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2018 Hong Kong New Year Sunday Worship Message

From dry bones to a vast army



Ezekiel 37: 1-14

Key verse Ezekiel 37:10  "So I prophesied as he commanded me ,and breath entered them ;they came to life  and stood up on their feet ---a vast army.



1)Good morning!  Happy New year!  I am very happy to share the great vision which God showed to Prophet Ezekiel with all of you today.  The title of today’s my message is  "From dry bones to a vast army".




2)The prophet Ezekiel came to Babylon with King Jehoiachin and ten thousands fellow Jews when Babylon invaded Judah 2nd time B.C 597. At that time he was 25 years old.




3)In the past he had full of dreams, visions, passions, and prides in his heart as a young priest, but all of them were broken into pieces and now he lived in frustration, despair, anger and sorrow as a prisoner in Babylon.




4)After five years, when he became thirty years old, while he was among the exiles by the Kevar River,the heavens were opened and he saw visions of God. And also the word of the Lord came to Ezekiel and he was called as a Prophet to serve his people in Babylon.




5)While he was serving his people as a prophet in Babylon, his people was rebellious, obstinate and stubborn. He should suffer much to serve such a rebellious people.




6)After serving his ministry as a prophet for 5years, he heard that Israel was destroyed totally and Jerusalem Temple was broken down and burned with fire completely. Humanly speaking the hope of Israel to be restored was gone. Israel people thought “Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone ;we are cut off.”



7)In the time of deep despair and depression, God brought Ezekiel to the middle of a valley full of dry bones. In the valley God showed a vision to Ezekiel that the dry bones would come to life and stand up on their feet—a vast army.




8)I pray that God may grant to us the same vision that He showed Ezekiel in the middle of a valley full of dry bones.



9)I. Son of man, can these bones live? (1-3)



10)Look at verse 1 "The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones."






11)God brought Ezekiel by His mighty hand and set him in the middle of a valley. The valley was full of dry bones. It had been a killing field.  There was no sign of life.





12)Look at verse 2 "He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry."





13)God did not let Ezekiel just stand still there. God led him back and forth among the bones. So Ezekiel walked and looked around in the valley of death.





14) He saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. Flesh and skin of dead bodies had been all decayed. There was no moisture left in bones. They were totally dried up.





15)Ezekiel went here and there but he could never find anybody alive. He only found dry bones that seemed to have been there so long.





16)Why did God lead Ezekiel to the valley and show him the dry bones?




17)According to verse 11, these dry bones are Israel. "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel." they say, “’Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.”




18)The Israelites were like dry bones in the valley. As captives in Babylon, they were like dead bodies lying down without any hope to be restored as God’s people.




19)How broken-hearted would Ezekiel have been looking at those dry bones?



20)Look at verse 3 "He asked me, "Son of man, can these bones live?"




21)Ezekiel didn’t know what to do because of the deep pain and sorrow in his heart. But God asked him, "Son of man, can these bones live?"





22)God was asking whether Israel could be restored to God’s people again even though they were lying in despair and without hope like dead bodies.




23)God was asking whether Israel could be restored as a kingdom of priests and a holy nation again.



神問: 以色列會否恢復為祭司的國度和聖潔的國民呢?


24)Is this possible?  There was less than a 1% chance from a human point of view.




25)But God asked Ezekiel, “Can these bones live?” Why did he do so?




26)He did so because he hoped to make the dry bones come to life again.




27)God’s people, Israel, had betrayed and disobeyed God. God allowed them to be dragged to Babylon as captives. God had punished them.




28)God deserted them in the land of Babylon. Israel, forsaken by God, lost their dream and hope. They lost their identity as God’s people. They gradually lost their original hope to be restored.




29) Now they were struggling hard only to survive day by day in Babylonian captivity. They became flesh. They became dead. They became like dry bones.




30)But God did not leave them in despair. God wanted to do a new work of restoring them. God wanted to restore them to be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation again.




31)With this hope God asked Ezekiel, "Can these bones live?"             Why did God ask this to Ezekiel?




