In the book of Ezekiel we read of a time when the nation of Israel would one day return to life. Note what God said:
I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:24-26).
Ezekiel wrote this at a time when the Babylonians had devastated the southern kingdom of Israel, and when the prophet himself had been taken into captivity. Yet he said there would come a time when a nation that appeared to be dead would come back to life under the providence and care of God.
God has not abandoned His people. He still has a plan and a purpose for them and for their future.
Then in Ezekiel chapter 37 we come to the famous prediction regarding the valley of the dry bones: “The hand of the Lᴏʀᴅ came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the Lᴏʀᴅ, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones” (Ezekiel 37:1). The bones symbolize the nation and people of Israel, which appear to be dead and are scattered throughout the world.
“And He said to me, ‘Son of man, can these bones live?’ So I answered, ‘O Lord Gᴏᴅ, You know’ ” (verse 3). What is the answer? “Again He said to me, ‘Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, “O dry bones, hear the word of the Lᴏʀᴅ!” ’ ” (Ezekiel 37:4).
Then Ezekiel went on to say that as he preached to the bones, there was a rattling sound, and the bones began to come together. Ezekiel noted that when the bones came together, flesh and sinews formed on them, but there was no breath in them—no spiritual life (verses 7-8). Then we read this:
He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord Gᴏᴅ: “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.” ’ ” So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army (verses 9-10).
Then God explained the meaning of the vision, saying to Ezekiel, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel.”
Ezekiel chapter 37, then, is clearly a prophecy about Israel’s future destiny. And we are seeing this prophecy come to fruition as the people of Israel return to their land and the “bones” are being reassembled.
This nation has returned to life physically, and there is coming a day when it will return to life spiritually. That’s what God’s Word tells us.
Adapted from Target Israel by Tim LaHaye and Ed Hindson