When God Invades The Boneyard

Bible Book: Ezekiel  37 : 1-14
Subject: Revival; Awakening

There are people who actually have trouble with some of the miracles in the Bible. They believe that some of the miracles did not really (literally) happen. They treat these miracles as some good story to tell, but in reality, they just don’t believe that they actually took place.

I heard about a little boy who came home from Sunday School one day. His mother asked him, “Son, what did the teacher teach you in Sunday School this morning?”

The little boy said, “We were taught the story of how Moses led the Children of Israel out of the land of Egypt and into the Promise Land.”

The mother told him that she would like to hear the story herself. The little boy said, “All right, I will since you want me to. Mom, it is such a simple story … That night Moses got on the radio and he told all the Israelites that they were going to come out of Egypt; They were going to get out that night when the signal was given. So they sent some flares up in the sky as a signal and all the Israelites began their journey out of Egypt. They got in their armor cars and headed out across the desert there. They had airplanes to give them cover, to give them protection. When they came to the Red Sea, there seemed no way to get across and Pharaoh was coming behind them with his tanks. So Moses had to come up with an idea. Moses built a ‘pontoon bridge. When he finished, they started across that bridge. When they got on the other side, Pharaoh and his tanks were following them and crossing that ‘pontoon bridge.’ Moses turned to his people and commanded them that they blow up the bridge. The people obeyed and all the Egyptians drown in the sea. When the bridge covered the last soldier, Moses and his people were safe.”

The Mother looked at her son with a puzzled look and said, “Son, did your teacher really tell you that story that way?”

The little boy said, “Well, not exactly mother. If I told this story to you the way my teacher told it to me - you would never believe it.”

Listen, I believe the miracles of God happened just like the Bible said it happened. Now, in this story that is in front of us - we are not going to deal with the ‘Dividing of the Red Sea’, we are going to look at a Valley of Dry Bones. We are going to see how these bones came together and how they lived.

Let me say again that I believe that God performed miracles in the past; and I believe that God STILL PERFORMS MIRACLES in the present. You see, the same God who, by the Words of His mouth spoke everything that we see into existence, is the unchangeable God that is still alive today.

I don’t think that we need to be reminded that God, who created this world and controls this world, can do anything ‘with’ this world, and ‘for’ this world, and ‘to’ this world, and ‘in’ this world that He chooses to do.

Now, since we believe that God performs miracles in this day and age, there are two basic miracles that need to take place in our Church. (1) - There Is The miracle Of Regeneration. This speaks of sinners coming to know the Lord Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. (This is the greatest miracle of all.) (2) - There Is The miracle Of Revival. This speaks of the saints getting their lives back in order with the Lord. Both of these things are a ‘must’ in our Church.

I believe that story that is before us portray both of these miracles. I believe that this story of Ezekiel standing before the Valley of dry bones helps us better understand that God can still save lost sinners; and He can still revive the Christian and the Church that has allowed the things of God to die out in their life.

Now, before we look at this story, I want you to understand that we will not necessarily be focusing on the miracle (though it was a great miracle) - our attention will be on the Great God, the One who performed and worked this Great miracle.

A miracle is meant to support the Word of God. It never takes attention away from the Word, nor does it draw attention to the miracle itself. A miracle always confirms the Word of the Lord and the Lord of the Word.

Adrian Rogers shared a great insight about miracles when he said: “Miracles done by the hand of God, glorify God, and do not glorify men.”

Here in (Ezekiel 37) we see that God had taken Ezekiel into a strange place. God brought him to a valley. This valley was covered with bones. There had been a tremendous battle that had taken place sometime back - because now there is nothing but bones scattered in this valley.

Ezekiel looks at these bones. I can imagine as he looks to the left and he notices a skull that is lying in a crushed helmet. He then looks to his right and he sees a bony hand that is still gripping a rusty sword. He looks out and he sees that the bones have been picked clean by the birds of the air.

He notices that these bones had been washed by the rains; they had been bleached by the sun. Now they are baked and they are very dry. These bones were scattered out all over the valley.

Ezekiel stands there and looks at this impossible sight. As he stands there and looks on, God begins to speak to him. Notice what the Lord said to Ezekiel in {37:3}- “Can these bones live?”

