In the Psalms we often see David, the individual feeling hopeless. Here it is a whole nation. But it was not God's intention to leave them in their hopelessness. He saw their misery, and wanted to revitalise the sad discouraged community of Israel. There are many groups, churches, communities and nations today who need to know that the Lord can make dead bones live.

He asked me, "Son of man, can these bones live?" I said, "O Sovereign LORD, you alone know." What a wise answer! Ezekiel knows enough of the Lord to know that he himself knows nothing, and that God is full of surprises. Can you think of a situation in your life or someone near to you today which has been taken for hopeless?

In our previous thought we suggested that our misdeeds can result in our own ill health, now we see that they can result in someone else's poor health. In Thought 1 we talked about the "one flesh" of marriage. Here we see the effects of being joined with a "bad lot". It is encouraging that the Bible tells the same story all the way through. God never changes, and 'one flesh' means 'one flesh'.

Throughout the psalms the bones are taken as representing the health of the whole body. It is a sign of serious illness or serious worry when David the psalmist talks of his bones. But in every case he ends with confidence that the Lord will move, that He has heard the prayer and will answer.

Jeroboam was an evil king, and during his reign many abominations happened, (1 Kings 12) but the Lord had a plan to put things right, and he sent this unnamed prophet to foretell what would happen 300 years later. In the next verse the prophet declared that the altar would split apart as a sign that this word was from the Lord. Read the rest of the chapter and see that this did happen immediately in front of Jeroboam who lifted his hand to arrest the prophet, but his hand withered and would not move!