Scary Stories #1 The Zombie Army Ezekiel 37:1-14
October 10, 2021
SCARY SCRIPTURES #1
THE ZOMBIE ARMY
The Bible is full of stories of the dead coming back to life and here’s the scariest one. God takes Ezekiel by the hand and drops him off in a valley filled with human bones. And Ezekiel is actually someone God likes. The floor of the valley as far as he could see was littered with dry bones. A tragedy, to be sure. A battle? A massacre? A natural disaster? Some terrible plague that wiped out an entire nation? It almost didn’t matter. So many bones. So much death. God tells Ezekiel to give the command and all of sudden, the bones start moving and slithering towards him. They come together: bone to bone, sinew, muscle, skin and then life. They stand…in unison…a great zombie army!
When we jump into this vision directly without the historical context, we lose the fact that the Babylonians had been torturing and besieging the residents of Jerusalem for two years. They destroyed the temple and the city, killed most of the inhabitants, and forced the rest to relocate to Babylon. Ezekiel is writing this in Babylonian captivity, the hope of himself a prominent priest of Israel (like his father before him) is gone. Ezekiel is a man in trauma, speaking to a community in trauma.
So, when God asks him of these bones can live…I think Ezekiel had probably asked himself the same question “Can I live through this?” Can we, as a people survive this?”
We know this valley represents the nation of Israel and is a tragic picture of the Lord’s churches today. In many ways we are like the religious leaders of Jesus’ day, Matthew 23:27, “whited sepulchres…beautiful outward…but within filled with dead men’s bones, and all uncleanness.” Or even like the church of Sardis in Revelation 3:1, “…a name that thou livest, and art dead.” Maybe it even describes you or your relationships. Sometimes, we can experience some VERY, very dry times.
We have to ask ourselves the question, “CAN THESE BONES LIVE?” Notice the desperate condition they were in…
1. They were in the valley and not on the mountain.
2. They were dry, indicating that they had been lying around a while.
3. They were in an “open valley” where all who wanted could view them.
What does it take to keep us as God’s people from becoming like these dry bones? How can we live?
1. IT TAKES UNITY vs. 7, Psalm 133, John 17:20-21,
1 Corinthians 12:18-22
Note: These bones are scattered about all over this large valley. They were not connected, they had no direction, and they were all unrecognizable as skeletal remains (he saw bones, not skeletons). The only way to salvage them was to unify them.
A. Unity is Delightful Psalm 133 good and pleasant
B. Unity is Desirable
1. from the Lord
2. for everyone—no one wants to live in chaos
C. Unity is Dependent—you must secure UNITY
2. IT TAKES USEFULNESS vs. 8, Mark 5:18-19, 1 Chronicles 28:9, 2 Corinthians 8:12
Note: The dry bones were absolutely useless. They needed something more than just unity—they needed muscles and flesh to move them. We not only need unity, but we need to be useful in the Lord’s work. What does it take to be useful?
A. Usefulness Starts Where You Are—man of Gadara wanted to travel with Jesus but Jesus needed him to start at home
B. Usefulness Starts in Your Heart—availability >ability
C. Usefulness Begins with what you have and not with what you don’t have
Those bones had lain in that valley for some time, just as you might have been laying out on the Lord for a long time. If God put them together and made them useful, He can also unify us and make us useful.
3. IT TAKES UNCTION vs 10, 1 John 2:20, John 14:15-17,
Note: Those very dry bones needed much more than just unity and usefulness. They needed empowering. They needed life more abundantly. Only when they received this unction did they become an exceeding great army.
ILL. – A car that is fully assembled needs much more than just all the pieces. It needs gas. We need to have a holy unction today: 1 John 2:20. This speaks of the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Just as the people were anointed in the OT for the work of the Lord (priest, kings, etc.), we too are anointed with the Holy Spirit.
A. This anointing has already been received. John 14:15-17. On the day of Pentecost, the church @ Jerusalem was immersed in the Holy Spirit. That same immersion has passed down to our church
B. This anointing glorifies Christ: John 16:12-14. This unction will not lead to self-glorying, but to Christ glorying.
C. This anointing will lead us to be more charismatic in our labors. This means that we will have charisma or excitement that will attract others.
Remember, rejecting this message was what made Israel a valley of dry bones!
Accepting this message will keep us from becoming a valley of dry bones.
Remember, the world is watching us…AN OPEN VALLEY…for all to see…what will they see from us?