Tuesday, October 20, 2020

2020.10.20 Hopewell @Home ▫ Ezekiel 37:11–14

Read Ezekiel 37:11–14

Questions from the Scripture text: What does the Lord call Ezekiel in Ezekiel 37:11? Whom does He say the bones are? What have they been saying about their hope and prospects? How does that relate to the dryness of the bones? What does the Lord tell Ezekiel to do to the bones (Ezekiel 37:12)? In Whose Name is he to speak? What does Yahweh say He will open?  What will He cause them to do? To where will He bring them? What will they then know (Ezekiel 37:13)? What will He put in them (Ezekiel 37:14)? What effect will this have? What does He now call the place where He will place them? What two things will they then know that Yahweh has done? 

Next week’s Call to Worship, Prayer for Help, Song of Adoration, and Prayer of Confession all come from Ezekiel 37:11–14, so that we will see that we are singing God’s thoughts after Him with Revive Thy Work, O Lord.

God’s Word can bring us to the point of despair, if we are understanding it correctly.

Apart from Christ, we have no more life in us than dry, dead bones. Apart from Christ there is no hope whatsoever. Apart from Christ, we ourselves are cut off from God and the life of God (cf. Ephesians 4.18).

One of the great mistakes that people make about themselves is to think that (or feel like) they have life or hope. God’s Word, rightly understood, will remove this illusion.

What is it, then, that gives the dry bones life? In part, it is the living, active, life-giving Word of God in the prophet’s mouth.

But it is not bare preaching of those words that gives life (Ezekiel 37:12aEzekiel 37:13a). This life comes by the preaching of those Words as attended by the power of the Holy Spirit. 

It is God Himself that opens the graves. It is God Himself that raises them up (verse 12b, verse 13b). He puts His Spirit in them (Ezekiel 37:14a). His Spirit makes them live (verse 14b). 

Christianity is a religion of the Bible because it is a life that can only exist or continue by the almighty power of God. 

So on the one hand, if you desire to have Christian life or grow in Christian life,  you will be always in the Bible and especially always sitting under faithful preaching.

And on the other hand, we need to guard against attending upon the Word in a mechanical way, as if merely understanding and implementing it can produce life in us. Rather we should attend upon the Word looking to God the Holy Spirit to work life in us by His resurrection power, and expecting that He will do so.

With what mindset and expectations do you read the Bible or sit under faithful preaching?

Suggested songs: ARP1 “How Blessed the Man” or TPH413 “Revive Thy Work, O Lord”

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