Today’s selected reading continues in the Old Testament prophetic book of Ezekiel, and more specifically, is found in the thirty-seventh chapter. This passage within the prophetic book of Ezekiel is one of the most noted passages in the entire book. There are very few within Christendom who do not have at least a rudimentary knowledge of Ezekiel’s vision of the valley of dry bones. What we read in this particular passage comes directly on the heels of the prophetic word which the Lord had just revealed unto Ezekiel concerning this people that would spend seventy years living as captives and exiles within a strange and foreign land. In the previous chapter we must turn and direct our attention to two specific sections—the first section is found in verses sixteen through twenty-four, while the second is found beginning with verse twenty-five and continuing through the end of the chapter. Consider if you will the language that is found beginning with verse sixteen of the thirty-sixth chapter—“Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, when the house of Israle dwelt in their own land, they defiled it by their own way and by their doings: their way was before me as the uncleanness of a removed woman. Wherefore I poured my fury upon them for the blood that they had shed upon the land, and for their idols wherewith they had polluted it: and I scattered them among the heathen, and they were dispersed through the countries: according to their way and according to their doings I judged them. And when they entered unto the heaven, whither they went, they profaned my holy name, when they said to them, These are the people of the Lord, and are gone forth out of His land. But I had pity for mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, whither they went. Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name’s sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went. And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, saith the Lord God, when I shall be sanctified in your before their eyes. For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land” (Ezekiel 36:16-24). With these words the Lord emphatically reveals the underlying purpose for His actions on behalf of His people which had been scattered among the nations and countries of the earth—“And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them” (Ezekiel 36:23). That which we read in this particular passage of Scripture deals exclusively and specifically with the Lord’s desire to once more sanctify that which had been profaned in the earth and among the nations by His own people. The Lord was going to take that which had been polluted among the nations and peoples of the earth. It’s imperative that we recognize and understand this, for at the very heart of the Lord’s acts and actions on behalf of and for His people is the sanctity, the holiness and the glory of His name. THE LORD CARES ABOUT THE REPUTATION OF HIS NAME WITHIN AND UPON THE EARTH. Please do not lose sight of or miss the significance and importance of this fact, for it should radically shape and alter the entire course of your life.
When you come to the twenty-fifth verse of the thirty-sixth chapter of the book of Ezekiel, you will notice a powerful and dramatic transition that takes place in the word which the Lord is speaking unto His people. Beginning with this verse we notice the Lord transitioning from the sanctity and holiness of His great name to a covenant which He would enter into with His people. When we read verses sixteen through twenty-four, we must understand the language that is contained within it through the lens of the holiness of the name of our God which is to be great within, upon and throughout all the earth. What we read in those verses is directly connected to the great name of the Lord, which His people had polluted and profaned upon the earth among the nations and peoples round about them. As we come to the twenty-fifth verse, however, we begin to notice the Lord speaking—not necessarily through the lens of His great name, but through the lens of covenant. Consider if you will the words which the Lord spoke through the prophet Ezekiel unto those in captivity and exile. “Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the strong heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statures, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. I will also save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you. And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that ye shall receive no more reproach of famine among the heathen. Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings, that were not good, and shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations. Not for sakes do I this, saith the Lord God, be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel. Thus saith the Lord God; IN the day that I shall have cleansed you from all your iniquities I will also cause you to dwell in the cities, and the wastes shall be builded. And the desolate land shall be tilled, whereas it lay desolate in the sight of all that passed by. And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited. Then the heathen that are left round about you shall know that I the Lord build the ruined places, and plant that that was desolate: I the Lord have spoken it, and I will do it. Thus saith the Lord God; I will yet for this be inquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them; I will increase them with men like a flock. As the holy flock, as the flock of Jerusalem in her solemn feasts; so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of men: and they shall know that I am the Lord” (Ezekiel 36:25-38).