32)Because God wanted to plant faith and hope in his servant Ezekiel’s heart before beginning a new work of restoring them.




33)God wanted to inspire his servant a new faith and hope for the new thing God was going to do.




34)When the servant of God does not have this kind of faith and hope, God cannot work. God cannot work through the servant of God full of unbelief and despair in his heart.





35)God is the God of hope who does a new thing even in the most hopeless and despairing situation.




36) And God is the Almighty who makes a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.




37)He is also the God of resurrection who can do the work of life again, even though the bones are dried up and cut off.





38)This almighty God of resurrection wanted to plant God’s hope and faith in the heart of Ezekiel.




39)So he asked him, "Son of man, can these bones live?" What was Ezekiel’s answer to this question?





40)Look at verse 3b, I said, "O Sovereign LORD, you alone know.“



41)Ezekiel didn’t say, "O God, it is impossible!!!“

以西結不是說:「噢神啊,這是不可能的! ! !」


42)He didn’t answer such a negative and unbelieving word. He answered, "O Sovereign LORD, you alone know."



43)Ezekiel believed that God is the Creator of heavens and the earth and that He is the Sovereign Lord over all. Ezekiel believed that the Sovereign Lord is able to make those dry bones live again.





44)He didn’t know how God could do it. But he knew that the almighty and Sovereign God is able to do this according to His own will and His way. So he said, "O Sovereign LORD, you alone know."





45)II.  Prophsy to these bones (4-8)

第二部份 向這些骸骨發預言(4-8)


46)When God wanted to do a new thing to revive the dry bones, He first planted hope and faith in Ezekiel’s heart. And what did he command Ezekiel?


47)Look at verse 4. “Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them.…”“ Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD!



48)This means that Israel people didn’t hear the word of the Lord. They were rebellious,obstinate and stubborn against the word of the Lord. When they failed to listen to the word of the Lord for a long time they became dry bones.



49)But what woderful promise did God give them if they hear the word of the Lord? Look at verse 5,6 “This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath enter you and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin: I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD.”




50) God promised that He would revive them to life by putting breath in them when they hear the word of the Lord.



51) If they just hear the word of God, God will attach tendons to the dry bones, make flesh come upon them, cover them with skin, and put breath in them to make them come to life. Then they will know that God is the LORD.

只要他們聆聽 神的說話, 神必使骸骨有筋,長出肉來,又有皮遮蔽其上,更使氣息進入他們裏面,他們便知道祂是耶和華。


52)God told Ezekiel to prophesy these words of God’s great hope and vision to the dry bones. So what did Ezekiel do?

神吩咐以西結向枯乾的骸骨發出 神偉大盼望和異象的預言。以西結怎樣做呢?


53)Look at verse 7a. “So I prophesied as I was commanded.”



54)Then what amazing thing happened?



55)Look at verse 7b.8 “As I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone.I looked and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them .”



56)Bones that were scattered here and there began to move to go back to their own place. They began to move left and right, forward and backward.



57)Then the ribs, the pelvic bones, the backbone and skeletal bones found their places and came together, bone to bone. And the bones began to have tendons and flesh upon them and skin began to cover them. Dry bones had the form of a man.



58)The bodies of dry bones were restored, but what was not in them? Look at verse 8b “But there no breath in them.”



59)What then did God command Ezekiel to say?



60)Look at verse 9. Then he said to me , ““ Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it,…’This is what the Sovereign Lord says:‘Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’”



61)Then what amazing thing happened when Ezekiel prophesied as the Lord commanded ?



62)Look at verse 10b. Suddenly breath came from the four winds and began to enter them. They came to life and stood up on their feet-- a vast army.



63)This reminds us Genesis 2;7 “The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life ,and the man became a living being. ”

這裏提醒我們創世記2:7說:「耶和華 神用地上的塵土造人、將生氣吹在他鼻孔裏、他就成了有靈的活人、名叫亞當。」


64)They became a vast army that could fight against all authority of sin and death and get victory over them.



