charnel house

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charnel house

Ezekiel 37:1-6 (JDV)

Ezekiel 37:1 The hand of Yahveh was on me, and he brought me out by the Breath of Yahveh and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones.
Ezekiel 37:2 He led me all around them. There were a great many of them on the surface of the valley, and I noticed they were very dry.
Ezekiel 37:3 Then he said to me, “Son of Adam, can these bones live?” I replied, “Lord God, only you know.”
Ezekiel 37:4 He said to me, “Prophesy concerning these bones and say to them: Dry bones, hear the word of Yahveh!
Ezekiel 37:5 This is what the Lord Yahveh says to these bones: notice I will cause breath to enter you, and you will live.
Ezekiel 37:6 I will put tendons on you, make flesh grow on you, and cover you with skin. I will put breath in you so that you come to life. Then you will know that I am Yahveh.”

charnel house

Cobern writes that Ezekiel “passed through this desolation and noticed that every vestige of life had disappeared from the dried-up remains. There was nothing left for even the vultures to feed upon. Long ago every skeleton had been cleaned by the jackals’ teeth and the broken parts scattered far and wide. The bones were many and they were very dry. The valley was a charnel house, visibly displaying the absolute victory of death over life. Then came the question from heaven, ‘Can these bones live?'” (197).

The prophet rightly answered that only the Lord God knew.

Before any of us can hope for restoration and revival, we have to come to a revelation of who we are without God. We are bones in a building filled with dry bones: a charnel house. God knows that he can revive us, but he is waiting for us to realize that we cannot revive ourselves. If new life is to come, it must come from outside our egos and programs and traditions.

LORD, we know what we are. Only you know what we can be. Revive us, O Lord!


Cobern, Camden M. Ezekiel and Daniel. New York: Methodist Book Concern, 1901.

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About Jefferson Vann

Jefferson Vann is pastor of Piney Grove Advent Christian Church in Delco, North Carolina. You can contact him at marmsky@gmail.com -- !
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