09/23/12 Holy Spirit Breathe on Me!

Posted by Pastor Steve Siegrist on Tuesday, September 25, 2012 Under: Sermon
Text: Ezekiel 37:1-14 (NKJV)

1 The hand of the LORD came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. 2 Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. 3 And He said to me, "Son of man, can these bones live?" So I answered, "O Lord GOD, You know." 4 Again He said to me, "Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, 'O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! 5 Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: "Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. 6 I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the LORD." 7 So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there was no breath in them. 9 Also He said to me, "Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live." 10 So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army. 11 Then He said to me, "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They indeed say, 'Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!' 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. 13 Then you shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves. 14 I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken it and performed it," says the LORD.

“Having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever.” 1 Peter 1:23

Illustration: Creation

On the first day, God created the dog and said, "Sit all day by the door of your house and bark at anyone who comes in or walks past. For this, I will give you a life span of twenty years." The dog said, "That's a long time to be barking. How about only ten years and I'll give you back the other ten?" And God saw it was good.

On the second day, God created the monkey and said, "Entertain people, do tricks, and make them laugh. For this, I'll give you a twenty-year life span." The monkey said, "Monkey tricks for twenty years? That's a pretty long time to perform. How about I give you back ten like the dog did?" And God, again saw it was good.

On the third day, God created the cow and said, "You must go into the field with the farmer all day long and suffer under the sun, have calves and give milk to support the farmer's family. For this, I will give you a life span of sixty years." The cow said, "That's kind of a tough life you want me to live for sixty years. How about twenty and I'll give back the other forty?" And God agreed it was good.

On the fourth day, God created humans and said, "Eat, sleep, play, marry and enjoy your life. For this, I'll give you twenty years. "But the human said, "Only twenty years? Could you possibly give me my twenty, the forty the cow gave back, the ten the monkey gave back, and the ten the dog gave back; that makes eighty, okay?" "Okay," said God, "You asked for it." So that is why for our first twenty years, we eat, sleep, play and enjoy ourselves. For the next forty years, we slave in the sun to support our family. For the next ten years, we do monkey tricks to entertain the grandchildren. And for the last ten years, we sit on the front porch and bark at everyone.

Life has now been explained to you. There is no need to thank me for this valuable information. I'm doing it as a public service. If you are looking for me, I will be on the front porch.

Intro: Some will rise again!

Try to imagine living in a time when everyone you know family, friends are all imprisoned. Ezekiel comes along during a time in history when his family his people the Israelites are in captivity, a captivity that they brought upon themselves. During this very trying time Ezekiel a true man of God in every aspect is given a vision from God. In this vision Ezekiel the prophet sees this valley covered with a layer of bones, as if an army had been massacred there. It is a picture of Israel - dead and dismembered by defeat and dispersion.

The Lord puts the question to Ezekiel: ‘Son of man, can these bones live?’ So I answered, "O Lord GOD, You know." The future of this man and his concern for his nation is in the hands of God. The situation is beyond human help. Only God can make these bleached and crumbling bones rise to form an army again. Only God can resurrect his people Israel and restore to them their land and temple.

The Lord commands Ezekiel to prophesy to the bones: to tell them that God will reconstitute them into skeletons, clothe them with muscles and flesh, put breath in them and bring them to life! Ezekiel does so. As he watches, the bones come together and are formed into corpses, but the army is still lifeless.

God commands Ezekiel with the power of the spirit to bring back to this deadness and lifelessness the spirit of God. Ezekiel summons the breath to inspire the dead - and the mighty army springs to life! This is the power of God’s word and Spirit, in partnership with the faith and obedience of his prophet.

Israel will rise again, at the word of the Lord. The God who brought creation into being by his powerful word will restore his people to their life and land.

Application: The Lord can give life to dried up bones.

Could one say our country is dead, dismembered and defeated? Is it possible we can reconstitute the skeletons in our country, clothe them with muscles and flesh and put breath back into them? I am not saying that everyone hear is dried bones, on the contrary. But the application today points to all who hear the word of the Lord and bring to life their calling must allow the wind of God to blow through those bones that are lifeless!

