Lord, You Alone Know by Ryne Swann

In the book of the prophet Ezekiel we encounter a brilliant response to one of God’s questions. Ezekiel 37:1-3 says, “The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. He asked me, ‘Son of man, can these bones live?’ I said, ‘Sovereign Lord, you alone know.’” Now by this time Ezekiel had already experienced God’s power, and seen the permanency of death. So instead of answering yes or no like he knew, he says, “You alone know.” What if we responded to all of life’s questions by saying, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know”?

I think about the weight of that question knowing all that Ezekiel has been through. He was fed a scroll, and it tasted like honey and filled him. That is only by the power of God. But then his wife died and stayed dead. So he sees that God could have brought them back to life, but he also sees that God allows physical death to last. So if I were Ezekiel, I wouldn’t know how to answer the question either.

I may say something filled with human logic like, “No. These bones are dead, dry, and useless. Once a body is this far gone in the rotting process, it is impossible to bring it back. Doctors give up on a body that is ‘clinically dead’ (heart has stopped pumping) after about 20 seconds. So how could these dry bones live once again?”

Or I may surprise myself and say something that would defy logic and lean on faith such as, “Yes. God, you can bring a dead soul to life so You can bring the driest bones back to life. These bones, no matter how dead they are, you will bring them back to life.”

Either answer could be true. But instead of taking either of those sides, Ezekiel takes the middle ground of trusting God but not knowing the outcome. He doesn’t think that he can just know the mind and heart of God. Instead of trying to figure out what God was going to do, he simply let God do it. God could have made a point by leaving the bones dry and lifeless, but He decided to show his resurrecting power by putting muscle and skin on these dry bones. He made alive again.

So what do we do when God allows questions to come our way that we don’t know the answer to? We simply respond by saying, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know” and then wait to see how God is going to glorify Himself in the situation. We are told to ask and expect great thing in the name of Jesus, but it is also important to know that the only way we will ever know what God is going to do is if He lets us know. We can’t crack the heavenly security and tap into His eternal knowledge database. We should ask big things of our big God, but we also need to know that the only one who knows what is going to be the best outcome is God.

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