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Ezekiel 36:16-37:28, Psalm 69

We have been reading the Bible together now for almost 15 months. Up until now we haven’t seen anything like Ezekiel 37:1-14. This scriptures offers more than the promise of Israel’s restoration after the Babylonian captivity. In fact, this prophecy looks beyond Israel’s years and for the first time in scripture speaks concretely to life after death. Up until now, many of scripture’s writers have been mostly unsure of what happens to us after we die. Even David, who seems to hope in life after death (2 Samuel 12:23) often will declare in the Psalms that the dead cannot praise God. God reveals to Ezekiel that this is mistaken. God will raise the dead some day and establish Israel in the land. Since the Bible will say much more about the day when God will give flesh to bones, I will wait to flesh out the details of this event. Even Daniel, the next Book Bible, will give us some more clarity on the particulars about when God brings people from the grave. For now, I want to focus on how the Bible reveals truth progressively. As the scriptures unfold, God reveals more truth to us, about the God’s nature, our future, and thus how we shall live. In the days of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob we see a great deal of ignorance about the identity of the true God. Though in Ezekiel’s day there is plenty of Trinitarian truth left to unpack, the core attributes and character of God has already been manifest. Still, a great deal of God’s plans for Israel and humanity were left uncertain. Ezekiel 37 is the first place where God unequivocally shows our future includes life after death. I believe this is significant for two reasons. One, this shows just how important this life is to God. For God patiently and progressively reveal resurrection plans to us, means God wants us to understand the value of our current bodies, world, and lives. Secondly, we can be thankful that this life isn’t all that matters to God. Since we die, we need a hope that extends beyond our few days here. Praise God that even this is a matter over which the Lord is in control.

Jeremiah Vaught