In today’s final chapter, we get another one of Ezekiel’s fantastic visions, the Valley of the Dry Bones. Probably the most well-known of all, it’s a scene that perhaps conjures up images of Michael Jackson’s epic hit from the eighties, “Thriller”–brittle, lifeless bones suddenly playing percussion together as they clank and rattle throughout the valley, taking shape again as skeletons. This is no horror scene, though. It is an image of Israel coming back to life–God breathing into them new hope for the future.
What we get from Ezekiel today is an image of resurrection. We tend to think of resurrection merely in personal terms and as something that only happens on the other side of death. What we see in the promise of Israel’s return home, however, is an earthy example of God’s power for bringing new life out of seemingly dead-end circumstances. These resurrection witnesses can increase our faith in our own times of desolation and hopelessness.
Also important in today’s final verses is the prophecy that when the exiles return home, it will be as one. There will be no more division between Israel and Judah. When the restoration is complete, they will again take up their role as God’s holy and united people.