READ: Ezekiel 37-38
THINK: Do you ever feel like a part of you has died? Maybe you've experienced a heartbreaking loss, a devastating failure or a seemingly insurmountable setback. Perhaps you felt that God gave you an opportunity that you missed miserably or a dream that's been shattered because you've blown it spiritually. At this point it may seem that nothing could reignite your inspiration or revitalize your dream. You may not think much about it any more because you've given up hope of ever reclaiming that lost purpose. But the God who breathes new life into dry dead bones can revive your dreams and bring renewed purpose to every aspect of your life. As long as you entrust your life to the Lord and His Spirit is in you, hope is never lost and His ultimate dreams for you never die.
RESPOND: What do the dry bones represent (37:11), and why were they lifeless? (See 37:1-14 note.) In what two ways, or stages, was the "house of Israel" brought back to life? (See 37:1-14 note, subpoints 1 & 2.) How is this account of Israel's and Judah's restoration similar to the creation account in Genesis 2:7? What hope did this vision provide, and what would people realize when it was fulfilled (37:11-14)? What enables God's people to live again (37:14)? When was Israel's restoration partially fulfilled, and when will it be completely fulfilled? (See 37:12-14 note.) What does Ezekiel illustrate by joining two sticks into one (37:16-23)? (See 37:16-23 note.) What does God mean, "My servant David will be king over them, and they will have one shepherd" (37:24)? (See 37:24 note.) Why was the coming Messiah called "David"? (See 37:24 note.) What would Gog of Magog attempt to do, and what would result? (See 38:1-23 note.) Why would God allow the attack, and what would He prove in the end (38:16)?
PRAY: Give thanks for God's life-restoring power. Thank the Father for sending Jesus to restore your relationship with Him. Thank Him for the ultimate hope and victory He gives to all who entrust their lives to Him.
ACT: Is there an aspect of your spiritual life or purpose that you feel is dry or dead? Perhaps you've been unfaithful in some way and now feel that you've lost or forfeited something God intended for you. Ask God to forgive you for any lack of obedience and faith. Then do everything you know He's told you to do. Trust Him to renew your purpose, not because you deserve it, but for the sake of His own honor.
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