Every year, at the service preceding or following Israel’s Independence Day, I like to read Ezekiel 37 at the congregation; it is the vision of the resurrection of Israel as a nation.
“Can these bones live?” (Ezekiel 37:3) Implies that, “humanly speaking, they could not” (JFB). Ezekiel was shown that the resurrection of Israel in the last days was not within the realm of the possible, as far as man is concerned.
If you take time to read the whole chapter you will see several things.
First - God will resurrect Israel as a political entity in the last days. The nations are likened to a grave in verse 12 (Eze 37:12). Exile, in this chapter, is likened to death for Israel. In the same verse, God declares that He (Himself) would open those graves and bring Israel out.
This implies to me a violent act, just as the bringing out of Israel from Egypt turned out to be, because of their resistance.
It is interesting to note that although Herzl begged the Prussian Kaiser and the Turkish Sultan (the dominant power in the Middle East at the time) to grant the Jews settlement in the land of their forefathers, they utterly played with him and largely ignored him, mainly for their national interests. Within ten years of Herzl’s death in 1904, both empires were embroiled in the First World War, and by 1918 were no more. Tragic as WWI was, one of its primary outcomes was the Balfour Declaration; granting to the Jews a home in what the world called Palestine. God had opened the graves of the Jews, to bring them out.
Second - God will bring His people back home (Ezekiel 37:12). Hard as they may try, the nations have not been able to stop Jewish immigration to the land of Israel. Even the Jewish people themselves will not be able to resist it forever. The World is becoming a hostile place for the Jews; they will come home, one way or another.
Third - God will pour out His Spirit on Israel to resurrect them spiritually; this too is out of the realm of man’s ability. But God has promised to do it. (Read also Zechariah 12:10).
Fourth - A Spiritual resurrection means that Israel will turn to her Messiah, on an unprecedented scale! Israel will be saved, Israel will be inhabited again by the presence of God. Read Ezekiel 37:22-28, What a marvelous resurrection this will be! Reunited, in the Land with the Lord Himself.
Can these bones live - Do you have faith to believe and pray for these things?
“Can these bones live?” is a penetrating question to us as well. Although we have seen the beginning fulfillment of this prophecy--do we have faith to pray for its completion? Having seen Israel’s spiritual condition, do we have faith to believe that the Lord will open the heavens and pour out (give) the spirit of repentance? Can we pray in faith that the Lord will reveal the face of Yeshua and end two thousand years of animosity towards Him? Can we look at the resistance of the raging nations against Israel’s physical existence and believe and pray for her prosperity and security?
Let us not be overwhelmed by the enormity of the situation Israel faces, nor by her condition, but rather seeing all these things, turn to see Him, our Almighty God, and believe Him.
“Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ down from above) or, “ ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): Romans 10:6-8
Let us call upon the name of the Lord to fulfill His covenant promises and to glorify His name in the earth. Then the nations will know that He alone is God. (Ezekiel 37:28)
- Lord, on the eve of Israel’s celebration of its 70th year, we stand before you in full recognition that it was you who resurrected Israel, And although it took human sweat and toil and much suffering, you were and are behind it all. These bones can live again because indeed you are the God of resurrection. We give you the glory and honor and recognize that you have begun to fulfill your world.
- We come to you in faith and full assurance that since you have begun to fulfill these promises and words, you will complete every one of them in a far more excellent way than we can imagine.
- We ask for the fullness of the promises you have begun to fulfill in Israel
- We ask for the fullness of the blessing you have promised for the land and the people
- We ask for the fullness of the return of the Jews to the Land
- We ask for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on your people
- We ask for the removal of the veil that is cast over Israel regarding her Messiah
- We ask for the salvation of Israel as you have promised
- Lord the nations around us are raging against Israel’s existence
- We ask that you bring the counsel of the nations to nothing
- We ask that you establish the thoughts of your heart for Israel
- We ask that you will guard and protect Israel against every weapon especially nuclear or chemical
- We ask that you especially safeguard Israel at this time from an Iranian revenge attack after Israel destroyed one of its bases in Syria
- We ask that you will cause the March of Return in Gaza to fizzle out politically.
- We ask that you will give Israel unique wisdom to know how to deal with all of the inventions of the Hamas to attack Israel (including incendiary kites they use to light fires in the Israeli fields close to Gaza)
Who is like thee?
Let us celebrate and give thanks to our God, incomparably great and beautiful, gracious and awesome in power and grace. Here are a few verses we want to end with, to celebrate the wonder that is the God of Israel.
Ex. 15:11 “Who is like You, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness, Fearful in praises, doing wonders?
Deut. 3:24 “O Lord GOD, You have begun to show Your servant Your greatness and Your mighty hand, for what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do anything like Your works and Your mighty deeds?
Deut. 33:26 “There is no one like the God of Jeshurun, Who rides the heavens to help you, And in His excellency on the clouds.
1Kings 8:23 and he said: “LORD God of Israel, there is no God in heaven above or on earth below like You, who keep Your covenant and mercy with Your servants who walk before You with all their hearts.
Mic. 7:18 Who is a God like You, Pardoning iniquity And passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, Because He delights in mercy.
Lord, let thy Kingdom Come
Let thy will be done
Sanctify your name on the earth by your great deeds of mercy
Yours are the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory!
Blessings from Jerusalem,