Ezekiel was sent by God to give a message to the children of Israel. The Lord shows Ezekiel a valley of dry bones. Ezekiel 37:2, and caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry.
Who or what are these bones, and why are they dry? Ezekiel 37:11 Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts.
These dry bones represent the spiritually dead children of Israel. What does it mean to be spiritually dead? It means they were not living in the knowledge and truth of God’s Word. Is it possible to be alive physically and dead spiritually? Absolutely!
The Valley of Dry Bones Represent the Children of Israel
In Matthew 8:21-22 Jesus explains this clearly: And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead (let the spiritually dead bury the physically dead).
The Word of God is set before us to give us life eternal. Quite naturally, if we don’t have the Word within us, we don’t have life, thus we are dead (spiritually), and are left in the valley of dry bones. We want to find out how these bones got in the valley, and how they died in the first place.
What caused them to die spiritually?
Hosea 4:1 Hear the word of the LORD, ye children of Israel: for the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land.
Deuteronomy 30: 15-16,19 See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
The LORD informs us that the only way to live is in obedience to His Word, and that the children of Israel have chosen death rather than life. How did Israel choose death instead of life? They disobeyed the Lord’s commandments, thus becoming spiritually dead. Jeremiah 8:3,9 And death shall be chosen rather than life by all the residue of them that remain of this evil family, the wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken: lo, they have rejected the word of the LORD; and what wisdom is in them?
The Children of Israel Chose Death and That is How They End Up in the Valley of Dry Bones
Isaiah 28:15 Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:
The children of Israel have destroyed themselves. Hosea 13:9 O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is your help. Hosea 6:7-10 But they like men have transgressed the covenant: there have they dealt treacherously against me.
Gilead is a city of them that work iniquity, and is polluted with blood. And as troops of robbers wait for a man, so the company of priests’ murder in the way by consent: for they commit lewdness. I have seen a horrible thing in the house of Israel: there is the whoredom of Ephraim, Israel is defiled.
They wandered out of the way of truth in obeying the commandments of God, even their priests and leaders killed them. Did they kill them physically? No, they murdered the people spiritually by not teaching the laws of God.
The LORD attempts to revive Israel in Ezekiel 37:5-8: But even still after His attempt to recover His people, there was no life found in them. Therefore, the LORD passed sentence on Israel and punished them severely. The LORD punished Israel by way of the four winds (kingdoms) of the earth, in hopes of them acknowledging their sin, and coming to repentance and obeying His Word. Sometimes, in order to get somebody’s attention, they must be punished, insomuch that they change their behavior and acknowledge their offence. As mentioned in Ezekiel 37:9, these are the same four winds made reference to in Daniel 7:1-7 and also in Hosea 13:7-8.
What happens if we don’t come to understanding in the Word of God? Proverbs 21:16 The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead. We must take the first step in acknowledging our offence and return unto the LORD, and He will quicken us with understanding in His Word. Hosea 5:15 I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early.
Hosea 6:1 Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.
The Valley of Dry Bones is Still Full Today
The Lord asks Ezekiel a question: “Son of man, can these bones live?” Ezekiel 37:12-14 Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, And shall put my spirit (His Word) in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD.
The valley of dry bones represents the spiritually dead children of Israel!