I was speaking with my sister yesterday about some of those fluffy dice that some people hang from their rear-view mirror. This particular pair was marked with skulls. My sister made the comment, “I would sell those if I could.” Apparently, my sister does not like skulls. I told her that God made skulls. She said, “And He covered them up with skin.” This reminded me of a story in Ezekiel 37.
In this story, Ezekiel has a vision that he is prophesying, by the command of God, to a valley filled with the bones of a dead army. He tells them to get up, to be wrapped in skin, and to receive the breath of life. Within the vision, these dry bones do exactly that!
God then, not in the vision, explains the vision that Ezekiel had so recently witnessed. God states that the dry bones represented the people of Israel who were in captivity in Babylon in the sixth century B.C. Ezekiel was commanded by God, in this instance, to encourage God’s chosen people.
In my opinion, we spend far too much time in captivity today, whether that be literal or metaphorical. For the Israelites and many Christians worldwide, this could be very literal. For Christians in America, we spend too much time in captivity to sin (or perhaps we can feel like we are in captivity). This is encouragement for us as well. God will bring us out of captivity one day.
Why do we experience different types of captivity if we belong to a God who is all powerful and all good? This is a very good question, a question that God does not fail to answer. “Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them.” (Ezekiel 37:13)
It is possible that we experience captivity because it will glorify God. Perhaps there is work to be done in an area that can only be reached through captivity. When God brings us out of this captivity, whether it be on Earth or in Heaven, we will praise Him all the more because we know what it is like to suffer for the name of Christ.
Being a captive to sin, though, is a different story. We choose whether we are held captive by sin or not, but we can only overcome this type of captivation by allowing the very Spirit of God to live within us. (Romans 10:9)
Continue the war brothers and sisters. Our God will deliver us.