In order to truly and properly understand that which we read in this particular passage within the prophetic book of Ezekiel, it is necessary that we journey back to the Old Testament prophetic book of Jeremiah. Consider if you will the language which the prophet Jeremiah proclaimed according to the word of the Lord which was revealed unto and through him: “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord: but this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more” (Jeremiah 31:31-34). This passage in the prophetic book of Ezekiel—together with the passage we find in the prophetic book of Ezekiel—form the prophetic word of covenant which the Lord not only spoke within the inheritance, but also within captivity and exile. How absolutely incredible it is to know that the Lord first began speaking of a new covenant while the people still dwelt within the land of their inheritance and possession, and continued speaking of that concept while they were strangers and foreigners in a land that was not their own. Before we can even come near and approach the vision which the Lord gave Ezekiel concerning the dry bones in the midst of the valley, we must first understand the Lord’s concern for the holiness of His great name, and a new covenant He would enter into with His people. WHEN THE OLD COVENANT GIVES WAY TO THE NEW! WHEN THE OLD COVENANT ISN’T ENOUGH TO SUSTAIN THE LORD’S PURPOSES IN THE EARTH! Perhaps one of the most powerful realities concerning the concept of this new covenant is that while the Old Covenant was in and of itself absolutely wonderful and powerful, it would eventually give way to a new covenant that would be manifested and brought forth within the earth. Under the Old Covenant the children of Israel were left to their own devices, their own will, their own intentions, and even their own strength to obey the commands and law of the Lord. With, under and according to the new covenant, the Lord would remove the heart of stone and replace it with a heart of flesh, the Lord would write His law upon their hearts, and the Lord would put His own Spirit within them. It would be this placement of His Spirit that would not only enable and allow the people of God to walk in and obey His commands, His laws, and His statutes, but it would also be the placement and presence of His Spirit that would cause them to be His people, and Him to be their God. Pay close attention to the words which the apostle wrote in his second epistle to the Corinthians—“What fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” (2 Corinthians 6:14-18).
What I absolutely love about the Lord’s desire and intention to release His people from their captivity and exile in a strange and foreign land is that He didn’t simply return them to their own land and leave them to themselves. I am convinced the words and language we find in the prophetic books of Ezekiel and Jeremiah suggest something truly incredible—something that will dramatically transform our hearts and lives. It is true the Lord would gather His people from the nations they had been scattered, and it is true He would bring them back into and to their own land, but it wouldn’t simply be about returning. RETURNING IS NOT ENOUGH! WHEN RETURNING ISN’T ENOUGH! What I so love about the language we find within the prophetic books of Ezekiel and Jeremiah, and not only these prophetic books, but also the prophetic book of Haggai is that with returning also came the act of rebuilding. If you read and study the history of the return of the children of Israel to the land which was theirs as an inheritance and possession, you will notice that their return to the land would also carry with it the responsibility of rebuilding the Temple of the Lord within and among them in their midst. It wasn’t enough simply to return to the land and to be left to their own devices, imaginations, desires, pleasures and the like. RETURNING WITH A PURPOSE! RETURNING WITH A PLAN! When we seek to understand the release of God’s people from their captivity, and their return to the inheritance given them, we must note that this return came with a very specific purpose. The return of the people of God to the land which was their inheritance and possession would carry with it the divine plan of God, for they weren’t permitted to return without understanding what the Lord required of them. In all reality, I would dare say that the Lord would—and perhaps even could—not allow His people to return to the land without and apart from the rebuilding of the walls and gates, and most importantly, the rebuilding of the Temple and sanctuary of the Lord of hosts in their midst. Before they could begin the process of rebuilding their homes within the land, they were first tasked with the responsibility of rebuilding the walls and gates which had been broken through and broken down by the enemy. What’s more, is that they were tasked with the responsibility of rebuilding the Temple and sanctuary of the Lord, thus confirming and demonstrating to the nations and peoples that they were the people of God, and that the people of God were once more dwelling within the land. Do not think that if the Lord releases you from your captivity, and even returns you to your inheritance and possession that you can be left to your own devices, imaginations, thoughts, plans, intentions and purposes. RETURNING ALWAYS CARRIES WITH IT A PURPOSE! RETURNING ALWAYS CARRIES WITH IT THE DIVINE WILL AND PLAN OF THE LORD!
