THE DRY BONES IN NEED OF BREATH
In Ezekiel 47 is the house of God, the building of God, but in chapter thirty-seven the Lord’s children are pictured as disjointed, dry bones. None of the bones are joined to one another. The bones are independent and separate. These dry bones were in the midst of a valley. The picture here is similar to that of the children of Israel before their exodus from Egypt. The last verse of Genesis shows that the children of Israel were in a “coffin in Egypt” (50:26). In Ezekiel 37 the children of Israel are depicted as being in graves (vv. 12-13). The dry bones scattered in the midst of the valley were the bones of slain people (v. 9b). Satan was the one who killed and buried them. The dry bones are in need of the air, the breath, to bring them to life.
There is an expanse of air around the earth that life may exist on this earth to serve God’s purpose. As the Spirit, God is the real air, the breath. In the air is the water, and in the water is the food. God as life to us is our air, our water, and our food. When we breathe, we drink, and when we drink, we eat. The eating is in the drinking, and the drinking is in the breathing. Furthermore, the breathing is in the praising. When we say, “O Lord! Amen! Hallelujah!”, we breathe. The way to breathe in our wonderful Lord is to say, “O Lord! Amen! Hallelujah!” As we breathe in the Lord in this way, we are watered and our thirst is quenched. We have the sense that we are filled and satisfied. We can breathe, drink, and eat the Lord by calling, “O Lord! Amen! Hallelujah!” By saying, “O Lord! Amen! Hallelujah!”, we get the air, the water, and the food.
Hymn #255 by A. B. Simpson is a wonderful hymn on breathing. The chorus of this hymn says:
I am breathing out my sorrow, Breathing out my sin; I am breathing, breathing, breathing, All Thy fulness in.
We need to breathe Christ in as our breath. We can receive Christ into our inward parts by breathing Him in.
THE WIND, THE BREATH, AND THE SPIRIT
We need to remember that in Ezekiel 37 the wind is the breath, and the breath is the Spirit. Verse 9 says, “Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, 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.” The Lord told Ezekiel to say to the wind, “O breath.” This means that the wind is the breath. The wind and the breath in this verse are the Hebrew word ruach. Then verse 14 says, “And shall put my Spirit in you.” Spirit in this verse is also ruach. Thus, the wind is the breath, and the breath is the Spirit. When the Lord blows, He is the wind. When we breathe Him, He is the breath. When He gets into us, He is the Spirit. The Lord comes as the wind, we receive Him as the breath, He gets into us as the Spirit, and the Spirit is life.
THE BONES COMING TOGETHER WITH NOISE AND SHAKING
Before the Spirit came, we were dry bones. We were not only slain and dried up, but we were also buried in graves and in the valley. After Ezekiel’s prophesying, “There was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone” (v. 7). Before Ezekiel’s prophecy, the dry bones were quiet and separate. A cemetery full of dried and buried bones is a quiet place. Our meetings, however, should not be like a cemetery. When we come together, there should be “noise and shaking.” When the Spirit as the wind blows upon us, how could we be silent? Our meetings should be full of the proper noise. There should be a proper noise where everyone speaks, everyone prays, everyone praises, and everyone gives thanks. The Psalms tell us to make a joyful noise unto the Lord (66:1; 81:1; 95:1-2; 98:4, 6; 100:1).
After the bones came together, “the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them” (v. 8). After the bones came together, the sinews, flesh, and skin covered them. This covering caused their appearance to be much better. Formerly, they were only dry bones, but now they were a body without breath. It is the marvelous doing of the Lord that the bones could come together without life in them.
We have to interpret Ezekiel 37 in a spiritual way. Before God came in to renew us and regenerate us, we were like dead and dry bones. God’s salvation is not merely for sinful people but for dead people. Because we were dead and dry, we were also scattered. Whether we were unsaved sinners or backslidden believers, our situation was that we were dead and buried in a grave. Many Christians are dead and dry, scattered and disjointed. They are not connected to anyone. The Lord came in to rescue us through the prophesying of His word. As Ezekiel prophesied, the bones came together and the sinews, the flesh, and the skin covered them.
(The Crucial Revelation of Life in the Scriptures, Chapter 9, by Witness Lee)