Let’s go back to the story of Israel and their prophet Ezekiel once more. Here is the chapter which precedes the story of the dry bones. Read it with this question in mind: What is God promising, and why is he doing it?
22 “Therefore say to the Israelites, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: It is not for your sake, people of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone.
23 I will show the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, the name you have profaned among them. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Sovereign LORD, when I am proved holy through you before their eyes.
24 “ ‘For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land.
25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols.
26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
28 Then you will live in the land I gave your ancestors; you will be my people, and I will be your God.
What does God promise Israel?
Why, does the Lord say, is he doing these things?
From what do you need to be made clean (v. 25)?
In what ways do you need to have your heart made new (v. 26)?
O Lord, I confess that sometimes my heart is like a heart of stone. I can be unfeeling, unforgiving, and selfish. Please give me a heart of flesh, one that is warm and loving and compassionate toward others. Make me like you, Lord, with a heart big enough for your mission in the world. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.