Have You Seen the Revival In the Graveyard

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Today’s selected reading continues in the Old Testament prophetic book of Ezekiel, and more specifically, is found in the first fourteen verses of the thirty-seventh chapter. It is within this particular text found within the prophetic book of Ezekiel that we find the account of Ezekiel being brought by the Spirit of the Lord in the midst of a valley that was full of bones. The first fourteen verses of this chapter have widely become known as “The Vision of Dry Bones,” or “The Vision of the Valley of Dry Bones,” and is so because Ezekiel was brought by the Spirit of the Lord into the midst of a valley that was full of bones. Perhaps the first truth that needs to be examined when reading this chapter is that it was the Spirit of the Lord who brought Ezekiel into the midst of this particular valley. It was the Spirit of the Lord who brought Him out and set Him down in the middle of the valley—a valley that was full of bones. In the first verse of this chapter we find that the Spirit of the Lord brought Ezekiel and set him down in the middle of the valley; and the valley was full of bones. In the very next verse, we read that the Spirit caused Ezekiel to pass among them round about, and examine the condition of the bones that were found all around him. “He caused me to pass among them round about, and behold, there were very many on the surfaces of the valley; and lo, they were very dry.” It’s incredibly interesting that the Spirit of the Lord didn’t merely bring Ezekiel into the midst of the valley that was full of bones, but the same Spirit also caused Ezekiel to pass among them round about. I am convinced there is tremendous significance that is found in this very reality, for it’s one thing to be set down in the middle of a valley that was full of bones, but it is an entirely different thing to actually pass among them round about. In other words, Ezekiel wasn’t merely set down in the middle of the valley, but was caused to pass among them—to view the condition of the bones which surrounded him round about. The Spirit of the Lord didn’t merely set Ezekiel in the midst of the valley that was full of bones to be a spectator, but as a participant. Oh, there are so many of us whom the Spirit of the Lord sets down in the middle of our own valley that is full of bones, and yet there is a great need to pass among the bones round about, for it’s only as we pass among the bones that we are truly able to see the condition they are in. It was the Spirit of the Lord who not only brought Ezekiel into the midst of a place of utter desperation and hopelessness, but it was the Spirit of the Lord who also caused Ezekiel to pass to and fro in the midst of that desperation and hopelessness. There was much work that needed to be done in the valley full of bones in which the prophet Ezekiel had been brought to and set down in the midst of, yet it would begin with the Spirit causing Ezekiel to pass among the bones round about.

What was the purpose for the Spirit of the Lord causing Ezekiel to pass among the bones round about? The answer to this question is actually found in the second verse, for as he passed among the bones round about, he saw that there were very many on the surface of the valley, and that they were very dry. The Spirit of the Lord could have very easily set Ezekiel down in the middle of that valley and caused him to view the bones all around him from that central place, yet it was absolutely necessary for the Spirit of the Lord to cause Ezekiel to pass among the bones round about, for it was only as he passed among them round about that he was actually able to get up close and personal with them. Ezekiel had to pass among the bones round about him in that valley, for it was only as he did so that he began noticing just how many they were. It’s incredibly interesting to note that when Ezekiel passed among the bones round about, he not only began noticing the number of the bones that were present in the valley, but he also began to notice the condition of those bones. I find it to be incredibly significant that in the second verse, Ezekiel not only came to see the true number of bones that were present in the valley, but he also saw the condition of those bones. Oh, there are certain things we can only see and become aware of as we are willing to pass among the bones round about us. What valley has the Lord brought you out and set you in the midst of? When the Spirit of the Lord has taken and set you down in the midst of the valley, what have you found to be present in the midst of it? For Ezekiel, there were very many bones present throughout that valley—bones that were very and exceedingly dry. Has the Spirit of the Lord brought you and set you down in the middle of a valley, and has the Spirit of the Lord caused you to pass through that valley, in order to come face to face with what was found in the midst of it? Ezekiel was brought and set down in the middle of a valley—a valley that was full of bones. Ezekiel was set down in the midst of a valley that was filled and saturated with death, with decay, with hopelessness, and with impossibility. For this valley to be full of bones meant that death and decay had taken their toll in the midst of it, and as a result of death and decay, the valley was full of bones. What’s more, is that death and decay had taken their toll within that valley, and had caused a very many bones to be found on the surface of the valley. Not only were a very many bones found on the surface of the valley, but those bones were very dry. Oh, I happen to find the fact that the bones were very dry to be of tremendous importance, for in order for these bones to be very dry, they would have had to be on the surface of the valley for a great while. Death and decay had to have completely taken their toll in this valley, for these bones were very dry.

