The Valley of Dry Bones

Open Your Bible

Ezekiel 36:1-38, Ezekiel 37:1-28, Hosea 6:1-3, John 11:23-26

During the Lenten season, we slow down, intentionally withdrawing for the purpose of grounding ourselves in the life of Christ. We remember His sacrifice and His resurrection and what it accomplishes for us. In today’s reading, both Ezekiel and Hosea reference resurrection, and contribute to the Old Testament teaching on this topic. 

The vision in Ezekiel 37 is the third one to occur in Ezekiel. In this third vision, God asks Ezekiel a weighty question: “Can these bones live?” (Ezekiel 37:3). Or maybe more easily understood to you and me: “Do you believe in resurrection?” This question hints at the exile’s own view of themselves that is later revealed: “our bones are dried up, and our hope has perished; we are cut off” (v.11). Prior to chapter 37, God had promised to give His people a “new heart” and a “new spirit” (Ezkekiel 36:26). But how is a new heart and a new spirit possible when one’s view of oneself is of dry bones with no hope? God answers this question: “I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them, my people, and lead you into the land of Israel” (Ezekiel 37:12). 

Lent often feels long and kind of dark. While we appropriately mourn our sin, we sometimes forget that the best thing about Lent is Easter—the resurrection! What was happening in the valley of dry bones is the same thing that happens to us during Lent—we “come to life” (v.6). In a season where we anticipate the celebration of Christ’s resurrection, we also give thanks and rejoice over our own.

Do you believe God can breathe new life into you? Into your disappointment, your broken circumstances, your loss or grief? Ezekiel models for us what it means to trust the outcome to God, even when it may seem impossible—“Lord GOD, only you know” (v.3). 

Don’t forget that the best part about Lent is remembering the resurrection to come! God can take anything dead and make it new. We end our reading today with Jesus Christ, the one who invites us to come to life—“the one who believes in me, even if he dies, will live” (John 11:25). The question for you and me today is similar to the question God asked Ezekiel about whether or not these bones could live: “Do you believe this?” (v.26). 

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51 thoughts on "The Valley of Dry Bones"

  1. Tiffany Taylor says:

    Sometimes being in the valley is not a test, but an assignment. An assignment to speak life into dead places, to bring hope where hopelessness resides, to cultivate an atmosphere of faith for a miracle of God to take place.

  2. Karen Jaeger says:

    As moms we are grieved as we see our grown children walk away from God. Keep praying for them, it may be less words we speak but let them see God lived out in your life with the fruits of the spirit. Someday this tempting world will fail them & we need to be there with the love of Christ without any “I told you so” words. Stay in the word, be a help to others & God will give you strength & hope

  3. Terany Garnett says:

    Wow! Gos is so good. His word speaks volumes

  4. Yvonne Morter says:

    All, and everything, that I need, is in Jesus Christ!
    Everything is in Easter resurrection!
    As I lay here, in so much pain from a fall a few days ago. Bone broken. A fractured rib. My pain, my suffering all dim in comparison to the pain and suffering that my Jesus endured.
    There is hope. There is healing. There is a promise of a resurrection. Both for my physical, emotional and spiritual body.
    Praise be to God!

  5. Tammie George says:

    Jennifer, I can relate. Both of our sons are also not walking with Jesus. It is deeply painful. But we have learned to say less and pray more and always keep the welcome mat out.

  6. Tammie George says:

    Jennifer, I can relate. Both of our sons are also not walking with Jesus. It is deeply painful. But we have learned to say less and pray more and als

  7. Erica Chiarelli says:

    Breathe. Just breathe. He is able to able make anything dead come to life again! He is the Resurrection and the Life! Hallelujah!

  8. Sarah Morrison says:


  9. Sarah Morrison says:

    My sister and I listen to Lauren daigle’s come alive (dry bones) just amazing with todays reading

  10. Sarah Morrison says:

    My sister and I listen to Lauren daigle’s come alive (dry bones)

  11. Clarene Radford says:

    I believe! In Jesus Name Amen

  12. Mary CumbiePrince says:

    Needed this reminder today that God can breathe life even in my grief and hardest seasons. Thank you for God who heals and restores broken things.

