03 December 2011

The word of Yahweh

Part 5 of a series - 'The valley of dry bones'
< Speak to the bones | Index | The bones come together >

Now we come to the heart of the matter, here's the message that Ezekiel is to speak over the dry bones. They are to come to life!

A derelict church in Turkey
Before we look at the words themselves, let's briefly recap on what we've discovered so far.

The Israelites are in captivity in a foreign land and so is Ezekiel; we can see this as applying to the church as well. The world we live in is foreign and often at odds with the Kingdom of heaven.

Yahweh leads Ezekiel into a valley and shows him a lot of scattered bones, the remains of what was once alive. Ezekiel and the Almighty look at the bones very thoroughly. We need to go with Jesus and examine the state of the church carefully in just the same way; will we find life or dryness? And, like Ezekiel, we need to believe that Father can and will put back life into what has become dead. Recognising deadness and believing he will restore life are essential, not optional.

And now we must command what is dead, command the bones to hear what the Master says to them. 'Hear what the Lord says.' This is not only a command, it's also a declaration that the words we speak are indeed his words not our own. With that as background let's consider the words themselves.

'This is what the Lord Yahweh tells these bones: "I'll cause breath to come into you and you'll come alive. I'll attach tendons, cause flesh to appear on you and cover you over with skin. I'll put breath into you and you'll live - then you'll know that I'm Yahweh."' (Ezekiel 37:5-6)

It seems that one of the reasons Israel hadn't been treating Yahweh correctly was that they had not known him. Perhaps it was the overriding reason. You can almost hear the distress mingled with hope in the Lord's heart - 'Then you'll know that I'm Yahweh'. He wants a people who are not dry, scattered bones. He wants a people who know who he is and love him and treat him accordingly.

We need a right view of the Lord's power and authority and glory. We need a right view of his Father heart. We need to grasp the depth and height and breadth of his love for us. It was just the same in the time of Haggai. They had returned to the land of Israel at that time but they still didn't understand that their priority should be the Lord's well-being, not their own. If they had truly loved him they would have built his house. The problem is not the lack of building, but the lack of love that would have provoked building.

The word translated 'breath' is important. It is 'ruach' in Hebrew and it also means 'spirit'. He wants to fill us with breath so that we will live again. Or, he wants to fill us with his Spirit so that we will live again.

I believe that Father has a great volume of blessing and authority and effectiveness stored and ready to pour out on his people. But to some degree we will affect the timing. It will be poured out when we, the church, are ready. The question is - are we ready? And if not, is there anything we can do to come into that place of being ready?

< Speak to the bones | Index | The bones come together >

4 comments:

  1. Hi Chris I am enjoying reading these thoughts on dry bones. After the last one I did a quick study. When the bones are commanded to hear the the word hear could be translated as hear and understand, to me this shows that God does want us to fully grasp what he says.
    It is interesting when you bring up knowing Yahweh, in most translations I have seen you have something similar to what you have here "Then you'll know that I'm Yahweh" but there is no words between know and Yahweh. To me putting in I am there implies a separation. Or in English does he want us to know that he is Yahweh or does he want us to know Yahweh?

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  2. Thanks for those thoughts, Sean. And thanks for the work that led to them. Very, very interesting, it makes the passage even more striking.

    It is a miracle when dry bones hear, but if they understand as well it's the inconceivable laid on top of the impossible!

    And knowing Yahweh is surely more intimate than knowing who he is. We need to know him!

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  3. I re read this passage and found I had not seen ki ani (that I) inbetween know and Yahweh. Hence the translation Know that I am Yahweh. selective blindness?

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  4. Knowing you, Sean, I doubt it. You are a stickler for the truth - and that's why you posted this correction.

    But I still like the thought of knowing him as well as knowing who he is, even if it's not there in the Hebrew.

    ReplyDelete

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