The valley was long and broad. The bones were very dry...
The Eternal One who brought me out here, said to me,
“Can these bones live?”
I answered, “Only you know, O Master, only you know.”
He said, “Speak to these dry, dry bones to listen and give heed:
I’ll put the spirit in you and you will live and breathe.
I’ll knit you up with sinews and clothe you all in skin.
When you are flesh I’ll give you breath and you will live again.
And when I do, you’ll know for sure
I Am Who I Am.”
I spoke as He commanded me and soon I heard a sound.
Down on the ground, all around, the bones were coming together.
They rattled and clacked and soon they were attached
with sinews, flesh and skin. But still their bodies
lay so still there was no breath within
Oh no, no breath in them.
“Call to the breath and say: Hear the Eternal One.
Come from the four winds, from where you have gone.
Breathe upon these dead ones so that they may rise.”
I did as He had said and watched as all the dead sprang to life
Into a great army right before my eyes. O house of Israel,
they say, “Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and
we ourselves are cut off.” But, He says: “From the grave
I will lift you up and put my Spirit in you, and you shall live.”
This is what a prophet saw 2500 years ago. The dry bones have never been gathered in all this time. The twelve tribes have been scattered to the four winds, until now. We, and maybe you, are a part of this people. The Eternal One, Yahweh, the God of Heaven calls this people Israel. Not a religion, or a country in the Middle East, this Israel is a spiritual nation of people who have been rescued out of the death they were trapped in. They have seen the walls broken down between rich and poor, black and white, men and women, deadhead and businessman.
Being divided is the same as being dead. In the sixties and seventies we were tired of being in a divided world full of divided people with divided interests. We looked for a voice that would unite us. Many times we thought we found that voice. But all our coming together was limited and temporary. Whatever voice we thought we’d found, it wasn't the voice of the Eternal One. By the eighties and nineties, most had given up and settled for something less.
The valley of dry bones is a vision of what we all become without the breath of the Eternal One being breathed into us. All are scattered, confused travelers through this life. All of our own attempts to come together fail. Without the One who made us, everything ends up in a dry heap. But our Maker is also our Lover. He loves His people like an only son. He proved it. He’s setting a people free to be who they were meant to be — kind, loving and with a heart for justice. They are one people in twelve tribes, Israel.
It is too small a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also make you a light of the nations so that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth. (Isaiah 49:6)
For more on this subject see also: Rekindling the Fire