The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. 3 He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.” 4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! 5 This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. 6 I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’” 7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them. 9 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’” 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army. 11 Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the people of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel.13 Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. 14 I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord.’”
Ezekiel’s vision of dry bones contains a marvelous message of hope for restoration and revival for people who are “dead” in their sins. We are certainly in need of revival in our nation. Here in recent days I have awoken early each morning wondering, “Why can I not sleep?” This morning I was led to Ezekiel 37. My heart yearns for revival in our church and our families. I know when that begins to set in then it will not be able to be contained. Below find an article that was written in the New York Times on Saturday, March 20, 1858. I know it is shocking to see a paper put such a newsworthy story for all to read. But that is what happens when revival breaks out. The Spirit of God does the impossible.
“The great wave of religious excitement which is now sweeping over this nation is one of the most remarkable movements since the Reformation. From every hamlet and village and town; from the forests of Maine, the crowded City-ports, the manufacturing towns, the new cities of the West; from the villages of the southwest, and even from the mines and mountains of California, we have constant reports of the profound religious feeling and interest of the people on this great subject. Travelers relate that on cars and steamboats, in banks and markets, everywhere through the interior, this matter is an absorbing topic. Churches are crowded; bank-directors’ rooms become oratories; school-houses are turned into chapels; converts are numbered by the scores of thousands. In this City, we have beheld a sight which not the most enthusiastic fanatic for church-observances could have hoped to look upon – we have seen in a business quarter of the City, in the busiest hours, assemblies of merchants, clerks and working-men, to the number of some 5,000, gathered day after day for a simple and solemn worship. Similar assemblies we find in other portions of the City; a theatre is turned into a chapel; church of all sects are open and crowded by day and night.”
Wow! These dry bones can still live again. Would you pray with me for revival to break out like that in Hancock County? Pray as if it needs to start with you.
Joy in Jesus!
Rev. Mike McClurg
Senior Pastor, Findlay First Church of the Nazarene