Ezekiel Told About a Future Hope
Thank you for continuing this journey of The Gospel Project® for Kids. Last week, Ezekiel saw God’s glory leave the temple in a vision. It seemed like all hope was lost. God had removed the people of Judah from His presence. The exiled people of Judah were eager to blame God for their circumstances. “It’s not fair!” they argued. (See Ezekiel 18:25.) Ezekiel told the people that they were at fault for their exile; their faithlessness had provoked God’s wrath. The people were getting what they deserved. “I take no pleasure in anyone’s death,” God said. “So repent and live!” (Ezekiel 18:32).
God gave Ezekiel a vision of hope. In this vision, God showed Ezekiel a valley of dry bones. The bones represented Israel. Ezekiel prophesied that God would put tendons, flesh, and skin on the bones. He would put breath in them so they would come to life. Ezekiel encouraged the exiles. Apart from God, they were dead. But God was offering them life. He would restore their future. “My dwelling place will be with them,” God said. “I will be their God, and they will be My people” (Ezekiel 37:27).
We too are dead in our sin. (Ephesians 2:1) Sin separates us from God because He is holy. We are apart from God’s presence. But God does not delight in our death. He is patient and wants us to repent and live! The dry bones of Ezekiel’s vision remind us what we are like when we sin. God had a plan for people who sin. Because Jesus came to earth, died, and was raised to life, He has the power to give us eternal life
Ezekiel Told About a Future Hope
God gave Ezekiel another vision. In this vision, God took Ezekiel to a valley. It was lled with bones. The Lord led Ezekiel through the valley. Old, dry bones covered the oor of the valley. They were scattered all over the ground. Then God asked Ezekiel, “Son of man, can these bones come to life?”
Ezekiel replied, “Lord God, only You know the answer to that question.”
God gave Ezekiel some instructions. He said, “Speak to these bones for Me. Say, ‘Dry bones, hear the Lord’s words! This is what God says to these bones: I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. I will put tendons on you, make esh grow on you, and I will cover you with skin. I will give you breath so that you will come to life. Then you will know that I am God.’”
So Ezekiel did what God said. He began to speak to the bones. Suddenly, there was a noise—a rattling sound. Ezekiel looked around. The bones were coming together: bones to bones, tendons to bones, esh over bones, and skin over esh. But there was no breath in the bones.
God said, “Speak to the breath for Me. Say, ‘This is what God says: Breath, come into these bones so that they may live!’ ”
Ezekiel did what God said. He spoke to the breath, and the breath entered the bones. They came to life, and a vast army stood on their feet before Ezekiel.
Then God said to Ezekiel, “These bones are like My people of Israel. The people say that their bones are dry, that they have no hope. I want you to speak to them for Me.”
The people of Israel had been taken from their homes. They were living in another country and serving another king. God’s people were sad. God told Ezekiel what to say to the people of Israel. He told him to say, “This is what God says: I am going to open your graves and bring My people out of them and into the land of Israel. You will know that I am God when I bring you up out of your graves.”
God continued, “I will put My Spirit in you, and you will live. I will make your homes in your own land, and you will know that I am God.”
Another message from God came to Ezekiel. God told Ezekiel to take a stick and write on it: This stick belongs to Judah and his friends, the people of Israel. Then God told Ezekiel to take a second stick. Ezekiel wrote on the second stick: This stick belongs to Joseph and his friends, the people of Israel. The rst stick represented the Southern Kingdom of Judah, and the second stick represented the Northern Kingdom of Israel.
God told Ezekiel to hold the sticks together in one hand so that they would become one single stick. Ezekiel would explain to the people what these sticks meant. God gave Ezekiel these words to say: “This is what God says: I am going to take My people out of the nations where they are living, and I will bring them into their own land. I will make them into one nation—no longer divided into two kingdoms, the Northern Kingdom and Southern Kingdom.”
Then God said, “My people will not worship idols anymore and make themselves unholy. I will save them from the things that have caused them to sin, and I will make them clean. They will be My people, and I will be their God.”
God planned to give His people a new king—someone who would both rule over the people and act as their shepherd, guiding them in the ways they should go. Then the people would obey God’s laws.
“My people will live in the land I gave to their ancestors. They will live there forever. Their children will live there forever. Their children’s children will live there forever. Never again will they be taken away from their land. The prince I am sending will be their prince forever.”
God said He would make a covenant of peace with His people, and this covenant would last forever. “I will be with them,” God said. “I will be their God, and they will be My people. Then everyone will know that I am the Lord.”
Christ Connection: God showed Ezekiel a valley of dry bones. The dry bones remind us what we are like when we sin. God had a plan for people who sin. Because Jesus came to earth, died, and was raised to life, He has the power to give us eternal life.