The Vision of the Valley of Dry Bones (Ezekiel 37:1-10)
[Describe this] This prophecy was given over 2,500 years ago, and it is being fulfilled in our generation. This prophecy declares that in “the end times” the whole nation (the twelve tribes) will be gathered from the nations of the world.
The Scattering of the Nation
Leviticus 26:33 - “And I will scatter you among the nations, and will draw out a sword after you; and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste.”
Leviticus 26:38 - “And ye shall perish among the nations, and the land of your enemies shall eat you up.”
[Babylonian Captivity - Final Dispersion: A.D. 70] Note again the accuracy of biblical prophecy. This prophecy was made before Israel even entered the land. History shows how they have been scattered, persecuted, and hated. They have been tortured in turn by Nebuchadnezzar, herds of Persians, Alexander, the Romans, Caesars in Russia, and finally, Hitler and Mussolini (over 8,000,000 in Germany). Nationally speaking, they are indestructible (for example: Jonah and the great fish). They are like the bush that burned and was not consumed. God has blessed His nations who have shown kindness to His people (i.e. Britain and America).
The Bible says that the scattered nation will be re-gathered. See Deuteronomy 30:3-4:
“Then the Lord thy God shall return thy captivity and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations where the Lord thy God hath scattered thee. If any be driven out unto the utmost part of heaven, from these will the Lord thy God gather thee, and from there will he fetch thee.”
History and recent events stand as a proof of the literal fulfillment of this prophecy.
Signs of Great Events
In a general sense, we are seeing signs of impending great events. We are not looking for signs, but looking at them:
- An increase in wickedness, wisdom, and travel
- Wars and rumors of wars
- Moral decay
- Racial hatred
- The revival of the Roman Empire (common market)
- The rise of the Northern Confederacy and satellites
- The flourishing of the times
These signs pale in comparison to the momentous events in the Middle East and the revival of the state of Israel. The dry bones are beginning to come together – the sinews and flesh have formed upon the skeleton – the skin, which contains the nation, is holding them together. One thing remains to be done – they need the breath of God. They need a spiritual renewal rather than a political one.
The House of Israel (Ezekiel 37:11-14)
From the passage we learn that these dry bones are the whole house of Israel. They lay in an open valley…the nations of the world…and there are many of them. As Ezekiel prophesied and looked:
- There was a noise among the bones.
- There was a shaking among the bones.
- The bones came together.
- Flesh and sinews covered the bones.
- Skin covered the body.
One thing more remains to be done. They need the breath of God…a spiritual revival. [Express some thoughts on the re-gathering here]
The Two Sticks (Ezekiel 37:15-22)
In Ezekiel 37:16, we see that one stick was to represent Judah, the other Israel. These sticks are joined together in Ezekiel 37:17 (i.e. they became one).
The History Behind the Two Sticks: Let us review history here and see how there came to be two sticks - When King Solomon died, Rehoboam, his son, became king over Israel (the twelve tribes). Solomon had imposed heavy taxes. The people asked for some relief, but instead of decreasing them, he increased them. This caused an insurrection; the result being that the ten northern tribes seceded from the two southern tribes, Judah and Benjamin. This separation exists today.
One hundred and fifty years later, the Assyrians defeated the Northern Kingdom (the ten tribes) and took them away into captivity. These tribes never returned to their own land, but instead were scattered among the nations of the earth. “Speculation as to who they are.” Eighty years after this, Nebuchadnezzar captured Judah (two tribes) and held them as prisoners for seventy years. Then a remnant – some 40,000 of them - returned to Jerusalem and under Zerubbabel, Nehemiah, and Ezra, and built the city. The Jews today are the descendants of these two tribes.
Where are the lost ten tribes? They have been lost in the nations, but at the right time, they will emerge from the nations and return to Palestine under the direction of God.
How near is all this to completion? One can almost see the end. Before the consummation of all, this one great event must take place.
(For the Rapture of the Church, see I Thessalonians 4).