The following is a re-translation of a creepy little vignette from the Old Testament. Reader discretion is advised.
“A Valley of Dry Bones”
The Lord grabbed me, and in the blink of an eye I was whisked away to a dark valley. He led me all around and over what looked like white sticks coating the valley floor, like a carpet. With a jolt of horror, I realized what they were.
They were bones. Bones scattered everywhere across the ground, and completely dried out. Grinning skulls, broken femurs, piles of fingerbones. Their owners had been dead a long, long time. It had been a terrific battle. Only Death had won.
“Son, do you think these bones can again become living people?” the Lord said, glowing, at my shoulder.
“O Lord,” I said, my voice a tremor, “only you can know the answer to that.”
He laughed. It was thunderous.
“Go ahead, speak to these bones, and say, ‘Dead bones, listen to the word of my Lord! This is what He says: Look! I will make you live again! I will put flesh and muscles over you and cover you with skin. I will blow breath into you, and you will rise up. Then you will know my power.’”
So I cleared my throat, and I called out those words, just as he told me, in that desolate valley. Nothing happened for a moment.
A rattle echoed all around. It pealed like thunder. The bones of each body came together and attached themselves as complete skeletons. As I watched, muscles and flesh coated over the bones. Skin grew over their bodies. But still they had no breath. My heart was pounding.
“Speak to the winds, son,” the Lord said. “Tell them, ‘This is what my Lord says: Come, four winds – breathe life into these corpses.’”
Again my voice called out into the valley, thin and pinched. But the wind came on command, with harsh gusts throughout the valley, giving breath to the bodies.
They all came to life and stood up on their feet—a great army standing at attention, looking at me with shining, expectant eyes. Their faces were blank, they were awaiting commands.
“Son, these bones represent something.”
I could feel His hand, his force, on my shoulder. His voice resounded in my head, again and again.
“These bodies represent the people of Israel. They say, ‘We have become dead old bones – all hope is gone. Our nation is finished.’
“But tell them the future. Give them hope. Tell them, ‘This is what the Lord says: My people, I will open your graves so you can rise again. Then I will bring you back to the Promised Land. And when it happens, you will know the power of the Lord. You will live again in Israel, and you will worship me. Yes, the Lord has spoken. Tell them!’”
I looked at that resurrected army, and I swallowed. I opened my mouth to speak.