Every Breath – Our Daily Bread + Insight: 12 March 2021
By Leslie Koh for ODB
I will put breath in you.
Read: Ezekiel 37:1–3, 7–10, 14
Bible in a Year: Deuteronomy 17–19; Mark 13:1–20
When Tee Unn came down with a rare autoimmune disease that weakened all his muscles and nearly killed him, he realized that being able to breathe was a gift. For more than a week, a machine had to pump air into his lungs every few seconds, which was a painful part of his treatment.
Tee Unn made a miraculous recovery, and today he reminds himself not to complain about life’s challenges. “I’ll just take a deep breath,” he says, “and thank God I can.”
How easy it is to focus on things we need or want, and forget that sometimes the smallest things in life can be the greatest miracles. In Ezekiel’s vision (Ezekiel 37:1–14), God showed the prophet that only He could give life to dry bones. Even after tendons, flesh, and skin had appeared, “there was no breath in them” (v. 8). It was only when God gave them breath that they could live again (v. 10).
This vision illustrated God’s promise to restore Israel from devastation. It also reminds me that anything I have, big or small, is useless unless God gives me breath.
How about thanking God for the simplest blessings in life today? Amid the daily struggle, let’s stop occasionally to take a deep breath, and “let everything that has breath praise the Lord” (Psalm 150:6).
Reflect and Pray
What will you thank God for right now? How can you remind yourself to thank Him more often today?
In the record of Ezekiel’s vision of the dry bones (Ezekiel 37:1–14), two repeated words paint the scene in particularly vivid imagery: bones and breath(e). These words set up the contrast between what Ezekiel sees and what God does. Twelve times the word bone(s) is repeated in these verses. The repetition creates the unmistakable image of death, but not that of the recently deceased. The death shown to Ezekiel by the Spirit of God is that of the long dead—no skin, muscle, or tendons are left; the dry bones lay scattered on the valley floor, no longer connected to each other.
In contrast to the dry bones is the promise and power of God’s breath. It alone undoes death. When “the bones came together” (v. 7) and were covered with sinew and flesh, they still weren’t alive. It was only when the breath of God entered them that they became a living army once again.
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