On the fifth of the month—it was the fifth year of the exile of King Jehoiachin’the word of the Lord came to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, by the Kebar River in the land of the Babylonians. There the hand of the Lord was on him. (EZEK. 1:2–3)
Our journey will walk us through two visions of awakening from the Old Testament. The ancient prophet Ezekiel will serve as our guide along this way of awakening. We will not take a traditional Bible-study approach to these texts; rather, we will try to see them from the vantage point of the New Testament. When we open our hearts and minds to the whole of Scripture, many deep and rich insights emerge.
Ezekiel was a prophet in exile. He did his work in unfavorable conditions, prophesying to broken and desperate refugees in Babylonian captivity. If you want to get a lay of the land ahead, read Ezekiel 37 and 47. These are two expansive visions given to Ezekiel from the Spirit of God. We know them as “the vision of the valley of dry bones” and “the vision of the river of life.”
Awakening begins in a lifeless valley filled with dry bones. It comes to full fruition on the lush banks of a rushing river, bringing life wherever it goes. The story of awakening runs an epic course from deep sleep to an awe-inspiring movement of everlasting life. Awakening begins in the land of impossible. It winds along the way of the cross. It ends in the country of eternal possibility—nothing short of resurrection life.
Come Holy Spirit, stir in us the audacity to hope for what seems far-fetched and even impossible. Would you awaken my faith to believe in the power of hidden, small beginnings? In Jesus’ name, amen.
Share with your band your intentions, hopes, and apprehensions about this study.
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