Key Passage: Ezekiel 37:27 “My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people.”
Big Picture Question: What was God’s plan for Israel? God planned to bring His people back together in their own land.
Christ Connection: God showed Ezekiel a valley. It was full of dead bones. When we disobey God, we are like those dead bones. But God gave us Jesus to take away our sin. Jesus can give us life so we can be with God forever.
Thank you for continuing this journey of The Gospel Project® for Kids. Last week, Ezekiel saw God’s glory leave the temple in a vision. It seemed like all hope was lost. God had removed the people of Judah from His presence. The exiled people of Judah were eager to blame God for their circumstances. “It’s not fair!” they argued. (See Ezekiel 18:25.) Ezekiel told the people that they were at fault for their exile; their faithlessness had provoked God’s wrath. The people were getting what they deserved. “I take no pleasure in anyone’s death,” God said. “So repent and live!” (Ezekiel 18:32).
God gave Ezekiel a vision of hope. In this vision, God showed Ezekiel a valley of dry bones. The bones represented Israel. Ezekiel prophesied that God would put tendons, flesh, and skin on the bones. He would put breath in them so they would come to life. Ezekiel encouraged the exiles. Apart from God, they were dead. But God was offering them life. He would restore their future. “My dwelling place will be with them,” God said. “I will be their God, and they will be My people” (Ezekiel 37:27).
We too are dead in our sin. (Ephesians 2:1) Sin separates us from God because He is holy. We are apart from God’s presence. But God does not delight in our death. He is patient and wants us to repent and live! The dry bones of Ezekiel’s vision remind us what we are like when we sin. God had a plan for people who sin. Because Jesus came to earth, died, and was raised to life, He has the power to give us eternal life.
Family Activity: Lead everyone in the family to draw a picture of something they hope will happen in the future. Talk about the word “hope.” Look the word up in the dictionary or read verses in the Bible about hope (examples: Psalm 62:5, Romans 15:13). What does it mean to have hope? Ask kids to think about why God wanted His people to have hope for the future.
Take it further: Peel a banana in the morning and save your banana peel. Show it to your kids later in the day after it has turned brown. Discuss what happened to the banana peel. Talk about God’s power to bring something dead back to life as a way to introduce the story.