Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Hope for America - Part II: Picking the Bones

History repeats itself, sure.  Man will create the same "pool of cess" again and again and again and again... 

Prophecy repeats itself too.  The God of boundless mercy will come through again and again and again and again...

Downstream from our 8/27 post---about hope for revival in our nation---we come to a valley full of bones.  Oh, we've visited this valley before.  It figures from time to time in trite little pep talks about recovering our spiritual "get up and go"---whatever that may be.  We hear the bones emit a feeble rattling that sounds something like "Rah! Rah!", only to clatter back to earth exhausted by the effort.

But, hey!  God really meant it.  He took a Major Prophet to visit the valley and deliver a personal prophecy.  One that echoes down the tunnels of time announcing hope beyond hope to the dismembered people of God in generations past, future, and present.

Why not revisit Ezekiel 37 and pick through these bones in their Scriptural order?  And as you do, may God put the puzzle together in your own spirit and add flesh to it.   

- In a Valley.  They had descended to their death.

- Very Many.  Untold potential had met untold defeat.

- Very Dry.  A long, slow process---losing every trace of the fluids of life.  Picked over by scavengers. For years.  For a lifetime.  Many, many lifetimes.

- Son of Man, Can These Bones Live?  God solicits a human evaluation.

- Lord, Thou Knowest.  The only source of hope would be a miracle.

- Prophesy!
   (a) God does nothing but He prefaces it with prophecy.
   (b) He speaks the impossible into being.
   (c) He awakens hope where there was none.
   (d) He challenges us to take notice of our hopeless state
        so His glory is evident when it changes.

- Noise and Rattling.  God begins to get our attention.

- Dismembered Skeletons Come Together.  Reconciliation among believers who had drifted apart.

- Sinews, Flesh.  Teams begin to form around goals and objectives that God is birthing in them.

- Skin.  Suddenly, the body has integrity.  A sense of identity.

- Prophesy That the Breath May Come.  The Spirit had departed and was at work elsewhere---the Four Winds.  At His people's call, He returns and brings Life.

- They Stood.  Up and ready to act.

- An Army.  The prophet recognized the multitude as an army.  He must have noticed their armor.  And their mighty weapons.

- Exceedingly Great.  This army exceeds expectations.  Exceeds man's hope and imagination.  What hath God wrought!

- My People Say, "Our Bones Are Dry, Our Hope Is Lost!"  Sounds like the church in America.  Anything God ever did is in the past, and there it'll stay.

- "And We Ourselves Are Cut Off."  It seems Humpty Dumpty has fallen, and not even God Himself can put us back together again.

- "I Will Open Your Graves and Cause You to Emerge."  Don't forget...bones...dead.  But, God is the God of resurrection.  Death doesn't bother Him.

- "And Bring You Back to Your Land."  What purposes and destinies does God still have for the Church in America?  Has His arm become short, that it cannot bring them to pass?

America is a graveyard of disconnected splinter denominations---relics of revivals long forgotten.  Even these groupings have fallen apart.  Even the churches within them are in disarray.  All very dead, very dry in God's perspective.  But when they come back by His sovereign move, it will be as a single army.  An Exceedingly Great Army!

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Brad! Have you heard from Steve lately? :)
    Took me six months to get back on here...
    I see it took you a couple, too. Reading through,
    I think we had to settle some of the same stuff. Love you!

    ReplyDelete