With that being said, we must also understand that the Lord would bring forth and manifest in the earth an entirely new covenant—a covenant that would essentially not depend on man, but on the Lord Himself. Did you catch that? Please don’t miss or lose sight of the significance of that reality. When speaking of the Old Covenant and the Law which the Lord had given unto Moses, the emphasis was on man’s ability—and perhaps even his willingness—to walk in obedience to the laws, the statutes, the commands, and the decrees of the Lord. When speaking of the Old Covenant, we must understand that everything rested solely on man’s own strength and ability to keep, follow and obey the law, the command and statutes of the Lord. Under the Old Covenant, the emphasis was entirely upon man when it came to fulfilling and obeying the commands, the demands and the requirements of the Law given unto Moses. When, however, we speak of the New Covenant, it’s worth noting that the responsibility seems not to fall on to the shoulders of man, but upon the Lord of hosts Himself. It was the Lord Himself who would carry upon His shoulder and back the cruel cross upon which He would be crucified. It would be the Lord Himself who would suffer the judgment and punishment of sin required and demanded by the law of the Lord. What’s more, is that when you read the thirty-sixth chapter of the prophetic book of Ezekiel, you will quickly discover the Lord’s words concerning putting His Spirit within His people in order that they might walk in His statutes, obey His commands, and follow His decrees. Please mark and make note of this, for by doing so, we come to understand something truly remarkable concerning the power of the New Covenant. When speaking of the New Covenant, we must understand that it was no longer about man bringing their sacrifices to be presented unto priests and then offered upon the altar of burnt sacrifice, for the Lord Himself provided the sacrifice to be offered on behalf of the sins of man. The words of Abraham perfectly describe what the Lord did at Calvary, for Abraham declared to his son Isaac that the Lord Himself would provide the sacrifice. THE LORD PROVIDED THE SACRIFICE! Furthermore, not only did the Lord Himself provide the sacrifice to atone for man’s sin and rebellion, but the Lord also provided and poured out His Holy Spirit to now help men walk in obedience to His commands, His statutes, His decrees and His Law. If we are to truly understand the power of the New Covenant, we must understand that the New Covenant has absolutely nothing to do with us—at least in the sense of our own strength and ability—and has everything to do with the work of the Spirit of the Lord within our lives, and the appropriation of the finished work of Jesus Christ upon the cross. It is the presence and person of the Holy Spirit who enables us to walk in righteousness, to walk in obedience, to walk in holiness, to walk in purity before the Lord of hosts. Please don’t miss or lose sight of this reality, for if you do, you may very well find yourselves attempting to do things in your own strength. Remember the words which the Lord spoke through His servant Zechariah in the Old Testament—“Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by. My spirit, saith the Lord of hosts. Who art thou, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it” (Zechariah 4:6-7).
BETWEEN THE PLACE OF COVENANT AND CONFLICT! When reading and seeking to understand the thirty-seventh chapter of the prophetic book of Ezekiel, it is absolutely necessary that we recognize that it presents us with a reality of God’s people finding themselves in a place between covenant and conflict. If you read the thirty-sixth chapter of the prophetic book of Ezekiel, you will notice the language of covenant, and how the Lord would not only work on the heart(s) of His people, but He would also provide His own Spirit to enable them to walk in His statutes, His commands, His decrees, and His law. In the thirty-sixth chapter of the book of Ezekiel we notice the Lord gathering together His people from the nations and countries they had been scattered and returning them to and restoring them within their own land. The thirty-sixth chapter brings us face to face with the reality of the covenant the Lord of hosts would enter into with His people, while the thirty-eighth—and even the thirty-ninth chapter—would bring us face to face with the conflict. We won’t discuss what is found in those two chapters, but suffice it to say that within those two chapters we find the famous conflict that is centered upon Gog and Magog. It is within the thirty-eighth and thirty-ninth chapters of the prophetic book of Ezekiel that we notice a people returned and restored finding themselves engaging in and experiencing a tremendous conflict within the earth. WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU FIND YOURSELF IN THE PLACE BETWEEN COVENANT AND CONFLICT? Consider if you will what is recorded in the opening few verses of the thirty-eighth chapter—“And the word of the LORd came unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Mago, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, and say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief princes of Meshech and Tubal: and I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses, and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with buckles and shields, all of them handling swords: Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee. Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them. After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered our of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them. Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee. Thus saith the Lord God; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought: and thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates, to take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land” (Ezekiel 38:1-12)