1. Dry Bones:

This is a picture of a dead nation lifeless, scattered, and bleached, just as a dry tree: “And all the trees of the field shall know that I, the LORD, have brought down the high tree and exalted the low tree, dried up the green tree and made the dry tree flourish; I, the LORD, have spoken and have done it." Ezekiel 17:24

The Lord can dry up or live up! Yes that is exactly the way I wanted to say that! Are you dried up? Or alive? The nation of Israel chose to continue to decay; they became fruitless dead to God, no willingness to turn from sin and self and toward God! If we do not confess of our sin, our God will not forgive us as individuals or as a nation and are unrighteousness will turn into a valley of dried up bones. Our God is faithful and just, but we must turn or burn.

Illustration: (Roundup) kills the roots, Guaranteed! Weed and grass killer. Visible results in 6 hours. Active ingredients: Glyphosate, isopropylamine salt, Pelargonic acid and related fatty acids.

OSN (Old Sin Nature) kills the walk with God, Guaranteed! Christian Fellowship killer. Visible results immediately. Active ingredients: inactive heart for God, worldliness, self-centeredness, immature, stunted growth in life of vessel.

The dried bones represent carnality, individuals who have given up and no longer know what their fighting for. “We have become old, dry bones - all hope is gone.”

“Can these bones become living people again?”

“O my people, I will open your graves of exile and cause you to rise again.”

What grave of exile are you in? “Holy Spirit breath on ME!” remove the dryness.

2. Live Bones: “The hand of the LORD came upon me.”

7 So I spoke this message, just as he told me. Suddenly as I spoke, there was a rattling noise all across the valley. The bones of each body came together and attached themselves as complete skeletons. 8 Then as I watched, muscles and flesh formed over the bones. Then skin formed to cover their bodies, but they still had no breath in them. 9 Then he said to me, “Speak a prophetic message to the winds, son of man. Speak a prophetic message and say, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come, O breath, from the four winds! Breathe into these dead bodies so they may live again.”

“Driven by his calling!” The scriptures speak of the calling on Ezekiel’s life and how out of an act of obedience and trust in his Sovereign LORD he brings good news to his people: “Speak a prophetic message to these bones and say, ‘Dry bones, listen to the word of the LORD!” Lord send your wind into this valley, bring a breath of life into their souls. He Spoke Gods word the bones began to shake: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20

The scripture speaks of the deadness of Israel and the hopes of a resurrection. “Many of those whose bodies lie dead and buried will rise up, some to everlasting life and some to shame and everlasting disgrace.” Daniel 12:2 (NLT)

Ezekiel was called to bring and proclaim God’s pledge to reassemble the Israelites from the world and restore the nation to life: “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Look! I am going to put breath into you and make you live again!”

So I spoke the message as he commanded me, and breath came into their bodies. They all came to life and stood up on their feet - a great army. We need that army today! An army that takes serious their calling. An army who will take the wind of God and breath life back into the dead bones and bring joy, salvation, hope of God’s love and His plan for you!

Author: George Duffield, Jr. Stand up, stand up for Jesus, Ye soldiers of the cross; Lift high His royal banner, It must not suffer loss: From vict’ry unto vict’ry His army shall He lead, Till ev’ry foe is vanquished, And Christ is Lord indeed. Stand up, stand up for Jesus, The trumpet call obey; Forth to the mighty conflict, In this His glorious day: Ye who are men, now serve Him. Against unnumbered foes; Let courage rise with danger, And strength to strength oppose. Stand up, stand up for Jesus, Stand in His strength alone; The arm of flesh will fail you, Ye dare not trust your own: Put out the gospel armor, Each piece put on with pray’r; Where duty calls, or danger, Be never wanting there. Stand up, stand up for Jesus, The strife will not be long; This day the noise of battle, The next the victor’s song: To him who overcometh A crown of life shall be; He, with the King of glory, Shall reign eternally.

Conclusion: Listen modern day called one! We must not lose heart. There are bones to be shaken, lifeless, dried up, bleached souls that need the word of God to bring them life!

My prayer: Lord send your wind into this valley!

“I will put my Spirit in you, and you will live again and return home to your own land. Then you will know that I, the LORD, have spoken, and I have done what I said. Yes, the LORD has spoken!”

“Having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever.” 1 Peter 1:23

The vision is a vision of restoration, it is a reminder of the resurrection that awaits the live bones, and it is a gift of salvation given to dried bones made a live through the spirit (wind) of God!

The illustration I used to start my message was humorist, I must admit I wasn’t sure I would use it, because I felt it didn’t have anything to do with the text or message, but the more I looked at it the more I realized it does have a lot to do with the message. God created us and wanted us to enjoy life; He didn’t create us to hear us bark all the time, nor for us to monkey around with His plan and our purpose.

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