  13. Ashlee Hickson says:

    I believe!

  14. Kathy Harkness says:

    Same thing for me today. Needed the extra rest I guess!

  15. Kathy Harkness says:

    I was behind that much too. I just started reading two days at a time, more if I felt lead to, and was able to catch up. I think reading it in order made more sense for me. Just keep opening your Bible and it will be blessed!

  16. Sky Hilton says:

    Only Jesus breathes life into dry bones! We cannot be better people, better vessels, or better children for Him without Him! Jesus is alive and is always guiding us to be better people, breathing life into our dry bones to make us burn for Him. Don’t listen to what anyone else says when they say that there is no life anywhere else. We find Life in our Savior!

  17. Jennifer Anapol says:

    Rachel Davis, no judgement for falling behind. I would just go back to where you left off. I think this book of the Bible is better understood in order. Happy reading!

  18. Jennifer Anapol says:

    I loved this reading so much today. Ezekiel has felt dry and heavy; which is an appropriate reaction to what God was saying to his people. The reading today was a breathe of fresh air. This air was filled with hope and new life. I really have never truly understood this part of Ezekiel, until today. Ezekiel really is a chapter that is better understood if you read it in it’s entirety. I know that God has so often breathed fresh life on the “dry bones” in my life. One situation that comes to mind is when I had lost hope that I would ever find the man God has for me, and that night I met my husband. Even during my lowest moment, God had a plan and hope for my future. I’m so thankful we serve a God of new hope and resurrection!

  19. Jamie T says:

    Oh how this reading and devotional by Beth has given me strength. Struggling today with some random things. When we Trust Him, we are given Hope. Like the Israelites, I have a lot to learn, but everyday I can thank Jesus Christ for saving me.

  20. Rhonda J says:

    Good afternoon She’s!

    I too love the song by Elevation Worship- “Rattle!” Look it up if you have not heard it!
    This reading of Ezekiel was “the good part!” …Finally right?! As I was reading through the first part I started skimming thinking, yeah, yeah..I get it. But do I? At the time they didn’t have the whole old testament which repeats the failure of the people, and God pulling them back again and again which can seem redundant to us sometimes. But until we intently realize that we were/are those people, that everyone is the sinning Isaralites that bring sadness to our Heavenly Father, we will not grasp the huge sacrifice of His son Jesus Christ that redeemed us. The stories matter, the history matters. And we will be a punished people until we are reborn in Christ, and then seek to do His will. We will be more apt to recognize when we sin from that point by the Holy Spirit in us, sanctifying us in His goodness, to repent! It’s a beautiful, wonderful love story. Redeeming Love! Thank you, Lord God!

    @Dorthy- Hope it went well with the situation, many prayers from your sisters. Lifting you all up today to our wonderful King of Kings, Yahweh, that always provides when we call upon Him.

  21. Terri Baldwin says:

    26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” – John 11:26

  22. Terri Baldwin says:

    “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh” I will save you from all your uncleanliness and you will live in the land that I gave your ancestors; you will be my people.

  23. Traci Gendron says:

    Update She did not feel that I needed a root canal. Yay!! Let’s hope that it stays that way.

  24. Rachael Davis says:

    Hi Everyone! I have fallen behind a little more than a week. :( Should I start where we are or go back to where Inleft

  25. Rachael Davis says:

    Hi Everyone! I have fallen behind a little more than a week. :(

  26. Violet says:

    Hosea 6:3 has special meaning for me today. Texas has been consumed by wildfires for about the past two weeks, and we received unexpected rains last night. God is so good! He is the resurrection and the life! He cares for His people and is always willing to answer prayers. Glory to God alone for His wonderful love and blessings!

  27. Traci Gendron says:

    God can breathe new life into us, trust God for this!

    Thank you for your prayers! I told Linda King I was less nervous about donating my kidney. There is something about your mouth and throat. Where we breathe…I have a good dentist. He prays for his patients. All will be good.

    To the single girls I want to caution you not to fall in love with someones potential. Make sure what you are looking for is already in that person. Prayers that God will bless you in His timing.

