"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, And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest. Again he said unto me, 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. So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them. Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army. 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 for our parts. Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD." (Ezekiel 37:1-14)
Many biblical scholars believe The Valley of dry Bones is an allegory or a prophetic vision of the future and not an actual reference to a place. It is at the very least an illustration concerning the Jewish people and the entire nation of Israel. The dry bones are a depiction their spiritual deprivation and their future restoration prophetically mentioned throughout scripture.
The Jewish people’s spiritual restoration is likened to a reconstruction of a physical human body. These Biblical passages describe, piece by piece, this restoration process, even down to the ligaments and sinews connecting bones together with flesh to cover them above this inner handiwork.
This allegory or Old Testament Parable is a picture of, foremost, the salvation and restoration of Jewish people prophesied yet to come in the end times. Secondly, this paints a picture in of New Testament times of the salvation process of human souls, whosoever shall believe, in Jesus Christ by faith.
The apostle Paul, the apostle God called to witness specifically to the Gentile people, was himself knocked down in fright and greatly humbled as he came face to face with his own “dry bones existence” traveling along the Damascus Road.
Paul’s weary and wicked existence, in extreme opposition to God, was straightway transformed and filled into a spiritual filled presence used to further His gospel. Paul’s extraordinary salvation paints a wonderful picture; going from a heap of spiritual dry bones lying upon the roadway, with a wounded spirit who had bruised and battered God’s own children, affectionately scooped up in the strong arms of a loving God and made of great use in the Holy plans of the lord for His glory.
Salvation is possible in a person who has come to the end of themselves and seeing their need for the authority of god, lying prostrate, broken in spirit and in a heap of dry bones, in front of God’s holy and illuminating presence. Often people are drawn, haggard, wasted from continuing to struggle and exist without any spiritual fuel energizing this meager existence. Literally they have wasted away to a broken existence like dry bones. Salvation is a lifesaving infusion of Calvary’s blood injected into those bones. It is the presence forever more of the Holy Spirit, who brings fullness of joy which lasts forever more; overflowing into every aspect of one’s life.
A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones. Proverbs 17:22
Those who have received this life-giving infusion of new life through faith in Jesus Christ are different than those who have chosen to live and serve the god of this world. Any person living in this new life with Christ should have a merry heart and joy unspeakable, a melody instilled within their heart on a continuous loop, not a somber, dry, dreary existence, without hope, as many unsaved persons living for the world often outwardly display. Without this inoculation of the Holy Spirit through salvation there is no hope found living in a futile existence in this world. There is no hope for the future without the heart knowledge of a promise of eternal life waiting in heaven.
A Christian, who has settled the matter of eternity, should be the most joyful, peaceful, exuberant, lively persons on this earth. Going to church, working or sharing space alongside or living with a Christian should not be a downcast, dreary, hopeless existence like many desperate and futile homeless living under a bridge or along a street, or attending a funeral of a friend or relative who never believed in Jesus Christ. Joy should be present in any circumstance a Christian finds himself in.
Everlasting joy is what many Jewish people, returning to their homeland in Israel, will find upon their hearts, as the Lord returns making their salvation complete.
“And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall OBtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.”
Just as the Jewish people will be filled with everlasting joy as they return unto their land of promise one day; those of us who have salvation in the Lord today should have that unspeakable and wonderful joy living inside our heart. Any affliction or towering wave of trials we come across can be an avenue filled with joy and eternal perseverance when walking alongside God.
If you, Christian, find yourself continually dreary and down in the dumps, becoming dry in the bones; you must ask yourself if you harboring sin and disOBedience in your walk with Christ. The Christian life is meant to be filled with joy overflowing. Have you placed distance between yourself and God because of sin in your life?
If you are missing joy, a key ingredient of the Christian life the place to start is within your own heart.
For Further Consideration:
Read Psalm 51: 1-12 and consider how David poured His heart out to the Lord in repentance, confession, and sorrow over his sin. In verse twelve David then prays to have the joy of his salvation restored.
Is this the “holy remedy” for your present sad and sorrowful heart condition?
"Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit." (Psalms 51:12)