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Ezekiel 37:1-4 (NIV)
The Valley of Dry Bones
37 The hand of the Lord was on 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. 2 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. 3 He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.” 4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!
I remember visiting the Civil War site of Gettysburg, PA and thinking of the thousands of men that died in those fields in a matter of 3 days. What must it have been like to see all those bodies laying there on July 4, 1863, one day after the battle was over? It is into that dark reality of death that God asks the prophet Ezekiel, “Can these bones live”? Is there any hope? Can anything good come from such pain, suffering and death? It was hard to see the light of freedom shining in the darkness of the Civil War, but it was. It is equally hard for us to see the light of God’s resurrection shining in the dark times of our lives, but it is. God’s question to Ezekiel still seems amazing when we face difficult and dark times in our lives. But the life of faith is learning to say, like the prophet, “O Sovereign Lord, you alone know”.