  28. Mari V says:

    Michelle P. I’m praying for you right now sweet girl! In many ways I know how you feel. Just know that in many ways you made a difference.

  29. Vic says:

    MICHELLE P. This is a reply to your comment. I am sorry you are going through the job loss. But with the way your boss is responding just shows that it wasn’t a good place to be and isn’t worth the negative thoughts. I pray that you would find your confidence and your worth in the Lord, and not in what others think of you. It can be easy, but anytime those thoughts appear, just replace them with what the Lord says about you. The Lord will open up more doors for you, just trust in that.

  30. Allison Bentley says:

    “Lord God only you know” I feel like Ezekiel knew God could/would make the bones rise but this was a “I want to see this miracle” statement. Can you imagine? Something straight out of a sci-fi movie is in the Bible!! Lord I pray that this season we all COME TO LIFE in You and for You!!

  31. Chris S says:

    Such a beautiful part of God’s word today! Yes I believe!! And as I’m in my “senior” years and my bones ache and I find it much harder to do all the things I want to do to serve others I found todays message giving my dry bones hope.

  32. Rachel says:

    Last year, God took a “dry bones,” hopeless-seeming situation in my life and did the impossible, giving it life and bringing incredible joy. Our God is the very same One who gave Ezekiel the visions and the prophecies. He is still all about bringing new life, even when it seems all hope is gone.

    DOROTHY – Praying for you this morning, that God will guide your words and you will have wisdom, discernment and sweetness in your speech.

    MICHELLE – ugh. I’m so sorry. It hurts so much to be misunderstood and to have cruel things said about us. I pray that you will be able to release these things from your mind and heart and instead dwell on the truth of you who are according to the Lord.

    Praying for the other requests, too.

  33. Eileen Dowd says:

    Thank you Dorothy for mentioning The song “Rattle” by elevation worship. It was amazing and totally made my day thank you so much!!

  34. Sharon, Jersey Girl says:

    Dry bones to life! I love this chapter in Ezekiel, it is one of new life, restoration and hope! God alone has the power to redeem, revive, restore – to “recreate” life!
    Praise God for His mercy and His grace that is new every single day!

    @Dorothy – praying that God will give you just the right words to say, that your sister will be receptive and that she will want to find help for her situation. Also praying for Finley.
    @Jennifer – praying for your prodigal sons, I have two of my own.
    @Traci Gendron – praying for your dental visit today – may God give you peace and take away any anxiety.
    @all the single ladies who are in relationships, or want to be – that God will bring just the right person into your lives, that your relationships will honor and glorify God and that He will give you all peace and patience while you wait.

    Blessings to you all this Wednesday morning!

  35. Annelyn P says:

    Praying for you, DOROTHY, as you navigate this day. May God will lead and guide as you walk with him.

  36. Michelle P. says:

    Good morning, ladies.

    I’m just about to do this reading, but I’ve been so distraught by my thoughts that it has been hard to begin. So, I would like to ask for prayer.

    Recently, I was basically laid off from a cafe job. It was a small shop inside a bigger building. I didn’t work there long, only 8 months. But I had put my heart into it and worked diligently for the Lord there. Yet, I am human and of course, I did not always live it out every moment. I had moments of failure, and I would talk to God. Nothing major, but I didn’t want to misrepresent Him, so I was always very honest with the management about my shortcomings. I did my very best to love everyone there. When I left, I felt defeated because for whatever reason, the people I worked with and management were not in a place to receive my love. I didn’t fit into their culture. God told me to grieve. That it was ok to feel rejected.

    Anyways, a co-worker told me yesterday that when I left, my boss had spread harsh words about me over one mistake I had made. I thought, “after all the good things I did and said to them, they remember me by one failure?” It stung.

    My boss also told my coworker awful things about what she thought of me. I don’t know what, she wanted to tell me in person what was said, but I don’t think I want to hear. It is hard to be betrayed after trying to give my heart to my boss, to some extent. I was always honest with who I was. I tried to love as best I could.

