Hope For The Hopeless
HOPE FOR THE HOPELESS
The hand of the Lord was upon me, and He brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the valley; and it was full of bones. He caused me to pass among them round about, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley; and lo, they were very dry. He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord God, You know.” Again He said to me, “Prophesy over these bones and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.’ “Thus says the Lord God to these bones, ‘Behold, I will cause breath to enter you that you may come to life. ‘I will put sinews on you, make flesh grow back on you, cover you with skin and put breath in you that you may come alive; and you will know that I am the Lord.’ ” So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold, a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to its bone. And I looked, and behold, sinews were on them, and flesh grew and skin covered them; but there was no breath in them. Then He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they come to life.” ’ ” So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they came to life and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army. (NASB95)
Satan’s is never happier than when he sees people giving in and giving up to despair and becoming lost in hopelessness. Have you ever felt like your whole world is caving in around you and there is absolutely no hope. Your troubles seem to mount up insurmountably. Cheer up I have good news. There is hope for the hopeless!
I. There are situations, which appear to be totally and absolutely hopeless.
A. Ezekiel 37:1-2 "The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, and caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry."
B. The picture portrayed here was that of the nation of Israel in their Eastern captivity and Diaspora. The nation was virtually dead. It was lifeless, scattered, and bleached just as this conquered army’s corpses, which were strewn across a battleground. There was no way humanly possible that they would ever arise from this defeat. It would be impossible!
C. Job 7:6-7 "My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, and are spent without hope. O remember that my life is wind: mine eye shall no more see good."
D. Ephesians 2:12 "That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:"
II. God alone holds the answer to hopeless situations.
A. Ezekiel 37:3 "And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest."
B. From man’s perspective only one answer could come from the prophet’s lips, "Life is impossible?" It is absurd to suppose that these dead bones could ever live again. But it was God who asked the question, and it is God alone who knows the answer.
C. Matthew 19:25-26 "When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible."
D. There are no hopeless situations. There are only people who have grown hopeless about them.
E. Psalms 42:11 "Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God."
F. "No one is hopeless whose hope is in God."
III. God’s Word gives new direction.
A. Ezekiel 37:4-8 "Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones, ’Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you. And ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD.’ So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them."
B. It would appear absurd to address "dry bones". Picture Ezekiel standing in the middle of the battlefield among the corpses preaching to piles of bones. But God’s ways are not man’s ways.
C. The prophet speaks at the Divine command the Divine message. He speaks for God and they who listen hear the voice of God. When the God’s Word goes forth, things begin to happen.
D. Hebrews 4:12 "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."
E. Romans 10:17 "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."
F. Romans 15:4 "For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope."
G. Every conflict Christ had with Satan, Jesus overcame the obstacles by using the Word of God. In each and every recorded case He declared, "It is written."
H. Psalms 119:105 “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."
IV. God’s Spirit gives new life.
A. Ezekiel 37:9-10 "Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army."
B. Romans 8:10 " But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. (NIV)
C. 2 Corinthians 3:17 "Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty."
D. The Spirit’s control will replace sin’s control. His power is greater than the power of all your sin.
E. If you have the Holy Spirit on the inside, you can stand any kind of battle on the outside.
F. 1 John 4:4 "Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world."
G. John 14:16-18 "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you."