Read Ezekiel 37
Focus on verse 22
As I listen to the media and read news headlines lately, it seems that the United States is not exactly living up to her name. Sadly, most often it sounds more like The Divided States of America would be a more fitting title. The lines of division are multiple and complex as people take sides on issues pertaining to nearly every facet of life; politics, religion, race, morality, you name it…somewhere on social media people are getting angry and offended.
It makes me wonder what kind of leader it will take to bring all these factions together? Or will it take another disaster like 9-11 or worse to bring us to our senses? What I find most disturbing is that some of the loudest and most opinionated voices I have heard seem to be unconcerned with whether or not the information they are regurgitating is actually true or not…as long as it fits their particular narrative!
Today’s reading begins with Ezekiel describing another nightmarish vision in which he is transported to valley full of human bones. God instructs him to speak to the bones and as he does they begin to move around and reconnect forming skeletons that regrow muscle and skin and ultimately come back to life. God then tells him that this is what He will do with the nation of Israel. He will bring them back from where they have scattered and put His Spirit in them so that they know that He is the Lord.
In the second half of the reading Ezekiel is instructed to take two sticks and write “for Judah” on one stick, and “for Joseph” on the other. Then he is to join then together in one hand so that they become one stick in his hand. God then explains how He will reunite the divided kingdoms of Israel back into one kingdom.
And I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. And one king shall be king over them all, and they shall be no longer two nations, and no longer divided into two kingdoms. (v. 22)
As I reflect on this my mind returns to the divided state of America and what it might take to unify such a diverse group of people. The conclusion I reach is that it would take a similar intervention of God to breath life into the dry bones that we have become spiritually. It would take a leader with the boldness of Ezekiel to speak life back into these bones – one that is not intimidated by angry naysayers or seemingly impossible visions. Ultimately our hope – like Ezekiel’s – is not in a man or woman who leads in the church or marketplace, but in God who continues to reign supreme regardless of the outcome.