There in the midst of the valley, the first thing Ezekiel saw—at least from an initial standpoint—was that it was full of bones. The first thing Ezekiel saw when set down in the middle of the valley was nothing but bones. As the Spirit of the Lord began causing Ezekiel to pass among the bones round about, Ezekiel began to see that there were very many bones on the surface of the valley. In other words, it wasn’t until Ezekiel was caused by the Spirit of the Lord to pass among the bones round about him that he began to see and become aware of just how dire the situation was in the midst of it. As Ezekiel passed among the bones round about, he began to come face to face with and encounter the true magnitude of what was present in the valley. It was necessary for Ezekiel to pass among the bones round about, for only as he passed among them that he was able to truly comprehend the magnitude of what was before him in the midst of that valley. Oh, I can’t help but find within this passage of Scripture a powerful call in this generation, for I am convinced that the Spirit of the Lord is once more setting the servants of God in the middle of valleys. The Spirit of the Lord wants to lay hold of the servants of the Lord, and to set them in the midst of the valleys that are present within and throughout the earth in this generation. The Spirit of the Lord is taking and laying hold of the servants of God and bringing them into the midst of valleys much like the one Ezekiel was brought into, for there are valleys that are filled with the remains of years of death and decay. When the Spirit of the Lord brought Ezekiel into the middle of this valley, He brought him into the midst of a valley that was filled with a strong and powerful picture of death. When you think of a valley that is full of bones, you can’t help but be completely overwhelmed and overcome with the image of death, for bones such as were before the prophet could only have filled the valley as a result of death. What’s more, is that since this valley was full of bones, I would dare say that bones were scattered everywhere—thus indicating that a bone over here on this side might have been removed from the bone to which it was once connected to. When Ezekiel entered into that valley, and when he saw that it was full of bones, I am convinced that he not only saw a powerful picture of death and decay, but he also saw a powerful picture of dismemberment, as I am sure bones were scattered throughout and across the floor of the valley.

Ezekiel was confronted with the remains and remnants of years of death and decay, but I would also say that he was confronted with the remains of dismemberment and dispersion. It’s important that we recognize that when the Spirit of the Lord set Ezekiel down in the midst of that valley, He set him down in the midst of incredibly impossibility, for it almost appears that Ezekiel was brought onto the scene a little too late. Oh, I am convinced that that is exactly how the Lord operates, for He seems to bring us into situations and circumstances that seem to be too little too late. I am convinced that the Spirit of the Lord brings us into places of tremendous impossibility—places where death and decay have taken their toll, and where there is nothing left but a valley full of a very many bones that are very dry. You would have thought that the Lord would have responded and acted sooner—before the bones were scattered upon the floor of the valley—yet it was there with the bones scattered and strewn across the floor of the valley that He brought Ezekiel. The Spirit of the Lord brought Ezekiel into a seemingly impossible place, for what good could possibly come in the midst of a valley that was full of bones? What could possibly be done in the midst of a valley that is full of bones that were very dry? I am convinced that there are men and women right now who have been set down in the midst of their own valleys, and have found themselves wondering if they are too late. I am convinced that there are men and women right now who have been set down in the midst of their own valleys, and are wondering to themselves what good could possibly come in the midst of that valley. These individuals feel that death and decay have done their damage and taken their toll, and there is absolutely nothing that can be done in the midst of that valley. Oh, what do you do when the Spirit of the Lord sets you down in the middle of the valley, and you find yourself in the midst of a valley that is full of bones?