    I believe God told me to shake the dust off and keep moving, but I can’t get these thoughts out of my head.

    So just asking for prayer!

  37. Jennifer Loves Jesus says:

    There is so much hope in the now and now yet with Yahweh. We are saved from our enemies, externally and internally (sin). There are only two verses in the old testament that speak of Yahweh saving us from our sins, Ezekiel 36:29a and 37:23b. These powerful statements of Yahweh saying, “I will save” came to fruition in Matthew 1:21 speaking of Jesus, being born to save us from our sins. Such beautiful prophetic truth right there. We have been saved already by Jesus, living in between the two gardens, and in the not yet, we will be saved for eternity when we land in the new and always with God Eden to come. The Holy Spirit came into my dry bones and I was raised to new life with Yahweh as Yeshua. The nations were pulled back to Yahweh’s family in the larger context and sealed through faith in Yeshua. We will all live securely in the land, knowing the Lord, who spoke the promises of His covenant. We are His temple, He dwells with us now. And we will live with Him forever in the not yet Kingdom. We have hearts of flesh carrying the letter of Christ, written by the ink of the Spirit of the living God (2 Cor 3:3). This is our present condition, and we are equipped to live well now. With joyful expectation of the not yet. This is the hope that cannot be shaken. The tablets of stone given to the people through Moses contained God’s words in His first attempt to save people from sin. Then He came to us with the laws fulfilled in Jesus. Flesh to flesh. He took our stony hearts and gave us fleshly love, so that the Holy Spirit would tabernacle with us. The Spirit enables us to follow God’s commands. The first two commandments spoke against having other gods before Yahweh, the one true God, and making idols of these other gods. These supernatural enemies are the overarching force of evil, and we must be aware of what is unseen. We can rest assured in God’s covenantal promise that with Him, we will live securely forever. Turn the stoney hearts to you Lord, and help me work with You to snatch your people from the unseen enemies. May my life shine your light from the heart of flesh You gave me, and let the people with very dry bones see the light of life and truth, and come to live with You, too.

  38. Morgan Latham says:

    God, You are my hope. Help me see what You are making new.

  39. Lisa Sanders says:

    I am praying for you Dorothy, may the Holy Spirit intercede and speak through you, with words of wisdom and discernment.

  40. Ally M says:

    I believe!

  41. Jennifer says:

    So many of these scriptures today became prayers for my prodigal sons. Both boys raised in God honoring homes. They have been disciples in truth and have exchanged it for idolatry, carnality and lies. God can restore all things.

  42. Leigh Gorham says:


  43. Aimee D-R says:

    Father reward my faith, forgive my doubt. In Jesus name, Amen

  44. Angie says:

    There is a difference between weary bones and dry, dead bones.
    There is no difference in the power of our God to restore them, giving new flesh and breath.
    My “bones” may become weary, but they are still flesh covered and oxygenated by the Lord God. If they are weary, then it is my place to determine; are they weary because I am trying to carry too much or things I am not meant to carry? Or, are they weary because I have spent the energy my God has given completely, and fully for Him – Like an athlete that “leaves it all on the court or field.”
    Dry, dead bones are lifeless, extinguished of further value. “But God.” He is the giver of NEW life. For all of us were dead, dry bones, lifeless and dust-covered in sin, until He blew the breath of life into and across us to cleanse and redeem our sin-filled souls. As we rattle around and are restored, that rattle is the song of redemption. That rattle is the sound of the Lord’s army rising up in vibrant service to our King. Let us take those rattling bones wherever the breath of our God blows us and create a song of honor and glory to our Lord in the new-life-giving redemption of a lost world of scattered, dry bones.
    Lord God, give strength to my weary skin-covered, breathed into bones. Help me as I rattle around for You today to bring honor and glory in all that I do. May it be Your fresh breath Lord that is breathed upon my brothers and sisters in the Lord’s army and upon the lost You rattle me near. Amen.

  45. Kristen says:

    Ezekiel: 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you;I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will place my Spirit within you and cause you to follow my statutes and carefully observe my ordinances. 28 You will live in the land that I gave your ancestors; you will be my people, and I will be your God.

