"The hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. Then he caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry." Ezekiel 37:1 This is the great "dry bones" prophecy which every student of Bible prophecy is familiar with. Israel was long out of existence as a nation when Ezekiel gave this prophecy. The Spirit of God took him and showed him a valley of very, very dry bones. And God asked him, "Can these bones live?" The Lord went on to say that these bones are symbolically "the whole house of Israel." And then he gives the great prophecy of how, after a very long time, he will bring them back to their ancient land. Ezekiel saw God raise up these old dry bones, put flesh on them and bring them back to the land of their fathers, the land of their covenant, the land of Israel. vs 12: ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, O my people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel." But there's an interesting point in this prophecy, the point that though they are brought back to their land, they are brought back in a state of unbelief, there was no "breath" or spirit in them: vs 8: "Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over, BUT THERE WAS NO BREATH IN THEM." "Breath" is a word associated with the Holy Spirit. And sure enough, the Lord HAS returned those ancient people to their land, but as they left their land in unbelief having rejected God's Messiah, so they have returned in unbelief, with a veil upon them blinding their eyes which were closed back then in unbelief. "But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the Old Testament is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts." 2 Corinthians 3:14-15 But that veil is going to be removed. The great redemption of Israel, the culmination of the Israel story that began millennia ago with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, will take place when their Messiah comes. It will be a great shock to the nation of Israel when they realize WHO the Messiah is: "And one will say to him, ‘WHAT ARE THESE WOUNDS IN YOUR HANDS?’???!!! (emphasis added, can you imagine the shock?) "Then he will answer, ‘Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.’" Zechariah 13:6 As they realize who the Messiah is when they see the wounds in his hands, when they realize that Yeshua (Jesus) is the Messiah whom they rejected, the entire nation will go into bitter mourning: "They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son." Zechariah 12:10 And then the Lord will bring them into the new covenant which he will establish with them. No longer will they be under the law which they couldn't keep, no, they will receive the Holy Spirit and he will put the law into their hearts: "'Behold, the days are coming,' says the Lord, 'when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah... ...This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days,' says the Lord: 'I will put my law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.'" Jeremiah 31:31, 33 This great story is playing out right before our eyes. The nation of Israel was raised up again in 1948, and the Jewish people have returned. The rest of the story is about to be played out and there are developments daily leading up to it. What a time to be alive! What a privilege to be alive to witness this ancient prophecy taking place in our time, right before our eyes. No other generation could have witnessed this. Truly we are privileged.