I believe that when God asked Ezekiel this question, more than likely he was tempted to say, ‘No, that’s impossible.’ But that’s not what he did. Ezekiel made a wise statement: “O Lord God, Thou knowest”. And God did know! God was about to show Ezekiel that indeed those bones could live.

We must understand that the Prophetical interpretation and application is to the Nation of Israel. Notice 37:11, “… these bones are the whole house of Israel.”

This is a prophecy of what God is going to do in the end time as He brings the Nation of Israel from all over the world where they have been scattered in unbelief like “dry bones”.

But I want to look at the practical application. I want us to see in this passage of Scripture how that God brings life from death. We are going to see that God is the God of the impossible. [Let’s look at this wonderful story and think about the day “When God Invaded The Bone Yard.”]

I. The Problem That Defied Human Reasoning

Notice 37:1, 2, “The Hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones.”

Our text indicates that the Prophet Ezekiel was transported by the Lord to an ancient “valley of death”. God gave Ezekiel a Divine Appointment that was neither attractive nor promising. The calling and direction given by God to Ezekiel defied all human reasoning. On the surface, this appointment that God gave Ezekiel didn’t make sense.

We are told that “The Hand of the Lord” and “The Spirit of the Lord” were active in Ezekiel’s life. No one had a more definite call upon their life than Ezekiel. What I would like to do is ask the question; “Why did God put Ezekiel in this strange situation? Why did God give Ezekiel such a difficult situation to face?”

We know for a fact that the Lord never promised Ezekiel a life that would be characterized by ease and comfort.

We are told in Ezekiel 2:3,4, “And He said unto me, Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel, to a REBELLIOUS NATION THAT HAS REBELLED AGAINST ME: they and their fathers HAVE TRANSGRESSED AGAINST ME, even unto this day. {4}- FOR THEY ARE IMPUDENT CHILDREN AND STIFFHEARTED. I do sent thee unto them; and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord.”

God had promised Ezekiel that he would have a congregation that would be filled with rebellious and unreceptive people.

Can you imagine preaching to a congregation like this? There have been times when I wanted to better my ministry. I would want to become a better preacher. I also had a drive to preach (no matter what the situation may have been). I use to go down to the Church and preach to the pews. I received about the same response from the pews as I did from the people that sat in the pews on Sunday and Wednesday.

Vance Havner once said, “Occasionally I would preach in a Church where the look on the faces of the people would curdle milk.”

Think with me for just a moment about the place where God had placed Ezekiel.

A. How Devastating This Was

These Were Dead Bones

The situation that Ezekiel was facing was obvious. All Ezekiel could see were bones in this valley. How devastating this must have been. (1)- They Were Dead Bones! There was no life whatsoever. What was once a great army marching to battle was now just a pile of bones. There was no sign of movement.

These bones represent a life that is alienated from God. These bones represent a person who has chosen to live their life apart from the Lord. They are what the Word of God calls “Spiritually Dead”.

A person without Christ has no life whatsoever. Their body may have physical life - but they are ‘spiritually dead’ on the inside.

Paul tells us in Ephesians 2:1, “And you hath He quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins”

Romans 6:23 states, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life …”

A person whose life is controlled by the things of this world is dead on the inside. Satan does not give a person life - he gives them death. Satan gives ‘death’ to purity - ‘death’ to happiness - ‘death’ to hope.

They Were Dry Bones!

These bones had been in the valley for some time. There was no meat or morrow or moisture on those bones.

Look at 37:2, “there was very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry.”

Look down at 37:11, “Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts.” Up to this point, these bones had no hope of life whatsoever.

I would like to remind you that a person without Christ; a person who lives their life separated from God’s help, is in a “hopeless” state. They may look like they have everything going for them, but they fail to realize that without Christ, they are not living - they are only existing.

They Were Depressed Bones!

We are told in {37:1} that these bones were in the “midst of the valley.” The Bible speaks of valleys as a place of (depression). Valleys are a depressing place. These bones were in a deep, dark, deserted valley. 

