... Can God breathe new life into a devastated nation? In 597BC the Babylonians took Israel's land, smashed Israel's temple, exiled Israel's king and executed his sons. Everything these people knew and valued had been lost, stripped back to the bone; a community cut off completely from all which had defined them and sustained them. Can these bones live? No wonder that question was in the mind of Ezekiel, looking at the wilderness his people were in, and with them, yearning for the dry bones to live again.
But as we take another look at the passage, a truly remarkable thing emerges about the question we are contemplating today. Who asks the question, “Can these bones live?” Not Ezekiel asking God. It's a question which God asked Ezekiel. Surveying the scene of dereliction and loss in the valley of dry bones, the Lord said to Ezekiel, 'Mortal, can these bones live?'
It is God who gives voice to the question which is on the hearts of all the lost people. Can these bones live? It is God who sees the people's loss, hears their heart's cries, and who longs to help them. It is God who asks Ezekiel for an answer: 'Mortal, can these bones live?'
All God needs is for Ezekiel to respond and then he can set in motion the events which bring help, healing, restoration, resurrection, to the dry bones before them. ...