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Refreshment in Refuge

    by Gina Burgess

The Valley of Dry Bones
Date Posted: November 27, 2016

When you turn on the rude box we call the TV do you hear the rattle of dry bones? The voices of unbelievers abound in chaotic noises, and it sounds more like a death rattle than a symphony of revitalization from dried out, nothing-further-from-life bones.

Of course I’ve read the story in Ezekiel about this valley full of dry bones. I’ve even sung the song “Dem Bones, Dem Bones, Dem Dry Bones,” haven’t you? But did you ever think about what it meant?

Power of the Lord?

Miraculous resurrection?

Breath of life?

Ruach? -- (roo' akh) wind; by resemblance breath, that is, a sensible (or even violent) exhalation.

But God told Ezekiel to prophesy over the bones.“Only You know”, Ezekiel answered God’s question if the bones could live. It was Ezekiel’s voice speaking. What’s up with that? And the bones not only came together, each scattered bone connecting to its bodily mate where all the DNA matched perfectly, no bone missing so that a human body had its full and sturdy scaffold.

That’s such an excellent question that God asked. We Christians ask ourselves that question about the lost. Can they live? Well, of course they can since we were made spiritually alive through faith by Jesus sacrifice they can be as well.

However, as one of my online friends pointed out to me years ago, how can a spiritually dead person suddenly hear with dead ears? Dead bones can’t hear anything can they. Dead men tell no tales as the adage goes. Dead ears can’t hear anything… but wait! God knew, because He created us, that we are especially tuned to hear God’s Word. Amazing!

Deer hear that high frequency whistle we Southerners put on the front of our cars (at least the smart ones do) so the deer steer clear as we barrel hard down the boulevard of the Interstate. God made the animals that way so they could hear things and take precautions to protect themselves.

He made us that way, too. Only we are tuned into to a much higher frequency than a dog whistle.

He not only created us with a God-sized hole that only He could fill, He specially tuned our ears and mind to hear His word. It resonates truth in the fibers of our being. His Word created something huge out of nothing. It causes our souls to zing with vitality. And only the Word, Jesus Himself, can flood our souls with the breath of spiritual life when we are changed into new creatures.

That’s why those dry bones became an army.

God told Ezekiel, “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.”’” Ezekiel 37:9

A body cannot live without breath, and a soul cannot live beyond this physical world without the Spirit. Recall how God breathed into Adam and Eve the breaths of life. The breath that God told Ezekiel to prophesy to is that Hebrew word rûach (roo'-akh). It is often translated spirit, and it means: life, anger, unsubstantiality; by extension a region of the sky; by resemblance spirit, but only of a rational being (including its expression and functions): - air, anger, blast, breath, whirlwind, spirit ([-ual]), tempest, wind (-y). I think that word in verse 9 should be capitalized. It is the Holy Spirit who quickens our souls into spiritual activity and gives us the Word to give to the lost, the discouraged, and the ill-informed.

God commanded. The bones heard. The Spirit breathed life. The army was raised.

Matthew Henry said, “The opening, sealing, and applying of the promises, are the ordinary means of our participation of a new and divine nature.”

Astonishing what the breath of God will do.

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Biography Information:
Gina Burgess has taught Sunday School and Discipleship Training for almost three decades. (Don't tell her that makes her old.) She earned her Master's in Communication in 2013.

She is the author of several books including: When Christians Hurt Christians, The Crowns of the Believers and others available in online bookstores. She authors several columns, using her God-given talent to shine a light in a dark world. You can browse her blog at Refreshment In Refuge.

If you'd like to take a look at some Christian fiction and Christian non-fiction book reviews before the books hit the book store shelves, check out Gina's book reviews at Upon Reflection

Gina is a partner and COO of Common Sense Marketing Strategies, LLC that owns Authors Community and eBookChristian.com
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