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Imagine Big

The ministry of the prophet Ezekiel was unique in that he performed it in the land of the Chaldeans during the Babylonian captivity. His messages were delivered to fellow Jewish captives who had lost their homeland. But the captivity had a shelf life. God through his prophet regularly reminded the captive Jews that he was NOT done with them, that a glorious future awaited them after the seventy years in Babylon was accomplished. 

One of the most vivid reminders is found in Ezekiel 37 concerning the valley of dry ones. There were “very many” dry bones, which were “very dry” (37:2). The Lord asked Ezekiel: “Son of man, can these bones live?” He answered: “O Lord GOD, thou knowest” (37:3). When the Lord asks a rhetorical question, he’s not looking for INFORMATON. He's provoking the IMAGINATION of his people to consider whether ANY challenge is TOO BIGi, and whether he's BIG enough to handle the seemingly imposible.  

Jesus asked a similar rhetorical question of Philip before he fed the five thousand, who had been soaking up his teaching. He asked: “Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” (John 6:5). The scripture adds: “And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do” (6:6). In John 6, Andrew discovered there was a lad with a sack lunch containing “five barley loaves, and two small fishes” (6:9). But in Ezekiel 37, there was not as much as a drop of moisture to be found anywhere in the valley.

The God who was able to feed to the full five thousand-plus followers with a lad’s sack lunch and produce twelve baskets of leftovers (6:13) is the SAME God who reassembled a valley full of dry bones, layered them with sinew-flesh, and breathed life into them. The vision God gave Ezekiel was reflective of his creative power exhibited in Adam. The big difference is God began with LIFELESS dust in forming Adam. In the valley of dry bones, he began with bones through which LIFE ONCE FLOWED. The former was an act of CREATION; but the latter was an act of RESURRECTION. 

Ezekiel 37 has PRIMARY application to Israel with multiple fulfillments. When God brought his people Israel out of Babylon and returned them to the land, it was life from the dead. In the latter days, the full realization of Ezekiel 37 will come to pass. 

But Ezekiel 37, in my mind, has unlimited SECONDARY applications. Isn’t it possible for ANY individual or people, recognizing their ‘dry bones’ spiritual status, to look to the God of life, and cry out, “O dear God of infinite power and mercy, please breathe on us!”? 

Ezekiel 37 ought to provoke God's people to IMAGINE BIG to consider that God can STILL breathe life into dry bones. Whereas the dry bones of Ezekiel 37 had NO ability to speak and make a request of God, we as Americans do, and should do so before it’s too late!


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