Hi there, and welcome to today's encouragement from Our Daily Bread. Our reading, titled The God Who Restores, was written by Kimya Loader. On November 4, 1966, a disastrous flood swept through Florence, Italy, submerging Giorgio Vasari's renowned work of art, The Last Supper, under a pool of mud, water, and heating oil for more than 12 hours. With its paint softened and its wooden frame significantly damaged, many believed that the piece was beyond repair.
However, after a tedious 50-year conservation effort, experts and volunteers were able to overcome monumental obstacles and restore the valuable painting. When the Babylonians conquered Israel, the people felt hopeless, surrounded by death and destruction and in need of restoration. During this period of turmoil, God took the prophet Ezekiel to a valley and gave him a vision where he was surrounded by dry bones.
Can these bones live? God asked. Ezekiel responded, Lord, you alone know. God then told him to prophesy over the bones so they might live again. As I was prophesying, Ezekiel recounted, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together. Through this vision, God revealed to Ezekiel that Israel's restoration could only come through him. When we feel as if things in life have been broken and are beyond repair, God assures us He can rebuild our shattered pieces. He'll give us new breath and new life.
Today's Our Daily Bread devotional scripture reading is from Ezekiel chapter 37 verses 4 through 14. Then he said to me, Prophesy to these bones and say to them, Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. 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. So I prophesied as I was commanded. And 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, but there was no breath in them. 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, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live. So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them.
They came to life and stood up on their feet, a vast army. Then he said to me, Son of man, these bones are the people of Israel. They say, Our bones are dried up, and our hope is gone, we are cut off. Therefore prophesy and say to them, This is what the sovereign Lord says, 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. Let's pray. Dear God, as we look back on our lives, it can seem like parts of them will never be restored.
We've done all we can to fix them on our own, but they remain broken. Help us to release these areas of our lives to you, God, knowing that our only hope of restoration is found in you. Thank you, Lord. It's in Jesus' name we pray. Amen. Thanks for listening today. My name is Toni Collier, and today's encouragement was provided by Our Daily Bread Ministries.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-29 20:10:12 / 2023-05-29 20:12:13 / 2