by returning the ball.
— Daniel I. Block (The Book of Ezekiel: Chapters 25-48)
There was a commercial out recently for a job search agency. In it, the employee was stressing the importance of a certain action to his boss. Let me paraphrase the conversation (from memory—apologies to the writers):
Employee: Do you understand what I’ve proposed?
Employee: And you see the need for this?
Employee: So you’re going to do it?
Boss: You’re much better than me at this—you’re going to do it.
Ezekiel got himself in a very similar situation in the valley of dry bones.
. . .
God: “Mortal, can these bones live?”
Ezekiel: “O Lord GOD, you know.”
God: “Prophesy to these bones . . .”
God asked Ezekiel a question, and the shell-shocked priest-turned-prophet put the ball back in God’s court. God wouldn’t keep the ball, though. He returned it. If Ezekiel had faith that God had the answer to such a question, then he would have no problem obeying God’s Word and speaking to the bones.
It’s blazingly obvious that there was no human way such bones could come alive again. The Jewish people had accounts of people being raised from the dead, but only just after they had died. The bones in the valley were picked clean of flesh—they had been dead for a while.
Ezekiel took God’s challenge and prophesied, just as God asked him to.
. . .
Here’s the million dollar question: What has God asked us to speak to? Something unbelievable? Is it too big for God to handle (tongue-firmly-in-cheek)?
Most of us pray and ask God for and about things all the time. When God turns back and says: “Sure, now do it,” how do we act?
. . .
Lord God, we’re good at turning our needs over to you. Help us to obey you when you challenge us to do something about them. In Jesus’ name, Amen.