In Ezekiel 37, Israel was in a state of captivity and isolation. They had lost their home, their status as a nation, and most disheartening, their relationship with Yahweh. Words used to describe the nation of Israel at that time were desolate, dark, and according to this passage, dry bones. Israel was but a skeleton of its former self. They had inherited the promised land, but wasted it away. They were called to be a light to the world but instead ended up reflecting the darkness around them. And, they were distant from God, who longed to draw near them.
Yet, God told the prophet to prophesy that the bones would rise to life. God would raise those bones to life through the work of his spirit. "Speak to those bones, Ezekiel, and tell them resurrection will happen." The grave will not win, resurrection will happen. You will not be exiles forever, but will return home.
Why the Valley of Dry bones for a state of the church address? Because the valley of dry bones was able to resurrect only because of God's work through the Holy Spirit. Yesterday, I described to HBC what I believe are smart goals and ideas for HBC to pursue in 2016. But, I must be reminded and we must be reminded that we can accomplish nothing as a church without God's guidance through the Holy Spirit. We must be a church in constant prayer and communion in order to understand God's will for His church. If we do not build this church upon the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the church cannot fulfill its Biblical calling.
More on the blog tomorrow...
Paul is the husband to Tara, father to Natalie and Isaac, has an average jump shot, and enjoys running. His secret wish is to one day become a Jedi Knight. Paul holds a doctorate in marriage and family counseling from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and currently serves as senior pastor of Hardinsburg Baptist Church. Paul desires to help young couples navigate the early crucibles of marriage, especially when one or both of the spouses are engaged in vocational ministry.