Valley of Dry Bones

 

 

Recalling an exhortation from a few years ago, in which the valley of the dry bones was mentioned, I couldn't help but think how applicable that story is to us today. Let's just review the story for a moment.

 

Remember that Ezekiel was taken to a valley which was filled with dry bones. Ezekiel was told to walk around the bones. He noted that there were a lot of bones, and they were very dry. God asked him if the bones could live, and Ezekiel's reply was, "Oh, Lord God, thou knowest."
Ezekiel was told to prophesy to the bones, telling them to "hear the word of the Lord." Upon doing that, God spake to the bones , telling them that He would bring them back to life. The valley shook and there was a great noise as the bones came together, sinew upon sinew, flesh over bones, skin over all, and the breath of life was again breathed into them. These bones became a great army representing the whole house of Israel. As God did to these bones, so will He do for Israel. This must have been a magnificent sight for Ezekiel to see. Sometimes it helps to just close your eyes and imagine what you would have thought and felt had you been witness to this great miracle. Many of us just look at this as a prophecy about Israel, but, as with all prophecies, it has more than one application.

 

Many of the ecclesias throughout the world are going through troubling times, and ours is a good example of just such difficulties. As one looks around on a Sunday morning and sees such a sparse attendance, the vision of dry bones is very fitting.

Are we like the nation of Israel that Ezekiel was talking about?
Are we overcome by the cares of this world to such an extent that these bones represent us?


That thought in itself is very depressing. Perhaps it would seem there is little hope for the ecclesias who are struggling so. However, this story doesn't end on a sorry note. God brought the bones back to life. He told Ezekiel He would eventually bring Israel back to life and return them to their own land. At that time they would know that He is God.

All of us believe that God can take any difficult situation and turn it into a blessing. He can pick up our dry bones and turn us into a great army. He can breath new life into us. Eventually, He can bring us to the land where we can be true citizens. However, there is one difference between us and the bones in that valley, We are still alive. We can take the gifts God has given us and use them to draw together into a great army to serve Him. Those bones couldn't make any decisions for themselves. We can. We have a will. We have the gifts needed to march in that great army. Let's not wait for God to come breathe some life into us. It may be too late. Afterall, He has already done that once.

On a similar note, a local church has a problem that I wish we had. They do not have enough space for their congregation to worship in. They have two services, and the first is so full that there is no room for further growth. "Studies have shown that when a church is 80% filled, worship attendance will not grow. People do not feel motivated to come weekly because they reason that someone will be there to take their seat. Newcomers have difficulty with parking and discovering a sense of truly being needed."

Since we do not have this problem of overcrowding, we have a great opportunity here.
We have a lot of space for our worship service to grow!
No one will take your seat!
There is plenty of parking!
And you will be truly needed!


So where do we start?

It would be nice to bring in strangers. Afterall, we have a responsibility to spread the truth. However, if the above information is correct, we would be best bringing our own members back to fill the seats and the streets. Perhaps then others will want to see what is going on in our hall. What ti is that draws so any people back week after week. We will have to be careful though. We wouldn't want to go over that 80% number or we might have the same problem as that other church.

 

In conclusion, let's stop being like that valley of dry bones. Let's pull together; sinew upon sinew, flesh upon bone, skin over all. Most importantly, let's exhibit that breath of life given to us by God. Let's get up and grow!

  Back to Food for Thought

 

Edith Machado


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