Speak to the bones – speak to the breath
Ezekiel and the valley of dry bones – chapter 37
Ezekiel was commanded to speak to the bones and call them together – they were to return to their created design and order. And they did as they were told. This mirrors the creation story which tells us of Creator God forming the human from the humus, but it was not yet a living being because the breath of life was not in it.
Then Ezekiel was commanded to speak again – this time to the wind/breath/spirit (ruach) of life. The breath blew in from the four winds (representing the wholeness of creation?) and entered the inanimate bodies (the meaning of the Latin anima is the same as the Hebrew ruach – Latin also has a separate term animus, meaning mind). At this point, the bodies became living beings, again mirroring the creation story.
God then gave the interpretation of the vision (much the same as Jesus giving the interpretation of the parables in the Gospels). The vision represents the future of Israel, on and for which God will act to redeem and restore and renew/rebirth. God will bring Israel back together, and into God’s people God will place the spirit/wind/breath (Ezekiel 39:29; Joel 2:28). And the fortunes of Israel were indeed restored – they were returned to their homeland and experienced a time of revival, though incomplete. They continue to struggle to this day.
And this is mirrored in the Acts of the Apostles, particularly chapters 1-2. We see:
- A prophecy that the people will receive the breath/ wind/ spirit of power from on high (in Greek – pneuma)
- A reorganizing principle in that the angels ‘speak to the bones’ to come back together
- The disciples return to the upper room in Jerusalem where Peter calls for a council to restore a 12th Apostle as a replacement for Judas
- There in the upper room they are all together
- There they ‘speak to the spirit’ by ‘all with one mind continually devoting themselves to prayer’.
Finally, the process moves to its final phase, wherein all these steps happen repeatedly in each community, among all peoples, extending out like concentric circles from “Jerusalem, to all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth…”
- Repent, i.e. turn back to God, who is source of your life
- Experience refreshing, renewal and restoration of Spirit
- Experience the Word / Logos, which is Jesus
In what ways is your life in need of this process today?