Can These Dry Bones Live Again?

Can These Dry Bones Live Again?

Tuesday’s Column: Dale Mail 

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Dale Pollard

Six hundred years before Christ would make His providential appearance, a righteous man finds himself in captivity. While exiled, Ezekiel was able to witness the spirit of God in a very intimate way (Ezekiel 1). Even so, he was still living under the thumb of the Babylonians like every other Israelite with him. While under these unideal circumstances though, he is privileged to see awe inspiring visions from God. Have you ever paid attention to the eerie sensations described throughout this book? In Ezekiel 1:4, the prophet feels a great and stormy wind on the bank of the river Chebar. The wind brings with it a massive cloud with fire flashing around it and a substance like glowing metal in the center of it. The wings of the creatures he saw (verse 24) made sounds like that of roaring waters. The voice of the Almighty was like the sound of a great army camp. What sights he was able to see! This great connection to God didn’t take away his pain or sorrow, though.

Chapter 19 is one long lament as Ezekiel cries over his hard-hearted Israelite brothers. Why won’t they listen to him? Even after Ezekiel performs some radical visual illustrations like eating his bread over dung and laying on his side for an entire year, they won’t respond to the “invitation.” How frustrating is that, preachers? God never abandons His faithful servant but His confused prophet is still left to wonder what God is going to do about the mess which makes up his reality. A familiar feeling for many faithful Christians today.  

Never underestimate the hand of the Almighty. This truthful statement can be pulled from Ezekiel 37, when the prophet is taken up and then placed in the middle of a dark valley. Ezekiel is surrounded on all sides by heaps of dry human bones and he’s probably wondering why in the world God has taken him to such a place. The text answers the question by asking a question. God speaks to Ezekiel and says, “Can these dry bones live again?” What an odd thing to ask. However, Ezekiel responds, “Only you know, oh Lord.”

It’s always when we’re deep in the valleys of life that we’re forced to answer the difficult questions about God’s abilities. When we’re surrounded by darkness, the question we have to ask is, “Does God have the power to see me through this?” If you remember, Ezekiel has become frustrated with the fact that Israel just won’t listen to him or Him. He’s lost hope in their ability to change— they’re just too far gone. However, God demonstrates to His prophet in a dramatic way that NOTHING is impossible for Him. 

He doesn’t bring the bones to life in the blink of an eye, but we know He could have. Instead, He allows Ezekiel to hear those bones rattle and to hear the sounds of fibers and flesh sticking together. He wanted to leave an impression on Ezekiel to demonstrate the might of the Almighty. Ezekiel had no idea how those bones came to life, but he knew one thing for certain. God did it. You may not understand why God has allowed you to enter your valley, but you can be certain that He has the power to see you through. You are standing on your two feet because God has given you the strength to do so. God has promised His faithful servants a heavenly light at the end of our tunnels and whatever God says— He will always accomplish (Ezekiel 37:14). 

If We Treated Sin Like Covid…

If We Treated Sin Like Covid…

  • We’d socially distance from those who might expose us to it (1 Cor. 15:33)
  • We’d understand its potentially deadly nature (Jas. 1:14; Rom. 6:23)
  • We’d want to do what we could to be protected from it (Acts 2:38)
  • We’d try to warn everyone to take precautions against it (Luke 24:46-47)
  • We’d listen to the experts (2 Tim. 3:16-17)
  • We would avoid its “hot spots” (Rom. 13:12-14)
  • We wouldn’t want to expose those we care about to it (Luke 17:1)
  • It would completely affect our habits and routine (1 Pet. 2:11)

–Neal Pollard

Bitterness Illustrated 

Bitterness Illustrated 

Tuesday’s Column: Dale Mail

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Dale Pollard

A doll given to a little girl becomes ill, and the girl instantly takes on the role as doctor. In her mind she decided the doll was sick, and in her mind she will decide when the doll will be healed. If only it were that easy when it comes to feelings of bitterness. Remember, no matter how long you nurse a grudge, it will never get better.
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It takes a saltwater oyster anywhere from five to twenty years to create a pearl. The longer the pearl remains inside the oyster, the larger the pearl. Think about that. This creature will take a small grain of sand and transform it into a gorgeous pearl. Too often we can be guilty of doing the opposite. We take pearls and turn them into sand! Bitterness has a way of taking our beautiful lives and transforming them into something miserable.
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It has been said that when a rattlesnake is cornered it can become so angry that it will actually bite itself. What a graphic illustration of what happens to the one who harbors hate against another. When we lash out we think we are hurting someone else— but in the end we’ve only poisoned ourselves.
In some cases it can be a challenging, But life is far sweeter when we learn to let go of bitterness!
•Ephesians 4:31-32
•Matthew 6:14-15
•Leviticus 19:18
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