Ezekiel Told About a Future Hope
“I will give them one heart and put a new spirit within them.” Ezekiel 11:19
Ezekiel had a tough job: ministering to people who had rejected God and suffered the consequences. The exiled people of Judah were eager to blame God for their circumstances. “It’s not fair!” they argued. (See Ezek. 18:25.)
Ezekiel told the people that they were at fault for their exile; their faithlessness had provoked God’s wrath. The people were getting what they deserved. “I take no pleasure in anyone’s death,” God said. “So repent and live!” (Ezek. 18:32).
God gave Ezekiel a vision. In this vision, God showed Ezekiel a valley of dry bones. The bones represented Israel. Ezekiel prophesied that God would put tendons, flesh, and skin on the bones. He would put breath in them so they would come to life.
Ezekiel encouraged the exiles. Apart from God, they were dead. But God was offering them life. He would restore their future. “My dwelling place will be with them,” God said. “I will be their God, and they will be My people” (Ezek. 37:27).
We too are dead in our sin. (Eph. 2:1) Sin separates us from God because He is holy. We are apart from God’s presence. But God does not delight in our death. He is patient and wants us to repent and live!
Hundreds of years after Ezekiel died, God’s presence came to His people through Jesus Christ, Immanuel—meaning, “God with us.” Jesus is the source of life; He offers us living water. (John 4:10,14) If we do not drink of it, we will become like the dry bones. No life will be in us.
Christ changes that. Evangelical Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias wrote, “Jesus does not offer to make bad people good but to make dead people alive.” Indeed, He does. God saves us by grace, making us alive with Christ through the Holy Spirit. (Eph. 2:4-5)
God showed Ezekiel a valley of dry bones. The dry bones remind us what we are like when we sin. God showed Ezekiel His power to make dead people alive. We see God’s power at the cross. Jesus died to save sinners. God raised Jesus from the dead, and He gives us eternal life.
Help your kids understand that God is the author and giver of life and just as He pictured bringing dead bones back to life, He brings us to life when we trust in Jesus.
Check this session’s Activity Page and Big Picture Card as well as the Gospel Project for Kids Family App for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.
KEY PASSAGE: Ezekiel 11:19
BIG PICTURE QUESTION:
- Why should we obey God? We obey God because He loves us.
BIBLE STORY: EZEKIEL TOLD ABOUT A FUTURE HOPE
- God gave Ezekiel a vision of old, dry bones.
- Ezekiel spoke to the bones and they came to life.
- God said His people were like the bones.
- God planned to bring His people back home.
FAMILY DISCUSSION STARTERS:
- How did God plan to give His people new life?
- How are we like the dry bones?
- How can we experience new life, too?
- Gather extra Bibles your family no longer uses and donate them to a prison ministry.
- Dissect sterilized owl pellets with your family. Pick out the bones and try to arrange them correctly on paper, gluing them down. Remind your kids how Jesus makes us alive.
NEXT WEEK “Daniel and His Friends Obeyed God” (Daniel 1)