People talk about ‘being down in the valley,’ or the ‘valley of sorrows’ or ‘valley of the shadow of death.’

When a person does not know the Lord Jesus Christ; when a person gets away from the Lord and lives their life depending upon self instead of Him - outwardly they may live like everything is going their way, but the reason why they act this way is because they are depressed.

The reason why I say this is because - you watch them when trouble comes their way. Watch them the next time the bottom falls out from under them. Watch them next time they receive bad news concerning a situation that touches their life. They lose their happiness.

No one has Real Joy apart from the Lord Jesus. They may be happy on the outside - but only Jesus can give a person Real Joy. A person may have pleasure on the outside - but only Jesus can give a person Real Peace.

The Word of God teaches us that “There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked”

There were some High School and College students that wrote a paper about life:

* ‘Life is a joke that isn’t even funny’

* ‘Life is a disease; the only cure for it is death’

* ‘Life is a jail sentence that we get for the crime of being born’

The people who do not know the Lord Jesus Christ don’t know what real living is all about. Their life exists only in the valley.

They Were Disjointed Bones!

These bones were scattered all over this valley. The fulfillment of life was nowhere to be found.

What an assignment God had given to Ezekiel. We have no reason to doubt the fact that God had placed him there for a reason. But imagine How Devastating This Was.

B. How Disheartening This Was

Ezekiel saw a dreary valley. He saw a pile of lifeless bones. His heart must have dropped when God placed him in this valley of bones.

I want you to think about something.

Bones Have No Ambition!

Try to discover the purpose, the goals, and the dreams of a pile of bones. Bones cannot execute and carry out plans. Bones don’t have a future. They just have a past. *There is no zeal, no fire, no emotion, no heart, no driving force in a pile of bones.

Bones Have No Awareness!

Ezekiel could have had a heart attack and been at the point of death, but these bones could have cared less. They would not have been aware of the situation. In fact, they were not aware of any situation. Danger could have been approaching them, and they would have just lied there; unaware, unconcerned.

Bones Have No Activity!

More than likely Ezekiel saw some activity in that valley. He probably saw some form of life in creation (grass; lilies; running water). But there was no activity among these bones. There was a smell of some form of life; but there was also a smell of death.

This scene must have been disheartening for Ezekiel. As he looked over those bones, he could think back to a time when those bones did represent ambition. Those bones did represent awareness. Those bones did represent a time of activity.

These bones at one time represented life; represented hope. At one time, these bones represented a bright future. At one time, these bones were vibrant; alive; doing something good. Now look at them. This valley has no activity; no awareness; no ambition.

C. How Discouraging This Was

Look carefully at this scene before us. Ezekiel is the only one who has any form of life. He is the only one who is ready for what lies of head. He is the only one that is listening to the Lord. He is the only one who really cares about what God says and thinks.

Ezekiel stands there alive, but all alone (physically speaking). I can imagine at first the courage that fled from the soul of Ezekiel. God had put him out in the middle of a deep, depressing valley. God told him that it wouldn’t be easy. But more than likely Ezekiel never thought that it would be this bad.

Listen carefully. If Ezekiel had one word to describe the situation that he was in, it would be the word I-M-P-O-S-S-I-B-L-E! This valley of dry bones defied human reasoning. This situation seemed helpless and hopeless.

I believe that you would agree with me that what Ezekiel needed was a miracle. He needed for God to invade this bone yard.

II. The Possibility That Demanded A Holy Response

God had taken Ezekiel to a place of impossibility. God allowed Ezekiel to observe the situation. When he saw this open valley of nothing but dead, scattered bones, I wonder if he was thinking; ‘I don’t know what I am doing here … there is no ray of hope that is shining in this valley’.

In 37:1, 2 Ezekiel has not said a word, he is only an observer. All he knows is that God has placed him where he was. As Ezekiel stood there looking at these bones, about that time, God asks him a question. Look carefully at {37:3}- “Son of man, Can these bones live?”

Can you imagine what went through Ezekiel’s mind as God asked him this question? But keep something in mind - God was not seeking information. These words “Can these bones live” indicates that God was up to something.

