Explore the Bible Lesson for July 13: Hope of New Life
July 1 2014 by Rob Pochek, senior pastor, Raleigh Road Baptist Church, Wilson

Focal Passages: Ezekiel 37:1-3, 11-14, 23-28
Last summer I visited Las Vegas. While I was there I made sure to visit Count’s Kustoms, the shop featured in the reality show “Counting Cars.” On the show, Danny “The Count” Koker and his team transform old cars and trucks into finely tuned, meticulously detailed works of art. In Ezekiel 37, the prophet Ezekiel was witness to something even more remarkable: the transformation of a valley filled with dry bones into a vast, flesh-and-blood army of God.
In the chapters immediately preceding Ezekiel 37, God has been explaining why the people were dispersed and His promise to restore the nation – a promise that seemed to be too good to be true. After all, the nation was scattered. Hope was in short supply. In Ezekiel 37, God takes the prophet to a valley filled with dry bones. As Ezekiel walks back and forth among the bones, the Lord asks him a question: Can these bones live? Ezekiel’s response is right on target: Lord God, only You know. God did indeed know. More than that, God was capable of bringing life to bones that had dried up.
God is not just doing magic tricks in the valley; He is providing a physical illustration of what will happen in the nation of Israel. In verses 11-14 God explains to Ezekiel that he is to tell the nation that, although they believe they are beyond repair, He will restore them. But not to the life they previously knew. No! He is going to transform them. He will impart His Spirit in them (v. 14), appoint His Servant over them (v. 24) and establish His everlasting covenant with them (v. 26) so that they will obey Him. He will be their God and they will be His people.
God fulfilled those promises in Christ. It is Christ who brings new life to those who will trust in Him (John 10:10). It is Christ who delivers us from sin (Romans 3:23-24) and who has mediated a new covenant (Luke 22:20, Hebrews 8:6). As much as I am impressed with the work of the transformation of cars, I am far more astounded when God takes broken, empty lives and transforms them into beautiful trophies of His grace.

7/1/2014 10:29:16 AM by Rob Pochek, senior pastor, Raleigh Road Baptist Church, Wilson | with 0 comments
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