In the days before Ezekiel was born Mike and I were still hashing out names. We typically don’t have a name picked out for our babies until we meet them face-to-face. Really, the final days of pregnancy are the best days to pick out a baby’s name–Who is this person going to be? It really adds to the excitement and anticipation of meeting your Little One.
So, we had settled on our girl’s name and were still hesitant about any boy’s name. I wanted a name that honored the life and New Life of my dad Joe. I had wanted a name that conveyed the Lord’s plan in each of our lives. I wanted this child’s name to show that God is so great that He brings Life from Death and that this life is about Him.
Ezekiel – “God strengthens.”
Throughout my pregnancy, my time in the Bible kept leading me to the book of Ezekiel. It’s not a book I would typically spend my time in. It’s a book of God’s judgment on Jerusalem and Judah–His people have been unfaithful to Him. Ezekiel speaks of destruction and devastation. But at the end of the book Ezekiel sees a newness of life, a new covenant, and the glory of Heaven. This is what I want to be reminded of. God is faithful–both to carrying out his judgment on sin and to giving us new life and restoring us through Jesus (Ezekiel’s coming Messiah). Our lives here on earth are painful. There is suffering. There are tears. There are consequences to our sinful state. But God restores us and breathes life into us.
The Valley of the Dry Bones
The most well-known verses from Ezekiel are when the Lord leads Ezekiel to the valley of dry bones. These bones are beyond dead. God tells Ezekiel to prophesy flesh and breath into these bones.
7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I prophesied, there was a sound, and behold, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. 8 And I looked, and behold, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them. But there was no breath in them. 9 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 may live.” 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army. – Ezekiel 37:7-10
The sight of this! God is restoring life. We are helplessly dead, we need God’s help, we need victory over death, and He offers that help–that promise of life–through the person of Jesus. It is Jesus who breathes life into our dead bodies.