Friday, November 18, 2011

November 18- Dem Bones

November 18, 2011

Scripture Reading:
Ezekiel 37:1-38:23; James 1:19-2:17;
Psalm 117:1-2; Proverbs 28:1

Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones.
Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones.
Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones.
Now hear the word of the Lord.
~Spiritual Song

Ezekiel 37:1-38:23

Today Ezekiel takes another interesting trip thanks to God's Spirit.  This time Ezekiel is carried away by the Spirit to a valley filled with bones. This valley floor is covered with dry, old bones. God asks Ezekiel if dry, old bones can become living again. Is this a trick question?  Ezekiel does not take a chance on that and replies that only God knows this. God tells Ezekiel to speak to the bones and tell them that the Sovereign Lord is going to breathe life into them again and give them flesh and muscles, along with skin that covers the bones.  Bringing these dead bones back to life is going to prove that God is the Lord.

Ezekiel obeys God and sure enough, the bones rattle, rise, reattach themselves and reform flesh, muscle, and skin.  Now we have reconstituted bodies that are dead.

Next, Ezekiel is to call upon the wind to breathe life into these dead bodies. So Ezekiel does as he is told. The bodies receive life and there is a great army of them that stand alive on their feet.

But who are these newly alive people?  According to Ezekiel, they are the nation of Israel. As the nation of Israel has been scattered across the globe all of these years, they have become dead in their faith.  Nothing but a valley of dead bones, the Israelites have not as a nation been part of the Church Age under Christ.

This vision given to Ezekiel shows a day in the future when Israel as a nation will be reconstituted and given God's Holy Spirit. They will return to their land. 

Ezekiel is also given a vision of two sticks. One stick represents the Southern Kingdom of Judah and the other represents the Northern Kingdom of Israel. Ezekiel is to hold them together in one of his hands as one stick. One day, all the tribes of Israel will be united in the land of promise. In this vision, David is their king in this earthly kingdom. When Ezekiel has this vision, David is long since dead.  So what is going on?  Jesus is from the line of David and will rule eternally in a new heaven and a new earth, in addition to reigning on this earth during the Millennium. Some commentators believe that David will be resurrected and act as Jesus' vice regent during the millennial reign ruling from the earthly Jerusalem and will even help rule in God's heavenly Jerusalem.  We will deal with this more in the future.

Next, we have a prophecy against Gog and Magog. You may remember when we covered this material in Genesis and in the Table of Nations that Magog descends from Noah's son, Japheth. Gog is the name of a supreme leader over the people descended from Magog. This is a title similar to Ceasar. Ezekiel is getting a vision of which people groups will come against Israel toward the end of Christ's millennial reign on earth.  God, Himself, will cause people to the north of Israel (if one goes directly north from Israel one will hit Russia, but this is referring to people from all over the earth who are enemies of God) to invade Israel. The Scriptures indicate that Persia (modern day Iran), Libya and Ethiopia will join in this invasion. Gomer in the Table of Nations produced the Celtic/Gaelic people of northern Europe including Scandinavians, English, Irish, German, Dutch and French. They are also mentioned in this prophecy. Countries are less important than the knowledge that people groups from a wide varieties of countries will converge against Israel. The sons of Japheth, Ham and even, Shem will come against Christ as Satan influences the children born to people during the thousand year reign of Christ, and once Satan is released from the abyss, where he is held during the Millennnium, he and his followers take a final stand against Christ. Gog and Magog are referenced in Revelation chapter 20, where we are able to get a further description of this event. God's holiness will then be revealed when God protects the land and people of Israel against this world-wide alliance. We see that God will cause the invading armies to turn against one another in the great battle that ensues. Through disease, bloodshed, rain, hailstones, fire, and burning sulfur, God will show His greatness as He defends Israel and all who love and follow God.  This is the final battle on earth.

This is a dramatic portion of God's story.  Once again, God is consistent as He defends His Name in the Promised Land.

God intends to take the dead, spiritually lifeless, scattered Jews and bring them back to the Promised Land for this dramatic conclusion of a peaceful reign on earth followed by the final stand against His ancient enemy. A convergence of evil will meet the Righteous One in battle.  J.R.R. Tolkien could not have formulated a better story.

James 1:19-2:17

Here is some great practical advice that James give to those who have quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Wow. Wish I was better at this!  James reminds us that our anger never makes things right in God's sight.

Lives of faith are lives that have discarded filth and evil. They are lives that reflect obedience to God's message.  If you don't really obey God, it is like you are looking into a mirror, but walk away forgetting what you saw and forgetting to improve what needed fixing that you saw in the mirror.  What if your hair was all messed up, but you walked away, forgot that, and went to the mall with bed head?  This is what James is saying.  When we read the Bible, God is showing us a mirror into our souls. We can see where we are messing up. We can fix those parts of our lives that are wrong in God's sight with the help of the Holy Spirit.

If you never control your tongue, but you claim to be religious, you have fooled yourself. Real people of faith help orphans, widows, and other people who need help and have no family to step up to the plate for them.  Please note that other parts of Scripture confirm to us that this does not include healthy people who are too lazy to get out and work. That is not what James is speaking about. These are people who have absolutely no one to help them and no means of helping themselves.

Faith means that we do not favor rich people over poor people or famous people over average folks. This is sin according to James.

It is important to follow God's law of love. This includes being merciful to others and proving that you have faith by your actions. A faith that doesn't show good deeds is as dead as dry bones in a valley.

Psalm 117:1-2

What a wonderful moment of praise!

Proverbs 28:1

The godly can be as bold as lions, because God is on their side.

What are you learning?


Jubilee Gal
Kathy Fullerton


  1. I think God's love for Israel really shows thru in these prophecies for the future restoration. When Jewish people come to faith, these passages must thrill their hearts.

  2. Yes. That is a good way to put it, Linda. God is consistent in His message to remain steadfast in His love. Restoration is His goal.