Often God commanded His prophets to speak forth what He was about to do before He actually did it. One graphic instance of this is in Ezekiel 37, the familiar chapter on the Valley of Dry Bones. God wanted to resurrect His people Israel from their graves and restore life to their bones. How did He go about doing this?
- Ezekiel 37:4-8 4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! 5 This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. 6 I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD.'”
7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.
We see the same pattern repeated as God commanded Ezekiel to speak to the breath to come into the lifeless flesh.
- Ezekiel 37:9-10 9 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into these slain, that they may live.'” 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet-a vast army.
God raised up this “vast army” when the prophet spoke as he was commanded by the God of Israel. In our current New Testament period, God still moves through His prophets in a similar fashion. Moreover, in the same way, God commands us His witnesses to speak in the name of Christ. What is it that we speak and proclaim? We proclaim the gospel, we command disease and demons to go in the name of Jesus Christ. Only then will the Lord save souls and heal the sick and oppressed. Of course, we must remember that God is sovereign and can move quite independently of us should He choose to do so.
Let’s now examine the importance of confidence and faith in ministering healing.