Ezekiel was not doing the asking - It was God that was doing the asking. God was letting Ezekiel know that from that moment on - He was going to be in control. Ezekiel’s response was very wise. (This response should help you understand something about how Mighty our God really is). Look at what Ezekiel said - “O Lord God, Thou knowest”

You see, you must understand that God is in control of every situation; no matter how difficult it may seem. When God does the asking, this means He is about to do something.

This Valley of Dry Bones is about to teach us that THERE IS NO PERSON TOO HARD FOR GOD TO SAVE!! This Valley of Dry Bones is about to teach us that THERE IS NO PLACE TOO HARD FOR GOD TO REVIVE!

Now, God tells Ezekiel what to do. God was going to give him the solution. Only God could raise up these bones. Only God had the solution. But God needed Ezekiel to be obedient to His Command. (Notice Ezekiel’s Holy Response.)

A. He Proceeded With A Definite Expectancy

How can a man preach under such conditions? Of all the ridiculous things that Ezekiel had been told to do, this had to rank near the top.

You have to admire Ezekiel. I can see him as he takes a deep breath, and then he begins. (This is what he may have said if God didn’t tell him what to say). ‘Ahem; My dear bones; I’m so happy to see so many of you out and about today. As I stand here before you, I am so thankful that I feel a whole lot better than you look’.

Now we know that this is not what he said. Fortunately God had given him the words to say. The question is still raised. How could Ezekiel expect something great to happen when it seemed there was no life in sight?

The only hope of anything happening in this valley of dry bones is found in; 37:3, “O Lord God, Thou knowest.” The words “Thou knowest” held the key for something great to happen. Ezekiel knew that he couldn’t bring those bones back together - but he did know that only God knew and only God could do something.

There are Christians that see their lost loved ones, their lost friends dying and going to hell. They see them as though they have no hope of ever getting saved. They are in the business of assuming ‘what God cannot do’ instead of believing what God can do.

You see, a faith that depends totally upon God begins to expect something great from God - BECAUSE GOD IS THE GOD OF THE IMPOSSIBLE!

There are some of you who are to the point of actually doubting that God can save your lost loved one. 2)- There may be someone who is praying for family members, or friends to get right with God. The situation doesn’t look real good right now. It seems as if they have no interest in getting things right with God. (The devil has whispered into your ear and has lied to you.)

Satan may be saying to you right now; ‘It cannot be done; they will never get saved. They will never get right with the Lord. They are too far gone to get saved; they are too dry; their heart is too hard. They will never come back to the Lord.’

Your faith must rise above the devil’s lies if you are ever going to expect something great from God. (Ezekiel did not ask the Lord one question. He proceeded with a definite expectancy).

B. He Preached With A Distinct Urgency

Notice 37:4, “Again He said unto me, Prophecy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord”

Ezekiel knows God could do something for these bones. When God spoke to Ezekiel, he raised his voice with urgency, knowing that God had spoken and that God could do the impossible.

Ezekiel knew these bones {didn’t} need a lecture - these bones needed life.

Ezekiel knew these bones {didn’t} need sermonized - these bones needed vitalized.

Ezekiel knew that his opinion of the situation wouldn’t help matters - he needed a word from God.

We need to understand something about our lost loved ones. We need to understand something about what Revival really is. Only life begets life! A sinner that is “dead in trespasses and sins” will not be saved apart from the Word of God. A Church that is dead and lifeless will never come alive apart from the Word of God.

Listen carefully. Life Generates Life. And we know that there is life in the Word of God.

THE WORD OF GOD IS ALIVE!! {Hebrews 4:12}- “For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword” *The word “Quick” simply means ‘alive’.

The Bible is different from any other book. {Other books write about events - but there is no life in events.} {Other books write about fiction - but there is no truth in fiction.} {Other books write about characters - but those characters are dead or they will die.}

The Word of God presents the Lord Jesus Christ as a Living Lord. No one can separate the Word of the Lord from the Lord of the Word.

Jesus said in {John 6:63}- “It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the Words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit, and they are life.”

There is life in this Book. When the Word of God is read, life begins to manifest itself.