WHAT EXISTS BETWEEN THE COVENANT AND THE CONFLICT? WHAT DO WE FIND IN BETWEEN COVENANT AND CONFLICT! Notice how the first verse of the thirty-seventh chapter reads to understand what is found in that place between covenant and conflict—“The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down IN THE MIDST OF THE VALLEY which was full of bones” (Ezekiel 37:1). What do we find in that place between the covenant and the conflict? We find in that place between the covenant the conflict a valley—and not just any valley, but a valley which was full of bones. When you come to the second verse of this chapter, you will discover how the Lord caused Ezekiel to pass by the bones round about “and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and lo, they were very dry” Ezekiel 37:2). Not only do we find a valley in that place between covenant and conflict, but we find that valley being filled with a very many dry bones, which were very dry. Notice if you will how the Lord not only set Ezekiel down in the midst of the bones, but the Lord also caused Ezekiel to pass by the bones round about. UNDERSTANDING THE BONES OF YOUR VALLEY! The bones which Ezekiel saw within this valley were not only very many, but they were also very dry. It was from that place of being very many and very dry the Lord asked Ezekiel, saying, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I believe we must pause right here and acknowledge this particular question, for this is a question the Spirit of the Lord asks anyone who finds themselves in that place between the covenant and conflict. The Spirit of the Lord is asking, and has asked countless men and women if the bones which they see before them can live again. What do you do when you have received the promise of covenant, yet you are in the valley between the covenant and conflict? What do you do when you have the promise of covenant, yet you find yourself in the midst of your own valley which is full of dry bones? It’s actually quite interesting when you read these words, for although the children of Israel had the promise of restoration within their own land, they still found themselves in a very dark place. In fact, if you come to the eleventh verse of this chapter, you will notice the prophetic implication of the bones which Ezekiel encounter in the midst of the valley—“Then He said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off four our parts” (Ezekiel 37:11). Mark those words well, for despite the fact that they had received the promise of covenant from the Lord, and despite the fact that they would be returned and restored to their land, they still found themselves in a place of dryness, a place of hopelessness, and a place of discouragement. The house of Israel found themselves in a desperate place before the Lord of hosts in the midst of the earth, for they considered themselves to be dry and without hope. The bones which Ezekiel saw in this valley represented the entire house of Israel who had believed themselves to be in a place of dryness and sheer and utter hopelessness.
When Ezekiel was asked whether or not the bones before him could live, he declared that only the Lord knew the answer to that question. Instead of addressing Ezekiel’s response, the Lord immediately instructed him to prophesy—to open his mouth and speak to the dry bones that were before him. “Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: and I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live: and ye shall know that I am the Lord” (Ezekiel 37:4-6). Through the prophet Ezekiel, the Lord was emphatically describing what He was about to do in the midst of the house of Israel who viewed themselves as being dry, and being without hope. The Lord declared that He would cause breath to enter into them, and they would live. The Lord declared that He would lay sinews upon them, and would bring up flesh upon you, and would cover them with skin. In the seventh verse, we find Ezekiel prophesying as he was commanded, and as he prophesied, there was not only a noise, but there was also a shaking. The noise which Ezekiel heard, and the shaking which he experienced was the bones which were before him coming together and being joined one to another. Notice if you will that the Ezekiel records how the bones came together “bone to his bone,” thus suggesting that not only would the bones come together, but the bones would come together exactly as they were intended and created to come together. As Ezekiel prophesied—before the words even finished proceeding forth from his mouth—there was a noise in the valley, and a shaking took place in the midst of it. As a result of the prophetic word uttered by Ezekiel, the bones came together, and sinews and flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above. In the place in between covenant and conflict, we may very well find ourselves in the midst of our own valley that is filled with dry bones, and are in desperate need of the prophetic word being released before and unto those bones, thus causing them to come together. There does exist a valley between the place of covenant and the place of conflict, and within that valley we find ourselves staring at a valley full of dead men’s bones—bones which signify death, and perhaps even decay. It is no coincidence that we read of these bones that they were very dry, for they had suffered from years of decay as they lie there on the floor of the valley. In that place between covenant and conflict, there is not only the tremendous need for bones to come together, but there is also the tremendous need for the breath of God to enter that which was once alive, yet died, and needs to be resurrected and raised to life once more.
