Daily Dose, Jan. 9 — Ezekiel

  The hand of the Lord came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me all round them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. He said to me, “Mortal, can these bones live?” I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord.” So I prophesied as I had been commanded; and as I prophesied, suddenly there was a noise, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them. Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.” I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude. Then he said to me, “Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.’ Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people. I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken and will act, says the Lord.” (Ezekiel 37:1-14)   “The toe bone connected to the foot bone, foot bone connected to the heel bone, heel bone connected to the ankle bone….” I bet you are humming the tune right now. James Weldon Johnson composed the song that the Myers Jubilee Singers made famous in 1928. The song owes its origin to the prophet Ezekiel. He had an amazing vision given to him by God that offered hope to Israel. Their temple had been destroyed and their nation ceased to exist. They were living in exile in Babylon under the heavy hand of Nebuchadnezzar. They were eking out a miserable existence in a foreign land. They had absolutely no reason to have even a shred of hope. Ezekiel shared his vision from God and told them to hope anyway. Why? Because God is a loving and powerful God who can and does restore people and families and nations. God’s word and Spirit makes things happen and changes the storyline. Eventually, Israel was restored and made their way back home. If and when you find yourself in a hopeless state of mind, think of “them bones” that Ezekiel saw come back to life. God can make it happen for you and me. -- Y’all come, Dr. Don