God has a way of turning our situations upside down (or should I say – right side up)!
When we follow Jesus Christ, God is always concerned for our best and is always working things out for the good in our lives (Rom.8:28). And yet, it is sometimes difficult to see this because of the situations and the heartache in which we find ourselves.
In Ezekiel 37, the people of Israel are in a terrible situation. They were once a thriving nation under King Solomon, but their descendants, ignoring the prophets, turned their hearts away from God.
With the withdrawal of His presence, they did not have His counsel, blessing, and protection. The nation was attacked, Jerusalem leveled, and the people who survived were carried away to Babylon to serve as slaves. As far as they were concerned, the nation of Israel was dead. All was lost.
In the midst of this, the prophet Ezekiel has an encounter with God. He has a vision of dry bones in a valley and God asks him, “Can these bones live?” God tells Ezekiel to prophesy over the bones, that God would breathe life into them and that they would live. Ezekiel did as he was commanded by the Lord and the bones began developing ligaments, flesh, and skin, and became alive.
So what are we to make of this?
In verse 11, Ezekiel is told that this represents the House of Israel. For over 2000, years no one quite knew what to do with it. But today, this vision has been realized; the Jewish people are in the land and the Spirit is bringing others from the north, south, east, and west.
So what does this have to do with us?
First, God desires that you and I reach out to the Jewish people in our circle of influence with the Good News of Yeshua (Jesus). The Gospel is for the Jew first; we Gentiles just happen to be grafted on their tree (Rom.1:16). His heart is that His chosen people would know Him – and that they would, indeed, be a light to the Gentiles.
Second, some of you are facing some impossible situations in your lives, and it is difficult to see that God is working out His purposes in your life. I would not begin to tell you that I know the will of God for you, but I do know that He loves you, that He wants the best for you, and that He promises to never leave you or forsake you.
From this passage in Ezekiel, we learn that God may seem slow in acting, but His timing is always correct. God can turn the awful into a blessing; darkness into light; sorrow into joy; and death into life.
The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach
Archbishop and Primate
Anglican Church in North America
Read more about the Church’s Ministry Among the Jewish people here.