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Dry Bones … Saved!

by | May 14, 2024 | Empowering, Power, Provision

“The hand of the LORD was upon me, and He … set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones. … And He said to me, ‘Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, ‘O Lord GOD, You know. Then He said to me, Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. … Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon 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.’ So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I prophesied, there was a sound, and behold, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. And I looked, and behold, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them. But there was no breath in them. Then He said to me, ‘Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the Lord GOD: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.’ So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army. Then He said … ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O My people. … And I will put My Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the LORD.”

(Ezekiel 37:1, 3-4, 5b-11a, 12b, 14 ESV0)

There are times in our lives when we feel like nothing but a pile of dead, dry bones. It might be a time of grief or loss or disaster. Whatever it is, it leaves us as helpless as a dead man—unable to breathe, to rise, or to do a single thing to change our lives for the better.

At a time like that, what help is there? Only the Lord—only the One who raises the dead to life again, without expecting them to make a single move to help themselves. You can see that in this story: God speaks to the dead, dry bones, and every phrase He speaks is “I will.” God says, “I will cause breath to enter you … I will lay sinews on you … I will cover you with skin… I will, I will, I will.” God never says “You will” until the very end, when He says, “You shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord.”

This is what we truly need, isn’t it? Not a pep talk. Not thoughts and prayers. Not even the best human help of doctors and social workers and therapists. We need the One who makes the dead alive again by His own power and love. We need the One who laid down His own life on the cross for our sakes—and then rose again, so that we, too, may have real life.

We Pray: Lord, You know that I can do nothing by myself. Please help and save me. Amen.

This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Originally published in The Lutheran Hour on May 14, 2024
Used by permission from International Lutheran Laymen’s League, all rights

Reflection Questions:
1. Think to yourself about a time when you felt totally helpless.
2. Who helped you? Why?
3. Why does God give us so much without expecting us to do anything to contribute to our own salvation?


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