The Valley Of The Dry Bones
The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. 3 He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”
In the tradition of Christian theology, we are told that we are created as tripartite beings. This means that we have a body, soul, and spirit. These three elements of our beings are intricately and intrinsically linked.
This link doesn’t diminish the fact that we can experience things in the spiritual realm that we do not perceive or understand from a physical perspective. There are times when we see the overlapping of the spiritual and physical realms in amazing ways and one such instance is in the Book of Genesis.
“When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep.” Genesis 28:11
Jacob’s body was in a state of sleep. His brain was not aware of what was happening to him. Although his body was in a comatose state his spirit was awake. While he was asleep he had a vision, this was a clear indicator that the physical had been invaded by the spiritual and Jacob’s spirit was awake to this mingling of realities.
When all of Jacob’s faculties were back to normal he exclaimed, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” (verse 16)
Let us not miss the profundity of this situation and how it ties into the allegory of the valley of dry bones. We can be asleep in our body but awake in our spirits. Being spiritual awake means we are functioning with spiritual awareness that affords us the ability to commune with the divine.
Each part of the human tripartite has unique and distinct functions. The body is designed to connect with the external physical world through our senses.
The soul is crafted to make us aware of ourselves and the inner faculties of our will, heart and mind are used for this. Our spirits are created to make us aware of God and the things about God. God is never perceived through our senses, He is always revealed to our spirits.
The allegory of dry bones speaks not only to the presence of death and the absence of life in the physical. It gives a deeper reality on a spiritual plane.
The truth is that many persons in this world are unable to receive the revealed truths of the divine who is Creator and King overall. They are spiritually asleep and need to be awoken.
The question reflected in the allegory is one that we are faced with daily. “Son of man, can these bones live?”
Are there areas in your life that you feel are dry and arid, void of awareness towards God and life overall?
The question from God to you is very simple, “can those areas live?”
God opens an exciting possibility with this question. The question confounded Ezekiel as the answer to the possibility of the life that is in the valley of death rests with God.
He is the giver of life, He is the only one who can awaken the sleeping spirit. He has the antidote to death and the power to bring the slumbering spirit to full alertness.
These bones had no presence of life at all. They were dry, in fact, they were very dry. The weather had done its number on them as they were on the flood of the valley. The marrow had long gone from them and they had long lost the tissues and muscles that once held them upright.
Nothing about them said life but where Ezekiel saw death, the Lord told him to command life.
“Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! 5 This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. 6 I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life.
Then you will know that I am the Lord.’” This takes me back to the first stage of creation. The bible tells us that the earth was formless and empty, darkness was on the face of the deep.
Some theologians have posited that the state of the earth at that time was chaotic. There was no presence of life.
However, when the Sovereign God began to prophesy over the surface of the earth order started to come from chaos. The same is true in the valley of dry bone. God had started to speak and all that heard His word coming from the lips of the Prophet started to come alive.
God began to restore the lungs, livers, kidneys, hearts, arteries, sinuses, tissues, muscles, and skin. This is the ex nihilo factor that is resident in the voice of our Creator.
He called those things which aren’t as if they are. Earth was being invaded by the spiritual realm and His words carried life-giving power. As He spoke the spirits of these fallen beings returned to them. Tendons returning to joints and the breath of life began to fill their lungs.
As the allegory of the valley provide a vivid picture of what happens when the divine invades the situation that others may have given up on, we can pull on this in our lives. We may have been downtrodden and given over to our circumstances.
Others may not have been as prudent as Ezekiel to confess their ignorance when asked if we can live. They may have been pertinent enough to tell God that we can’t live.
But if we come to any modicum of awareness in our spirit that God can wake us up from our slumber we will be able to receive the prophetic power that resides in His words.
Can you hear the voice of the Lord prophesying over you right now? Listen! He is speaking directly into your spirit. Your body cannot grasp what God is wanting to do in your spirit man.
The things that God is poised to do in your life are outside the realm of sensory perception. They cannot be seen, smelled, heard, felt, or tasted. They must be received in the depth of our spirit. Listen! Not with your ears. But listen in your spirit.
As Ezekiel began to prophesy over the valley the Bible tells us “there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone.” (verse 7) Can you hear it happening in your spirit man?
Do you hear the sound, the rattling, can you hear the noise?
That is the Spirit of God riding the prophetic utterances of the Sovereign Lord over your life. He is saying awake! He is saying Arise from your slumber. Can you hear the sound of life in the valley of death?
The next thing we find in the Scripture is that the Sovereign Lord speaks through Ezekiel and says “Come, breath, from the four winds and…”
This is another uncanny connection to the Genesis account. God calls His Ruach to come in and fill the resurrected bodies. In Genesis 1 amidst the chaos, emptiness, and formlessness we are told that the Ruach of God was upon the surface of the earth.
It is the Spirit of God that will ignite our spirits and bring God’s breath to them. Nothing in the ephemeral can do this eternal work in our spirits. So God calls His Spirit to come to us when we are asleep spiritually. Can you feel Him coming to you? Breathe Him in and allow Him to return life to your sleeping spirit.
In case you believe this is a figment of my imagination the Lord says “I will put my Spirit in you and you will live… I have done it, declares the Lord.” (verse 14). Let your spirit live again, let your spirit arise. The Spirit of God has moved over the depths of your spirit and has called you back to life.
Not to live again so that you will die as is the case in our bodies. He has called and caused us to live again in our spirits and this life is unto eternity.
Are you asleep in your spirit man? Awake. Hear the Spirit of God calling you. Are you asleep in your spirit man? Awake. Feel the Spirit of God filling you.