I can’t help but wonder if Ezekiel didn’t initially wonder to himself why the Spirit would have brought him and set him down in the middle of the valley that was full of bones. I am sure that as the Spirit of the Lord caused him to pass among the bones round about, Ezekiel became even more convinced of the utter impossibility and helplessness that was found in the midst of that valley. What good could possibly come in a valley that is full of bones? What ministry can possibly take place in a valley that is full of bones that are very many, and bones that are very dry? Oh, there are a number of men and women right now who find themselves in the midst of a place where the Spirit of the Lord has surely brought them into, and yet they find themselves wondering what good can possibly take place in the midst of that valley. These individuals wonder what ministry can possibly take place in the midst of the valleys to which they have been brought and placed, and are possibly faced with great bouts with doubt and uncertainty. Is it possible that when Ezekiel passed among the bones round about that he wondered why the Spirit would bring him to this valley? Is it possible that Ezekiel wondered to himself what the Lord could possibly do with a valley that is full of bones? What Ezekiel didn’t know was that there in the midst of that valley that was full of bones was an exceedingly great army. AN EXCEEDINGLY GREAT ARMY FOUND IN THE MIDST OF A VALLEY FULL OF DRY BONES. What an incredible concept it is to think that the Lord could actually raise up an army from the midst of a valley that was full of dry bones. The Lord could actually find an army in the midst of a graveyard, and an army that would come to life and stand on their feet.

Oh, this passage causes me to wonder what the Lord has hidden and perhaps tucked away in what would appear to be graveyards. The Lord had a testimony that was buried in a tomb in the village of Bethany, for it was when Lazarus came forth from the tomb that the glory of God was manifested. If there is one thing this passage reveals, it’s that the Lord may very well have testimonies hidden and concealed in what would appear to be graveyards. Oh, the Lord may even have a testimony hidden and concealed in the graveyard that is found within your own life—a testimony that He desires to bring forth by the power of His Spirit. This passage of Scripture brings us face to face with the reality that the Lord can raise up an exceedingly great army from the midst of dry bones that were scattered and strewn across the floor of a valley. Oh, you may have found yourself in the midst of a valley that is filled with bones that are very dry, and yet you aren’t aware—[yet]—of the reality that there is present within that valley an exceedingly great army. All it takes is the prophetic word of the Lord, the power of the Lord God Almighty, and the breath of the Spirit of God, and those bones can be joined together, bone to its bone. The minute Ezekiel faithfully obeyed the command of the Lord to prophesy, there was a noise, and behold a rattling, and immediately, the bones came together, bone to its bone. That which had been fragmented, dismembered and disjointed was brought back together by the power of the Spirit of Almighty God. That which was was very dry would have fresh sinews, fresh flesh, and fresh skin that would grow upon them, and would cover them. What we must realize is that first comes the uniting of the bones, then comes the growth and covering of skin and flesh, and then comes the breath of life. We must understand this reality, for the order cannot be reversed.

