Redemption in Ezekiel—37:7-10

So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold, a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to its bone. And I looked, and behold, sinews were on them, and flesh grew and skin covered them; but there was no breath in them. Then 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 come to life.’” So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they came to life and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.

—Ezekiel 37:7-10—


In the previous, second, post, God gave Ezekiel an astonishing command. “Prophesy,” God told Ezekiel, “to the inanimate bones.” This would have, perhaps, been an awe-inspiring commandment coming from the God who fulfills His Word without fail. In the proceeding paragraphs, it can be seen that God did not tarry in His fulfillment of the words He gave to Ezekiel. in fact, Ezekiel hears the fulfillment of the commandment before he’s even done prophesying!

God’s Fulfilled Promise (vv. 7-10)

    1. God, at His Word, immediately fulfills His promise
      • Ezekiel was obedient to God. In v. 7, even while Ezekiel is prophesying, he hears the promise of the Lord being fulfilled. The bones were coming together. The Word of the Lord was coming through the Lord’s prophet and in Ezekiel’s obedience, the promise of vv. 3-6 began to materialize.
    2. The reality of the promise given mirrored to the promise actualized
      • When God gave the promise in the form of a command in vv. 3-6 he was very specific about what would happen. In the earliest stages of promise-fulfillment, the fulfillment of the promise matched exactly that which God had actually said.
      • What does this say about the promises of God? What does this say about the Word of God? Time and time again, in Scripture, we are given examples of God’s Word being fulfilled. And the fulfillment of God’s Word never happens in ways that are different, or even slightly different from that which God had initially promised. This is because reality itself is contingent upon the Word of God. When God speaks, creation hurries to obey. It is embedded in the very constitution of nature that its soul purpose is to glorify its Maker. So, when God speaks, what God speaks actually occurs without fail and without deviation.
    3. V. 9, the breath is the object of Ezekiel’s address
      • In v. 9, attention shifts to the breath (ruwach) which, apparently, can receive the words of Ezekiel’s prophesying. God tells Ezekiel to say, “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they come to life (v. 9).” In v. 14, the Spirit is the instrumental Person in bringing to life “those slain.” And, in John 3:8, Jesus uses the “wind” to allude to the sovereign and ineffable activity of the Holy Spirit. The breath in Ezekiel 37:9 certainly possesses the same characteristics as the wind, which is often used to refer to the Spirit.
      • This says something of the Ezekiel’s vision, namely, that it’s looking forward to a future economy wherein the Spirit is at work drawing God’s people to Himself in a much grander way than He did in the Old Testament. This particular activity of the Spirit is revealed in places like Jeremiah 31:31-34 and v. 14 of our present text and both texts, I believe, have reference to the New Covenant (Rom. 8:9; Titus 3:5).
    4. The obedience of the prophet, and the regeneration of the dead (Rev. 11:11)
      • The breath of life is used elsewhere. In Revelation 11:11, the breath of life revives the fallen prophets. But we should take immediate notice of the behavior of Ezekiel. Ezekiel is a type of Christ and one of the ways in which we are able to tell that is his near-impeccable obedience to God in the context of his prophetic function. He is speaking the Word of God which is the instrument of God in raising many from the dead. This is, indeed, the eschatological place of Christ. Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 4, “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first (v. 16).” It is Christ who shouts forth the Word and commands the dead to rise (Jn. 11:43). Ezekiel is functioning in this capacity here in ch. 37.

So, we have two examples. Both Christ and Ezekiel were immediately obedient to the Word of God. They acted swiftly and earnestly in order to fulfill with Father’s will without asking questions. We could contrast this to places like Moses’ perplexity at the burning bush, or with Peter’s three denials, or even with Thomas’ doubt. We ought to be quick to emulate those in Scripture who demonstrate this kind of obedience. Yet, we know that we will surely fall short of the glory of God, and when this happens, we have a perfect advocate who did perform this kind of obedience

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