Notice if you will that despite the fact that the bones came together, and despite the fact that sinews and flesh came upon them, and skin covered them above, there was no breath in them. It isn’t enough for bones to come together, nor is it enough for sinews and flesh to come upon those bones once they have been joined together. Before sinews and flesh can come upon the bones, those bones must first come to and be joined together. I am convinced there are countless men and women who have the promise of covenant within their lives, yet they find themselves living in the valley that exists between the covenant and the conflict. PREPARING FOR CONFLICT BY PASSING THROUGH THE VALLEY! How did the Lord prepare the house of Israel for the conflict they would experience in the latter days? The Lord prepared them by causing them to pass through the valley and not only experiencing dead and dry bones coming together once more, but also the breath of Almighty God being breathed into them, that they might live. I am convinced that what we read in verses one through eight of this passage is the same reality we find in the Old Testament book of Genesis concerning the formation of Adam. Pause for a moment and consider the formation of Adam as recorded in the Old Testament book of Genesis—“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Genesis 2:7). Within this verse we learn that the Lord formed man from the dust of the ground, and there is a part of me that can’t help but wonder if the Lord paused for a moment to look at what would become man upon the earth before breathing into his nostrils the breath of life. Did the Lord pause—even if it was for a brief moment—before breathing the breath of life into the nostrils of man to gaze upon that which He had formed? Up until the moment the divine breath of the Almighty entered into man, man was simply that which had been formed from the dust. It is one thing to be formed, yet it is something else entirely to become—to become that which the Lord created and intended you to be. Adam was formed from the dust of the ground, and was fashioned into the likeness and image of God, yet even from that place of formation he was still nothing more than dust from the ground. How absolutely amazing it is that the Lord can look upon dust and see life—and not only look upon dust and see life, but also upon dry bones and see life?
THE LORD LOOKS UPON THE DUST OF THE GROUND AND SEES LIFE! THE LORD LOOKS UPON DRY BONES AND SEES LIFE! You will notice that the Lord breathed into the nostrils of man which he had formed from the dust of the ground, and upon that breath entering into his nostrils, man became a living soul. In the eighth verse of this chapter in the prophetic book of Ezekiel we notice that even though the bones had come together, and even though flesh, sinews and skin had covered and come upon those bones, they remained absent breath—they remained completely void of any life. It wasn’t until Ezekiel prophesied to the four winds, saying, “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live,” that these bones which up until that moment were nothing more than dry bones with sinews, flesh and skin upon them. CAN YOU SEE THE ARMY THAT EXISTS WITHIN THE DRY BONES? CAN YOU SEE THE EXCEEDING GREAT ARMY IN THE MIDST OF THE VALLEY OF DRY BONES? How absolutely incredible it is to consider that when Ezekiel first entered the valley, all he saw was dry bones which were very many; yet when Ezekiel came forth out of that valley, what he saw was an exceeding great army. THE LORD WHO CAN TURN A VALLEY OF DRY BONES INTO AN EXCEEDING GREAT ARMY! The same God who formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed the breath of life into his nostrils, thus causing him to become a living soul, is the same God who can cause a valley that is filled with dry bones to come together, cause sinews, flesh and skin to come upon those bones, and can breath upon them, stand them up, and cause them to become an exceeding great army. Notice how the Lord doesn’t allow the house of Israel to enter into or experience the conflict within the valley—from the place of being nothing more than a valley that is filled with a great many bones which were very dry. The house of Israel would experience the conflict that was foretold in the next two chapters, but prior to that conflict they would see their dead and dry bones coming together once more, and they would experience the breath of Almighty God breathing into them once more. It wouldn’t be a valley of dry bones that would experience the Gog and Magog conflict, but it would be an exceeding great army. Those who consider the great conflict and war of Gog and Magog may perhaps consider the house of Israel to be a weak, and feeble nation, but the truth of the matter is that the nation and people that enter into and experience that conflict have seen dry bones come together, flesh, sinews and skin come upon those dry bones, the breath of God breathed into and upon them, and them stand up in the mist of the earth an exceeding great army. What’s more, is that as you continue reading this chapter, you will notice that in addition to the house of Israel becoming an exceeding great army, they would also experience a deep unity that would completely destroy the division that had plagued them for years. This particular passage is absolutely incredible, for within that place between covenant and conflict, the Lord not only dealt with that which was dead and dry, but the Lord also dealt with division. The Lord used that valley which existed between covenant and conflict to cause that which was dry to come together, cause that which dead to come to life, and cause that which was divided to be united once more. Oh dear brother, dear sister—you might find yourself in that place between the covenant [promise] and the conflict, yet it is in that place of the valley where the Lord deals with all that is dead and dry within your life, thus causing it to come to life, and deals with that which is divided, thus causing it to be united together once more.