In this valley that was full of a very many bones that were very dry, flesh and skin would grow upon those bones. IN this valley that was full of a very many bones that were scattered across the floor, each bone would come together, bone to its bone. This is incredibly powerful for us to understand, for the declaration that each bone came together bone to its bone suggests that although the bones had been scattered across the floor of the valley, they would come together to its proper bone. When the bones came together, they would be joined together in their proper place and order, for there would be no disorder or discord in this work. I believe that the Lord brought Ezekiel into the valley for He wanted to show him that He had an exceedingly great army that was hidden and concealed in a graveyard. To the natural eye that valley looked like nothing more than a valley full of dry bones, yet in the sight of God, that valley was full of what would be an exceedingly great army. There in the midst of that valley—that valley that was filled with death and decay—the Lord had an exceedingly great army that He would raise to their feet before the prophet Ezekiel. As soon as Ezekiel saw the bones that were very many and very dry in the valley, the Lord asked him if those bones could live—to which Ezekiel responded, saying, “O Lord God, You know.” In other words, Ezekiel wasn’t sure if these bones could live, and he responded in a manner that placed the answer to this question solely on the Lord Himself. Ezekiel saw nothing but hopelessness and impossibility in this valley, and he responded in a manner that diverted his willingness to acknowledge that yes, these bones could indeed live. Oh, this is the question the Lord asks all His servants whom He brings into the valleys in which He brings them. The Lord brings His servants into the midst of valleys, and the Lord shows them the magnitude and nature of what was present in the valley, and then asks the question whether or not we believe that what is before us can be resurrected and raised to life. This chapter is one that surrounds one very important and powerful question—the question of whether or not dry bones can live. Oh, how will you respond when the Lord asks you this question? If and when the Lord takes and places you in the midst of a valley that is filled with a very many bones that are very dry and asks you if these bones can live, how will you respond? Do you believe the Lord can cause a revival and an awakening to take place in a graveyard? Do you believe the Lord can have an army hidden and concealed in the midst of a valley that is full of bones that are very dry? This was the question the Lord asked Ezekiel, and it is the same question the Lord asks us when He takes and places us in the midst of similar valleys. Oh, it may not be literal valleys, and it may not be literal bones, but it may be a place where death and decay have taken their toll, and where impossibility and helplessness are present. This passage is one that brings us face to face with the reality that yes, revival and awakening can take place in the midst of a valley that is full of dry bones, and the Lord can have an exceedingly great army that is hidden within that valley. Oh that we would allow the Spirit of the Lord to take and lay hold of us, and bring us into the midst of these dry and desperate places, in order that He might bring forth resurrection life in the midst of what would appear to be a graveyard.

This passage is absolutely phenomenal when you truly take the time to read and consider it—especially when you come to the ninth verse, for in the ninth verse you will read the prophet prophesying to the breach, and instructing it to come from the four winds and “breath on these slain” that they may come to life. BREATHE ON THESE SLAIN! Oh, this is the cry of the Spirit in these Last Days—the cry that the breath of heaven would breath upon the slain among us in order that they might life. The cry of the Spirit in this generation is that the breath of heaven—the very breath of God Almighty Himself—would breath upon the dry bones that are found within our lives in order that life might once again be found in those places. Oh, perhaps the greatest question that is found when reading this passage is what are those dry areas that are found within your life. What are those dry areas within your heart? What are those dry areas within your soul? What are those dry areas within your prayer life? What are those dry areas within your worship? What in your life has not simply dried up, but has become “very dry?” These bones were not only very many, but they were very dry—a powerful declaration that death and decay had indeed taken their toll in the midst of this valley. The very fact that the prophet Ezekiel prophesies to the breath to come from the four winds and to breathe upon these slain suggests a tremendous battle and conflict ensued in this valley, and as a result, the bones of those who had been slain were strewn across the valley floor. There were a great many that were slain in the midst of this valley, and I can’t help but wonder regarding the intensity of the struggle and conflict that ensued in the valley. What’s more, is that not only were there a great many who were slain in this valley, but their bodies were permitted to remain in the midst of that valley—decaying and becoming dry as the heat from the sun and the elements of nature continued to consume them. Oh, consider how many bodies must have lined the floor of that valley, and how those bodies must have remained in that valley for quite some time, for all that was left when the Spirit brought Ezekiel into and set him in the midst of it was a very many bones that were very dry.

