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Thursday, December 2, 2021

Spiritual Outlook: Dry, not dead

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We often find excitement in the revival of the bones found in Ezekiel 37:1-10. Yet I want to look at the text of verse 4 a little closer. It says: “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!’”

After bringing Ezekiel to the valley of dry bones, the Lord asked Zeke, “Can these bones live?” Ezekiel gave the expected spiritual answer: “Lord, You know.” I believe if he gave an honest human answer — “I don’t know” — God still would have moved. Whether we say yes, no or maybe so, God’s will will be done, with or without us. How do you answer God when presented with questions of restoration and transformation, especially in an unfamiliar situation?

Walking through a valley of dry bones was an unfamiliar situation for Zeke. Still, after he answered the Lord, he was instructed to prophesy to the bones. Wait, what? Yep, you heard correctly. Ezekiel was instructed to prophesy to the bones. There had to have been some part of the bones with enough awareness to receive and comprehend the word of the Lord. They were dry, not dead.

This is the place of a closer look at verse 4, that can be correlated to plant life. Lots of people have become plant enthusiasts. When a plant is droopy or dry, the plant is not deemed dead. They simply act accordingly by watering it. Some people also talk to their plants, telling them they were glad about their growth and congratulating them when they have plant babies. The plant enthusiasts in my family are good at that. They speak life into their plants because they are dry, not dead. They speak life because they know the power of words.

Do you realize the power of your words? Proverbs 18:21 tells us death and life are in the power of the tongue. That’s why we have to be quick to hear and slow to speak. Our responsibility is to do like Zeke did and speak life!

Oh, the irony that the bones couldn’t hear. But because they were dry, not dead, they could respond to the word of life that went forth from God through the prophet. What word and whose voice have you been responding to?

Yes, we are almost in the final quarter of the year, but you can still speak and respond to life. You don’t have to give up on that dream or opportunity, that relationship, business or the heart desire only you and God know about. Just because it hasn’t been realized doesn’t mean you count it out.

It’s dry, not dead.

I ask you like God asked Zeke: Can that dream live? Can that opportunity live? Can that business live? Can that relationship live? Can that heart desire live? Be audacious in your answer and by faith declare: Yes it can. It may be barely hanging on, but there is more. There is more power and more purpose. It’s dry, not dead. Speak life and give it a chance! Give you a chance! Give God a chance!

Rae Karim, formerly chapel director at Christian Theological Seminary, is now pastor at First Christian Church of Honolulu. She can be reached at pastoraefcc@gmail.com.

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