self-evident: life comes from God. If pressed, Ezekiel might respond that God had so told him, or perhaps had so shown him.
It may help us to recall that “to prophesy” does not mean “to predict.” Prophecy may include future outcomes, but at its heart prophecy is God’s word spoken into contemporary events. And the words so uttered are how God defines those events, how he gives meaning to them. Prophecies are like today’s “Op/Ed” pages of a newspaper, or blog posts or strings of tweets—except, of course, prophecies are from the Author of truth, the Maker of heaven and earth.
This should clearly set prophecies apart from mere human opinions, no matter how well formed and stated. But it did not; just as today, God’s word was met with criticism and hostility, and those who dared to utter them were usually put to death for their effort.
But what does all that have to do with us as we near the end of our Holy Lent? In today’s example of Ezekiel’s prophesying, it should offer us great hope and comfort. If your heart is heavy from the toxins seeping from your alienation from God, then listen to Ezekiel’s prophecy.
There is no death God cannot remedy if we will hear his words, if we will just know that he is the Lord: He will do it!
6 Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
7 For he is our God,
and we are the people of his pasture,
and the sheep of his hand.
Today, if you hear his voice,
8 do not harden your hearts ...