37:1 The hand of the LORD came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the LORD and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones.
37:2 He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry.
37:3 He said to me, “Mortal, can these bones live?” I answered, “O Lord GOD, you know.”
37:4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.
37:5 Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live.
37:6 I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the LORD.”
37:7 So I prophesied as I had been commanded; and as I prophesied, suddenly there was a noise, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone.
37:8 I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them.
37:9 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Lord GOD: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.”
37:10 I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude.
37:11 Then he said to me, “Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.’
37:12 Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel.
37:13 And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people.
37:14 I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken and will act,” says the LORD.
The vision of Ezekiel and the dry bones is perhaps one of the most well known prophecies of later prophets. The prophet was active during exile of Israel and they were the dry bones in this vision. Like all prophecies from God, there was a word of hope and restoration. If only God’s children would listen and obey.
“I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken and will act”
Notice that in all the verses in this prophecy that God is the one who is causing things to happen and to be. It is not by the might or will of the Israelites but the Lord. God’s promise to put His spirit in us is another feature of the later prophets. It is by His spirit that man would eventually be saved and renewed. Therefore, even when we come to know the Lord and become Christ followers, we can boast of nothing except in the work the Lord has done to us through His spirit which leads us and teaches us.
Do not ignore or disobey the leading of the Holy Spirit. The spirit of God is not placed in us so that we can ignore it and go about our business. If we choose to live that life we will eventually be the dry bone that Ezekiel saw in the valley. No life in us.