Jesus spoke “Lazarus, Come forth”

(Life was manifested)

Jesus spoke “Little girl, Arise”

(Life was manifested)

If the God of the ‘impossible’ is going to raise up those dry bones - they must be given the Word of God. God had Ezekiel to stand as a preacher and proclaim the Word of God.

God may have you teach a Sunday School class and present the Word of God. God will have you witness and plant the Word of God. However you do it - you must give out the Word of God. You must say to those dry bones you are trying to win. “Hear the Word of the Lord”

Let me give you something to think about. Did you know that when God told Ezekiel to speak to those bones, God never promised Ezekiel that he would get a response? The only thing that Ezekiel knew was that if he proclaimed the words “Hear Ye The Word Of The Lord” - God was going to do something.

In a terrible battle a certain army was being soundly defeated. The general called for the bugler and said, "Son, sound the retreat." The young soldier said, "Sir, I'm sorry, but I do not know how to sound the retreat."

The commander said, "The battlefield is covered with our casualties. Our troops are being defeated. Something must be done to avert further disaster."

The bugler said, "Sir, though I cannot signal a retreat, I can sound forth a charge that will make dead men rise from the field of battle to march forth to victory."

What do you say to a sinner who is dead in trespasses and sin? Tell them, “Thus saith the Lord” {Romans 10:13}- “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

What do you say to a Christian, a Church that has become Spiritually lifeless; their walk with the Lord has become dry and dead? Tell them, “Thus saith the Lord” {2 Chronicles 7:14}- “If My people, which are called by My name, SHALL humble themselves; and pray; and seek My face; and turn from their wicked way; THEN will I hear from heaven, and forgive their sin, and heal their land.”

C. He Prayed With A Divine Fervency

Look at 37:9, “Then He said unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophecy, son of man, and say to the wind, thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.”

In the Old and New Testament the words “spirit” - “breath” - “wind” are inner-changeable. This verse here uses the word “breath” - which refers to the “Breath of God”.

When God created man, He breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul … The Bible speaks of the Word of God as the “inspiration of God” - which means ‘God breathed’…)

This verse here is in reference to the Holy Spirit of God. Ezekiel is admitting that God must breathe upon these bones …

‘All is vain unless the Spirit

of the Holy One comes down’

This story teaches us a great lesson. It is not the saint that can save and revive people. It is not the sermon that can save and revive people - ONLY JESUS SAVES PEOPLE! ONLY JESUS REVIVES PEOPLE AND PLACES!

Any work that is done for God must have the breath of God upon it if people are going to be saved.

If those dead, dry bones are going to have life, they must have a Word from God and they must be soaked in prayer. Then, God is going to bring (death to life) in the Lord Jesus Christ.

III. The Power That Displayed Heavenly Resources

When Ezekiel obeyed the command of the Lord, something begins to happen. God was going to display His Power.


Read 37:7, “Behold a shaking.” Listen, when God begins to move there was no way for those bones to sit still. When God moved - the bones moved.

When God begins to move in a sinner; when a sinner gets under conviction - they become disjointed and they have to move. Sometime they get hateful, mean, they get out of sorts.


Read 37:7, “Behold … the bones came together.” You think about it. When they heard the Word of the Lord; when the Holy Spirit begins to blow, it just seems logical for those bones to come together.

The [toe bone] connected to the foot bone. The [foot bone] connected to the anklebone. The [anklebone] connected to the shinbone. The [shinbone] connected to the knee bone. The [knee bone] connected to the leg bone. The [leg bone] connected to the hipbone. The [hipbone] connected to the backbone. The [backbone] connected to the shoulder bone. The [shoulder bone] connected to the neck bone. The [neck bone] connected to the head bone. (or something like that) … It just seems logical for these things to happen.


Note 37:8, “And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them.” They looked like they were alive. They stood up on their feet. But there was one thing missing. There was no breath in them.

If Ezekiel went out into the field after the bones came together and the skin and moisture came on the bones, he would have looked exactly like those bones. But there was one thing different from Ezekiel and those bones - Ezekiel had life. Ezekiel had the breath that God gave him.

