And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the LORD; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the LORD.”Ezekiel 37:13-14
The above are the last two verses of one of the best known stories in the Bible. The valley of dry bones is where Ezekiel has a vision of God raising up the people of Israel from death to new life. From a people who had no hope to one that had hope fulfilled.
The beginning and end of these verses declare that the result of this action is so that the people will know the LORD. What does it mean to know the LORD? It has to be more than acknowledging his existence…I know the President of the US exists, but I don’t “know” him. It is even more than depending on his power…I depend on the Kentucky Utilities for electricity but that isn’t a relationship. No, it has to be deeper and more personal than simply a transactional knowing although it absolutely includes those aspects.
Knowing the LORD is to share your life with him. It is to acknowledge him in gratitude and to even question him in doubts. It is to call him by name and to take the time to listen as God calls yours. It is to realize his power and to delight in his compassion. Knowing God is a commitment to spending a life together sharing experiences and exploring questions. And perhaps one of the deepest levels of knowing the LORD is to begin to see yourself, and care for yourself, as he does for you. For when we know the LORD we will know ourselves because he reveals to us who we are as we know whose we are.
God didn’t put Israel back together for any other reason than for the ultimate reason in life. To have a relationship with him. Not just to know about him, but to share in his life.
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