God Brings Us to the Valley
‘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. 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. And He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” So I answered, “O Lord God , You know.”’
I want to bring out a couple thoughts here. First it says the Hand of the Lord came upon me. Have you ever felt the Hand of the Lord come upon you? I dare say you have and you were prompted to do something you never thought you would normally do as an act of kindness, or went a direction you wouldn’t normally go just because it was the leading of the Hand of the Lord. Then when you got done doing what you felt you were supposed to do, or going a different direction to where you were supposed to go, you found out the impact that was made in the situation you were obedient to in following the leading of the Lord. Many times in Ezekiel, you read, “the hand of the Lord came upon me…” and he was given a word to speak to the “House of Israel,” or told to do a certain thing.
When you feel the Hand of the Lord, or the leading of the lord in your life, be faithful to obey. I know I have felt the hand of the Lord many times in my life. On one such occasion it was to turn left at an intersection I was set on going straight at. Had I gone straight, I may not be married to the most wonderful woman in the world, for me that is, that I am today. After 30 years of marriage to my first wife, LOL, only wife, I look back and think what would have happened had I gone straight that night and not turned.
So we find the Hand of the Lord, through the Spirit, the Holy Spirit, brought Ezekiel out into a valley full of bones. Why in the world would he bring Ezekiel into a valley full of bones. Bones represent death and decay, the physical representation of what was once alive now is dead, and there is no life there. Sometimes God brings us to a place we thought was dead. There was no life there and no hope for life and we grumble and complain. We ask God, “Why have you brought us to this place? What did we do to deserve being here? How is there anything good going to come by being in this place?
First let me remind you about what James says in chapter 1, vs 2 – 4, about the valley. 2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. WHAT!!!! Count it all joy? You mean I have to go through this trial and count it as joy while going through this time? What is joyful about going through this in my life. There is nothing joyful or pleasant about this experience and I don’t want to be here. We stop at the count it all joy part when we are brought to the valley, or trial or whatever we are going through at that time and don’t read the rest, or definitely do not want to read the rest.
There is another aspect we need to think of here and that is what it says in verse 19 and 20 and that is this: 19 So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; 20 for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. When we are quick to hear the voice of the Lord, regardless of the trial we are going through, we will be out of the trial quicker than if we grumble and complain. Our words have power. Proverbs 18:21, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” If we are quick to speak grumblings and cursing’s, we will remain longer in the trial than if we are quick to hear the word of the Lord. Our words have both creative and permissive power. By what we say we either create a positive or negative circumstance to happen, or give permission to the situation. You cannot convince me things happens by coincidence. There is no coincidence with God. He knows you from your mother’s womb. He knows you from the beginning of time. He knew what was going to happen, when it was going to happen and why it had to happen, and He didn’t fall off his throne when it did happen. It didn’t take him by surprise. The outcome is in our ears and mouth, and he knows what the outcome will be.
I have come to believe there is a perfect will of God and there is a permissive will of God. The perfect will of God is the plan he put in place for us from the beginning of time. The permissive will of God is what we do with that plan. Ultimately, He will bring about what he intended for us, but we have to go through some things along the way. Now I know I may get some comments here about why did God allow this to happen in my life? What good can become of it? I don’t understand why things happen to people the way they do. I don’t understand the suffering people go through. However, may I submit to you that your trial and how you overcame the trial in spite of your circumstances will be the motivation to give another who may be going through the same or similar circumstance hope in knowing there is light at the end of the tunnel. If we listen to the voice of the Lord, and speak life, as hard as it is to do in the middle of the trial, we will get through it quicker than if we grumble and complain.
Finally, God asks Ezekiel, “Can these bones live?” Ezekiel answered, “O Lord God, You know.” I want to encourage you today not to give up Hope. With every fiber in your being, do not give up Hope for new life in a dead and seemingly dying situation. Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” It takes hope first to bring about faith in our lives. Faith is substance. It is tangible. We can reach out and touch it, but we have to have the hope and believe for it to begin with. Hope is the seed that activates the faith. God knew the answer to the question he asked Ezekiel. In the natural, there is no way for those bones to live, but God doesn’t work in the natural. He works in the Supernatural. Matthew 19:26, ‘“But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”’ There is nothing God cannot do. If this is true, and I know that it is, we can believe God for the impossible. We can believe Him for those dreams we thought were once dead. It is at those moments when we are taken to the valley, and are tempted to give up, the miracle is just waiting on the other side and God has great plans in store.