    My mother in law said these verses to me years ago. However, I’ve been learning about God, but I haven’t really known Him and been changed. This is awful. I’ve believed lies and false perceptions, and have had tormenting thoughts. By His grace, I’m starting to know Him and see things more clearly. I believe so much will change! I know that He is Holy and to be regarded as Holy. I want this to penetrate my mind permanently. I’ve asked to see the depths of my sin, and I’ve seen that I’m not above others. (You know how the comparison thing goes!) When I see myself rightly, and see Him rightly, I know how depraved and wretched I am. I want to be undone by His saving grace and the unfathomable price Jesus paid. He drank the cup, the cup of God’s wrath, and I was a cause of this. May this lead me to repentance quickly each time. Then, this should bring such joy that my thoughts, actions, and life should want to be pleasing to Him because of the hope and gratitude fir His amazing grace. I know that I can’t do anything on my own, but by His Spirit.

  46. Stormi Messmer says:


  47. Andrea Henry says:

    And the song! Praise Him who gives us life.

  48. Searching says:

    Lord, may I always remember that You are my God. That I remember Your love for me and the blessings, wisdom and guidance You have provided, along with the discipline and instruction, forgiveness, mercy and grace. That it not take something so startling as dry bones rising up to remind me of what I know to be true, You alone are my God.

    TRACI GENDRON – praying for your dental appointment today, from another chicken.

    DOROTHY – praying for you to wake up fully rested for today, that the Lord would give you the right words, the right tone, for talking with your sister and the doctor. Praying for your nephew also. Keep us posted please on Finley and the meds, praying for her and her family.

  49. Kelly (NEO) says:

    It is because of Christ’s resurrection that I can know that God “is the Lord” and that my resurrection is coming.

    DOROTHY – praying the Lord gives you the words He would say and your sister would agree.

  50. Arina says:

    It isn’t for Israel sake that the Lord now acts. They have profane His holy Name. The only thing that is left of the people is a lot of bones. Very dry bones, meaning that they have been dead a long time. There is no reason why God would want to have anything to do with them. Still, God gives them life. And He is not sparse and the grace He gives. Just like we read chapter after chapter about judgement, there now seems to come no end to the abundance of blessing. It’s all coming from Him!

    Dorothy – Praying for you, your sister and Finley

  51. Dorothy says:

    “This is the sound of dry bones rattling,” is part of the lyrics for the song “Rattle” by Elevation Worship. When I read this story in Ezekiel it reminded me of this song. It goes on to say, “My God is able to save and deliver and heal And restore anything that He wants to Just ask the man who was thrown On the bones of Elisha If there’s anything that He can’t do.” And then goes on to say, “And the bones began to rattle Rattle, rattle Rattle God said live, God said live Hear the Word And this is what He said Live, live Dry bones hear the Word of the Lord Live (live), live (live).” Isn’t that what God wants us to do — live in and for Him. To go out and tell others, to be the sound of those dry bones rattling and praising Him.
    Sisters please pray for me, I am going to have to talk with my sister and the doctor regarding my sister’s continuing treatment. After a phone call to the hospital last evening I found out that they are going to be sending my sister home with home health. This would not be a good situation because of my nephew, his dog and the shape the house is in. Today I need to go and talk to my sister about how I think that maybe she needs to go to rehab for her drinking and that would allow my son, d-i-l and I time to get her house cleaned up and to talk with my nephew. I talked with my brothers and the agree and stated that any repairs that need to be done they will pay for. I’m not always the most tactful person so please pray that I can say the right things, especially to the doctor. My brothers, son and I decided I should only mention that the dog is not the friendliest of dogs so that’s why it wouldn’t be a good idea for the doctor to send in home health.
    Also we will know more about whether or not the new medicine Finley is on is working like it’s suppose to by this evening. If it allows the drainage to slow then she will be able to come home Thursday.
    I did this devotion very early because I hope to get some sleep and then head to the hospital.
    Sisters be blessed and remember there’s nothing the Lord can’t do if you ask but you may have to wait because the Lord does it in HIS TIME NOT our time.