"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."'"
It's a dramatic scene. Thousands upon thousands of dry bones scattered throughout a valley. Death. Decay. Brokenness. Hopelessness. But into this setting God speaks a word of life. Through the prophet Ezekiel, God's power comes and rejoins bone to bone... then muscle & sinews... then flesh... then God's breath enters & brings LIFE! It's one of the more memorable passages in all scripture.
Whenever I've read this before, my heart has been drawn to the truth that God can bring new life to any dry, dead & "dismembered" soul. No one is outside the reach of God's redemption.
But today as I was reading I noticed this vision is being applied to the entire NATION of Israel, not just an individual. I knew this was addressed to the people in exile - people who'd been taken from their homeland and families & forced to live in Babylon for close to two generations. They were definitely a people who felt dry, dead & dismembered. But God was telling them the entire nation would be brought back together & given new life. This went far beyond one single individual.
What would it mean for our nation to be "resurrected" to new life? For God to restore our hope, our passion, our faithfulness? Depending on your political views, you probably can list a number of areas that we need to be restored as a people. As Americans, we tend to think more individually than corporately. God is seeking to restore nations. Maybe we can be praying for an "Ezekiel 37 Revival" in the United States?!?