65)They became good soldiers of Jesus Christ, a vast army, that were ready to conquer the whole world.



66)How important is ‘prophesying the word of God’?

發 神的預言是何等重要呢?


67)When the prophet Ezekiel was brought to a valley and he  saw a great many dry bones on the floor of the valley he could not have any hope and any vision for dry bones.



68)When God asked him ,“Son of man can these bones live?” He only answered “O Soverign Lord ,you alone knows”

當 神問他:「人子啊,這些骸骨能復活嗎?」他只能回答:「主耶和華啊,你是知道的。」


69) But when he began to prophesy the word of God as the Lord commanded him , amazing thing happened. Even dry bones in the valley of Ezekiel can be raised up to be a vast army of Jesus Christ.



70) Brother Hayes Tang entered Hong Kong University majoring  his most favourite subject  Social Science. He had hope that the social science knowledge would equip him with vision to be a social leader . But he found that Sociology could not answer to human problems. So he lost all motivation and hope to study Sociology in life and devoted himself to sleeping day and night like a bear in the North Pole.



71)One day he was  walking to class like a dead man, like a dry bones, there was a lady approaching to him.  She introduced herself to him as a Christian from UFO or UBF. He thought she was strange, coming from a UFO.  But her invitation was so sincere, finally he came to study the Bible with her.



72) Missionary Angela Kim prophesyed the word of God to brother Hayes Tang who was like a dry bones faithfully in season and out of seasons. Then amazing things had happened. A dry bones in the valley of HKU was raised up to be a vast army of Jesus Christ.


Angela宣教士無論得時不得時也向如同枯乾骸骨的鄧希恒弟兄發 神的預言,那時奇跡發生了,在香港大學平原的枯乾骸骨起來成為耶穌基督極大的軍隊。


73)Many young people are lying down in despair without any hope or vision for their life and future like dry bones in the valleys of CUHK, HKU, HKUST and PolyU.




76)How might God feel when he looks at those who are dying and perishing meaninglessly like dry bones?


當 神看見這些漸漸死去、像枯乾的骸骨無意義地朽壞的年青人,祂會有怎樣的心情呢?


77)Now God is asking us with a broken shepherd heart, “Can these bones live?” God hopes to give life to these dry bones  so that they may stand as a vast army of Jesus Christ that can fight for the kingdom and glory of Christ.




80)For this God calls us to be his servant  like Ezkiel who obey His command to prophesy God’s words to campus students who are like dry bones with God’s  hope and vision.





81) Who do the dry bones represent in this vision ? Look at verse 11 “ Then he said to me: "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, 'Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.'




82)What is God’s plan for Israel people who are like dry bones ?  Let’s read verse 12-14 “ Therefore prophesy and say to them: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: O my people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. Then you, my people, will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD.'"




83) Even though God led Israel people as captives in Babyon ,the Soverign Lord God had plan for his people.God had plan to bring them back to the land of Israel after 70 years of training and disipline in Babylone .





84)What will they know through this amazing incident ?Verse 6b, 13b, 14b repeatedly says same words “ You, my people, will know that I am the LORD ” The Sovereign Lord God wants his people Israel to know that “I am the Lord” through this amazing incident.





85) What does it mean “I am the Lord.”  I am the Lord means that I am the one and only God we should worship and love with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our strength. Even though Israel people worshiped God , but in their hearts they loved and worshiped many  idols---materials, pleasures, social position or worldly success, ...more than God.




86)So God had allowed his people to be carried into exile as captives in Babylon for 70 years. They lost all hope. They were suffering severely because of their idle worshipping and their sins. When they were waken up through sufferings in bondage to Babylon God restored them. When this happened God’s people came to know that “God is the Lord”






87)Our God is the Lord whom we should worship and love with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our strength. May God bless each one of us to worship and love God  with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our strength newly in this new year and to serve one campus young souls who are like dry bones with God’s hope and vision .




88)May God raise up vast army of Jesus Christ that can fight for the kingdom and glory of Christ among the HK campus young students in this new year!!!.