If there is one thing this world is a person who has real life in them. This world does not need more religion. Religion could not give those bones what they needed. This world doesn’t been more rituals. Rituals can be performed by dead bones. This world does not need more reasoning. Reasoning was not the answer for these bones. THE WORLD NEEDS REALITY. And the Reality comes from the BREATH OF GOD.

If a person is going to have life - they must have breath. They must have birth. ALL THESE BONES NEEDED WAS LIFE !! (Something happened to these bones when God moved.)

A. They Received Life

Look at 37:10, “the breath came into them, and they lived”

B. They Raised Up

Look again at 37:10, “and stood up upon their feet”

C. They Remained Strong

Look again at 37:10, “stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army”

When you read this story, it reminds us that God can save old lost sinners. God is looking for a place to save people. God is looking for people to use to reach other dead, dry bones.

You can make a difference where you live, where you work - if God has breathed upon your life. If you are a Christian, there will be a difference in your life compared to the life of a sinner.

If you want to go to Heaven - you must have the Holy Spirit to breathe life into you. And there will be a difference in your life when the Holy Spirit works in you.


Years ago in the Civil War battle over on Kennesaw Mountain a 20-year-old Union captain was terribly wounded. He lay bleeding upon the battlefield with his chest "blown open." A medic stopped, saw his condition, bent down to try to detect a heartbeat and concluded that the young officer was dead. That battlefield, marked by heaps of bleeding flesh, was another valley of death.

The wounded captain had been left for the night in a pool of blood with no bedding but the ground, no roof but the canopy of heaven, no pitying eyes but the stars, no sound but the call of a nightingale, no companions but his fallen comrades, and no hope but the power of prayer.

Back in a New England village the young soldier had a mother and father who were devout Christians. They believed in the power of prayer and had been interceding for their son all through the months of fighting.

He went to Yale University and had his faith challenged and destroyed. He became a rebel and was known and registered as an infidel. There were those who would have rejoiced if the battlefield had claimed his life. That body, however weak and wounded, held on tenaciously to the slightest remnant of life. A myriad of thoughts marched through his brain in dramatic succession that night on the battleground.

The instruction and admonition which he had received from his godly parents came back to him. That battlefield suddenly became an altar and that young man was saved by the power of a sovereign God. In the midst of a theater of death, God breathed into him the breath of life.

At the breaking of dawn the next morning a platoon of soldiers came to retrieve the dead and found the captain still breathing. They took him to a hospital. As soon as he was able to make a request, he called for a chaplain and told him of his conversion and of his intention to be a committed Christian.

Everyone thought the bleeding soldier had been mortally wounded. The medic had left him for dead. The stretcher bearer gave him no hope of survival. His comrades thought him to be no longer among the living.

However, God, in His grace and power, saw fit to lay His hands upon that boy who had been shredded by shrapnel. Jesus, the One who walked in Galilee, took a stroll through that battlefield that night and entered the heart of a boy whose only hope was in God. That which was accomplished on that field of battle was of God - a divine performance.

By the way, who was that bleeding boy and whatever became of him? He was ordained to the gospel ministry in 1879. He served as pastor of the Grace Baptist Church in Philadelphia and later founded the Baptist Temple, developing it into one of the most important churches in America. He started a night school for young preachers which subsequently became Temple University. This man also founded Samaritan Hospital in 1891. He wrote 20 books which have been widely read and marvelously influential.

Because of the life of this man, Russell Herman Conwell, thousands of souls have been saved and many more have been enriched because of his invaluable contribution to this land we love. When you speak of divine performance, you are speaking of a blessed, beneficial intervention of God. What Russell Conwell did for the cause of Christ and the good of man resulted from the touch of God upon a life that appeared to be no more than a corpse in a field of death.

Perhaps you need the touch of God upon your life. Perhaps you need to experience the divine inspiration that occurs when God breathes into you His quickening power. He can enliven you to be a part of a mighty spiritual army. He can quicken you so that you can become a vibrant, vital soldier of the cross.

I BELIEVE THAT GOD NEEDS TO INVADE THIS PLACE RIGHT NOW! We have heard His Word. We believe His Word. Lets respond to Him and ask Him to invade this place like He has never invaded it before.

The Day When God Invades The Bone Yard