In Ezekiel 37, the Prophet Ezekiel has a vision. Notice Vv. 1-2, “The hand of the Lord was upon me, and He brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the valley; and it was full of bones.He had me pass among them all around, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley; and behold, they were very dry.” What is the meaning of Ezekiel’s Valley of Dry Bones?
When Ezekiel was given this vision, the Babylonians had come in and conquered the Israelites. Those who died in battle were left unburied, just a large battlefield of dry bones from the exiles in Babylon. It was not uncommon in biblical times to see a valley after war filled with bleached bones from the sun. The Lord asked Ezekiel a question in verse 3, “Son of man, can these bones live?” A person with common sense would respond, “of course not, that is impossible.” However, Ezekiel knew who was talking to him. He responds with assurance God can make the impossible, possible, “Lord God, you Yourself know.” The Israelites had been slaughtered, and they lost hope. Notice what God states in Vv. 4-6, “Again He said to me, ‘Prophesy over these bones and say to them,’ ‘You dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.’This is what the Lord God says to these bones: ‘Behold, I am going to make breath enter you so that you may come to life.And I will attach tendons to you, make flesh grow back on you, cover you with skin, and put breath in you so that you may come to life; and you will know that I am the Lord.’” If man were to say such a thing, we would know he was insane. But the same God of creation was able to raise these bones and make them alive again.
At times we may feel as useless and dead as dry bones. We may feel so defeated in life that there is no hope in a world filled with such sorrow and sin. And at times it can appear the message spoken lands on deaf ears (Isaiah 6:10). What we can learn from Ezekiel’s vision here is that God energized His dead people (Vs. 12), He taught them that He is their God, and He restored them to be a nation again. First of all, there was physical restoration, secured by God when He raised up the dead Israelites. Second, we see they were able to come to God again and be spiritually restored to Him (Ezekiel 36:27).
The application we can draw from Ezekiel’s Valley of Dry Bones is we serve the same God who loves us. So, when we feel as if we are like dry bones, longing to be set free from sin, we can be encouraged to know God is able to raise us up and restore us again to be His people.” - Matt Threlfall