Ezekiel 37

Ezekiel 37 ~ Dry Bones Object Lesson

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What do dry bones and two sticks have to do with Jesus? Use this Ezekiel 37 Bible Object Lesson to teach children that God is trustworthy and that new life comes through Jesus.

Scripture Focus: Ezekiel 37

Materials:

  • poster of a skeleton (even better if you have a Halloween Skeleton with the body parts that move)
  • two sticks, or dowel rods
  • paper to make a flag for Judah and one for Israel (attach one to each stick)
  • string, velcro strip, or rubber-band to put the sticks together

Geography: Exiled in Babylon

Background: The nation of Israel was divided after the reign of Solomon. Northern Israel had no good kings while southern Judah had a few good kings. Prophets, such as Elijah and Hosea, were sent by God to warn the people to repent, turn away from idols and sin, and come back to God. Because of their sin, God allowed the Assyrians to scatter Israel. Babylon then exiled Judah and few years later. 

Ezekiel Object Lesson:

{Read Ezekiel 37:1. Ask:}

  • Have you ever had a really strange, or scary, dream? [Allow for answers; take a few minutes to share dreams]

Ezekiel had a strange dream as well. He had a dream that took him to a valley, or a plain. It was filled with bones. They were scattered everywhere. 

{Show the skeleton.}

  • What is this? [A skeleton]
  • Where do we find real skeletons? [Inside bodies of animals and humans]
  • How do you think Ezekiel felt when he saw all of those bones in his dream? [Allow for answers; scared, nervous, curious as to what God would tell him]

Here are some fun facts that I bet you don’t know about your bones:

  1. Adults usually have 206 bones, but babies are born with 300!
  2. Half of your bones are found in your hands and feet.
  3. There is only one bone that is not connected to another bone in your body. The hyoid is a bone that is surrounded by muscles just under the base of your tongue.

Image for title Ezekiel 37 includes a pile of dry bones

 

Ezekiel 37 Bible Lesson:

In Ezekiel’s dream, there were a lot of bones and they were dry like they had been sitting there for a while. In the dream God asked Ezekiel, “Do you think these bones live?” Not knowing how to answer that question, Ezekiel stated, “You know.” 

{Read Ezekiel 37:4-14. Ask:}

  • What was Ezekiel to prophesy over the bones? [Hear the word of the Lord. The Lord will cause breath to enter them and they will live.]
  • What were the bones to know? [That He is the Lord.]
  • What happened after Ezekiel spoke to the bones? [The bones rattled and started fitting together. Then the muscles were added and skin. But they did not have any breath.]
  • To what was Ezekiel to prophesy next? [To the breath]
  • What was the prophecy? [The breath was to come from the four winds and breathe on the dead bones so they could live.]
  • What happened after Ezekiel prophesied? [The breath entered them and they stood up. There was a great army.]
  • What do the bones represent? [the entire hours of Israel; Judah and Israel]
  • Why did the people of Israel say that they had dry bones and no hope? [Because they had been exiled and were away from their land and people.]
  • What prophecy was Ezekiel to give them? [God will open the graves of the Jews and bring them back to their land. He will place His Spirit in them and they will live.]

{Show the two sticks. As you tell the next section of scripture, act it out with the sticks.}

God came to Ezekiel again. He told Ezekiel to get two sticks. On one he was to write the word Judah, for that kingdom. On the other one he was to write Israel. Then Ezekiel joined the two sticks together and they became one. God was telling Ezekiel that He was going to bring people from the kingdom of Israel and from the kingdom of Judah and unite them once again. He would become their God once again. But then He goes one to say that One King will rule over them all. He will be a Shepherd from the line of David. A new covenant will be made. An everlasting covenant. God ended by telling Ezekiel that He will Tabernacle, or dwell, with His people. 

Ezekiel 37 Life Application:

What does this strange dream have to do with us? First, it is important for us to understand that if God says He is going to do something, then we can trust His word. God is incapable of lying and this makes Him trustworthy.

The other thing we need to understand is that God loves His people. But this prophecy isn’t just speaking about the Jews returning from captivity in Babylon, although it does. And it isn’t just speaking about the Jews returning to create the nation of Israel in 1948, although it probably does.

Remember what God told Ezekiel to prophesy over the wind? 

{Reread Ezekiel 37:14. Ask:}

  • When the disciples received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, what sound did they hear? [It was a mighty rushing wind.]

When a person decides to believe in Jesus, the Holy Spirit begins to dwell inside of them. God begins to tabernacle, to dwell, with that person. 

An old life is covered in sin, death, and darkness. An old life before Jesus looks like a bunch of old, dry bones.  A new life in Jesus looks like an army of live people filled with the wind of the Holy Spirit. 

This prophecy has not happened yet. It has to the Gentiles, but not to the Jews. This prophecy seems to be talking about Jews who choose to believe in Jesus and then they have the Spirit of God dwelling inside of them just like Gentile believers. 

Paul in Romans 11 talks about how the Gentiles were saved through Jesus so that some of the Jews would then be saved through Jesus. (For more information about this CLICK HERE.)

Therefore, it is important for us to get to know our Jewish friends. Get to know what they think about Jesus. Have conversations about Jesus with them. You never know, maybe you can help lead a Jewish sister or brother to Christ!

What can we learn from Ezekiel and the dry bones? God will always do what He says He will do even if we don’t actually see it happen in our lifetime. God wants to take the dry bones of our spirit and bring it to life with the Holy Spirit. That will happen through faith in Jesus Christ. 

Worship Songs and Videos for Ezekiel 37 Bible Lesson:

 

 

 

 

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