Prophesying new life
Scripture: Ezekiel 37:1-14
Aim: To teach the pupil that Jehovah God’s promises to Israel will ultimately be fulfilled through the restoring of Israel after the nation’s destruction. Also, to show that Jehovah will resurrect His children and give them new life, everlasting life.
Golden Text: “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 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” (Ezekiel 37:13-14).
Last week’s lesson showed that Jehovah would bring Israel back into her land after the 70 years captivity was over. He would put new life into the nation of Israel, which would result in Israel’s repentance and renewal in their relationship with Jehovah.
The application for us today is that the Lord Jesus Christ today will forgive sinners and give them new life, rejoining them to their Creator God as His children and He as their God. This week’s lesson considers a prophecy that Jehovah will raise Israel from the dead and put new life into them.
I. Ezekiel’s vision of a valley of dry bones (37:1-6). The prophet is transported in a vision from Jehovah to a plain near the Chebar River in Babylon (1:1-3). This plain is filled with the beached, dry bones of human beings (37:1). Ezekiel walks round about observing all the dry bones, which are described as “very dry.”
Jehovah asks a question, “Son of man, can these bones live?”
His is answer, “O Lord God thou knowest” (vs. 3).
Jehovah commands Ezekiel to prophecy to the bones to hear the Word of the Lord, that He will cause them to live again (vs. 4-6). These bones represent Israel’s state of national deadness.
II. Ezekiel’s prophecy is given (37:7-8). He gives the Word of the Lord to the bones by commandment (vs. 7). There is an immediate response. Each bone rises and joins itself to its proper person (vs. 7). After the skeleton in formed, the muscles, sinews and skin forms a body without life (vs. 8).
Jehovah commands the prophet to prophesy to the wind (vs. 9). The prophet does so and the breath of life comes into the bodies strewn over the valley (vs. 9-10). They stood upon their feet, a great army alive (vs. 10).
The prophecy primarily relates to the renewal of Israel (vs. 11-12). First, to her return to the land of Palestine after the captivity. That took place in B.C. 536 when a group of Israelites returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple.
Second, the prophecy refers also to the end times when the Church of Jesus Christ shall be taken out of this world. After the tribulation period Israel will recognize Jesus Christ as their Messiah and shall go into the Millennium where Christ shall rule over them for a thousand years (vs. 13-14).
Again, this passage may be applied to the lost sinner who repents and receives Jesus Christ as personal Savior. He is spiritually raised from the dead (Ephensians 2:1). He is given eternal life with the promise that he will live with the Lord in eternity.
Also, this may be applied to the death of the Christian, all die. When Christ returns for His Church, He will resurrect each believer, give them a new body and carry them to live with Him.
The important question we should ask ourselves is, “Have I received the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Savior from sin?”
It is true that all the dead, saved and lost, will be raised from the dead and given a new body, but those who have received Christ will be given eternal life, while the unsaved will be given eternal death. May each of us be certain that we belong to Christ!