Inspired by the Africa Study Bible

Why is there mass disunity within the worldwide Christian community? Why is there room for hate-filled generalizations to be made about people who call themselves Christians in the first place? If every Christian has Fruits of the Spirit and unique spiritual gifts, where are they and why can’t we see them at work in the world? The simple answer is because we are “Israel”. We have forgotten about God. We consistently underestimate his power. We have adopted the mindset of the dreaded “lukewarm Christian” that Revelation 3:15-16 warns us to avoid. We have seen God’s faithfulness, yet choose to ignore. We refuse to allow him to work in our lives. We have heard the Scriptures countless times and they are relevant, spot-on, and timeless. We have a life manual, yet we move like lifeless robots without any other purpose but to simply live.

Ezekiel 37 is one of the most famous biblical visions in history. During Ezekiel’s time, prophets served as God’s earthly messengers that each had a unique message to deliver to a specified audience. Ezekiel is most commonly known as the “visionary” or “estatic” prophet, which meant that he experienced outer-body, vivid, indescribable events like none other. Ezekiel 37 is an example of one of his estatic visions that felt more than real, emphasizing the severity of the situation. The context of the passage was that there was great disunity between Israel during the diaspora, or the mass dispersion of the people to all different places without consent. Ezekiel himself was also among the exiles, making him the perfect messenger for God’s people. He was accessible and available. Israel was walking through a time of spiritual drought. They had abandoned God and had begun to turn to other things to fill the missing pieces in their lives. They knew the Scriptures better than anyone. They had seen God’s faithfulness to them first-hand, but they gave way to their selfishness and decided that their way was much better than God’s (even though it had not been any of the times before). Sound familiar?

Israel’s problem was that they were using God as a magic “problem fixer”. Israel had much deeper problems than what was visible on the surface. The root of all their other problems was found within the spiritual heart. Their relationship with God was not right or healthy. They were fine with God fixing their physical problems, moving on like nothing happened, and then turning to him when the next problem arose. They were in a constant cycle of disobedience that led them to take advantage of God’s generosity. They didn’t want their spiritual issue to be fixed. They didn’t want a saviour. They wanted what they wanted. Israel was nothing but dry bones in need of restoration and life. They needed their spiritual issue to be solved at the root, or else their situation would continue to get worse.

“His breath was the breath of both physical and spiritual life, possible only through God’s supernatural power.”

Africa Study Bible

Thankfully, Ezekiel 37 is classified as an oracle of restoration. God gave Israel a taste of what the future could be through Ezekiel’s message. God promised restoration if his people would follow his lead. He promised life to those who would take his Word seriously and trust that God would follow through. God wanted to give life. He wanted to set them free. God knew that Israel would continue in the cycle if he didn’t show them what true freedom looked like. People don’t get better on their own, and that’s still true today.

What does freedom mean to you? What does life mean to you? Do you have a deeper, spiritual problem that requires attention from God? Do not leave this page unchanged. Don’t use God to just fix your surface-level, physical problems when the spiritual root is rotten and dead. Don’t go on living just to live. Let him breathe life. Let him shine light on your dark places because that is where healing begins. If you don’t let him in, the problem won’t go away on its own. Don’t let physical problem fixing be enough for you – get the real cure.

“We were not just converted to a new religion – we were dead and are now alive.”

Africa Study Bible

This excerpt is inspired by an Article of the Africa Study Bible titled, “ ”. Africa Study Bible Articles are about the Christian life and critical concerns that face the church in Africa and its people. The articles help you understand how to apply the bible to a specific area of life where God’s wisdom is needed.


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