A RESURRECTED ARMY IN THE MIDST OF A GRAVEYARD! A RESURRECTED ARMY IN THE MIDST OF A CEMETERY! The very thought seems utterly absurd, and to help put it into a modern context, you must imagine the Spirit of the Lord taking you into the midst of a cemetery that is lined with graves and tombstones, and then instructing you to prophesy so that the decaying bodies and dry bones found within those graves would not only live again, but rise again. Oh, this particular passage reveals one fundamental truth that is oftentimes neglected—the truth that the Lord God can have an army hidden and concealed in the midst of a graveyard. I would dare say that the Lord has soldiers in His army that are scattered among and found in various places we would never expect. What’s more, is that though there was a great many slain in the midst of this valley, the Lord still had an exceedingly great army in the midst of it. AN EXCEEDINGLY GREAT ARMY AMIDST THE SLAIN! In other words, though these soldiers and warriors had been slain, and though their bodies had decayed and their bones had become very dry, the Lord still had an exceedingly great army in the midst of those who had been slain. How incredibly powerful it is to consider that there in the midst of a valley that was strewn and lined with a very many bones that were very dry, the Lord had an exceedingly great army whom He would breathe upon with the breathe of heaven, in order that they might rise again. WHEN THE SLAIN RISE AGAIN! This particular passage is about those slain receiving the breath of the Spirit within them there in the midst of the valley—breath that only came into them after the bones were first joined and united together once more. First came the joining together of the bones, then came the growth of flesh and sinews and skin, and then came the breath of the Spirit upon them. WHEN THE SOUND OF RATTLING FILLS THE VALLEY ONCE MORE. Oh that the sound of rattling would be heard in the midst of our churches and congregations—the sound of bones coming together once more, bone to its bone. When the sound of this rattling is heard, it is the sound that disjointing, dismembering and disunity is being drastically altered by the prophetic word of the Lord in the midst of the congregation. Oh that these slain among us might live again, and that these bones which have been scattered across the valley floor might once more be joined together.

The prophetic word that is contained in this chapter is directed to the house of Israel, for the house of Israel was saying of themselves that their bones were dried up and their hope had perished. The house of Israel had found themselves in a place where they felt as though they were completely cut off. In verses twelve through fourteen we find the prophetic word of the Lord that was spoken to the house of Israel who had felt as though they had been cut off, and as if all hope had perished. “Behold, I will open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves, my people; and I will bring you into the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves and caused you to come up out of your graves my people. I will put my Spirit within you and you will come to life, and I will place you on your own land. Then you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken and done it, declares the Lord.” I WILL OPEN YOUR GRAVES! I WILL CAUSE YOU TO COME UP OUT OF YOUR GRAVES! This was indeed the testimony of Lazarus, for not only was Lazarus’ grave opened, but the Spirit of the Lord caused him to come forth from the midst of that grave. This was the testimony of Jesus Himself, for not only was the grave He was placed in opened, but the Spirit of the Lord raised Him up to life and caused Him to come forth from the midst of that grave. This was the testimony of those whose graves were opened the same time Jesus’ grave was opened, for there was the testimony in the land of dead men and women walking among the living. Lazarus was the first to have his grave opened, and the first to come forth from the midst of his grave, as the Spirit caused Him to come to life. Oh that the Spirit of the Sovereign Lord would once more cause graves to be opened in the land today, and that the Spirit would cause those slain to come forth from their graves and live again. When speaking to the house of Israel, the Lord not only declared that He would open their graves, but also that He would cause them to come out of those graves. Oh, what graves have you found yourself living in? Have you found yourself in the grave of despair? Have you found yourself living in the grave of discouragement? Have you found yourself living in the grave of addiction? Have you found yourself living in the grave of oppression? Have you found yourself living in the grave of fear? The graves in which we find ourselves are absolutely endless and too numerous to count, but the awesome reality is that the Spirit of the Sovereign Lord can indeed open those graves, and can cause us to come forth from those graves. Oh that the Spirit of the Lord would not only cause our graves to be opened, but that He would also bring us forth from the midst of those graves.

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