FINAL EPISODE: Sticks and Bones
This week (May 5) on Shabbat Night Live, Ezekiel 37 speaks of dry bones coming together and two sticks becoming one. But have believers understood this prophecy backward from the beginning?
Al McCarn shares an enlightening perspective about what this prophecy really means and to whom it is addressed.
Watch the episode — included on this blog post.
While you watch, consider the questions below. The timeline for each discussion topic in the video is noted on each question. Post your answers in the comments section and let’s get some discussion going!
- (VIDEO TIMELINE: 16:00) Why does the notion that the Jewish people have provided professed Christians with the “rule book” failed to prevent anti-Semitism and impeded growth in spirituality among believers?How do the Torah and the related books of the Old Testament provide a foundation and perspective for the present day, for both students of scripture and skeptical followers of intellectual history?
- (VIDEO TIMELINE: 20:00) How has evangelical Christianity indirectly undermined the sentiments of Psalm 133 regarding unity among followers of YeHoVaH? How has the acceptance of Yeshua as Messiah become almost fetishized among many believers, to the expense of centuries of recorded doctrine, narrative, and prophecy in holy books that are often omitted in publications and ignored as superfluous in the pursuit of “easy grace”?
- (VIDEO TIMELINE: 24:00) Similarly, how has this same overemphasis contributed to anti-Semitism and failed dialogue between evangelicals and traditional schools of worship within Judaism? How does supersessionism offer a radical and exclusionary perspective that maintains a false distinction between the so-called Old and New Testaments and that arguably violates the commandments of YeHoVaH through oversimplification and elitism?
- (VIDEO TIMELINE: 28:00) How has the imagery and prophetic significance of Ezekiel 37 been trivialized by the marginalization of the Old Testament and by popular culture? How might the interpretation of this nightmarish episode as an allegory of modern Jewish persecution leading to nationhood potentially redefine Christian-Jewish relations through its pervasive theme of restoration to life?
- (VIDEO TIMELINE: 32:00) How does Paul’s exhortation in Ephesians 5:4 against “coarse jesting” resonate in our contemporary climate of unhindered free speech and ubiquitous media? In light of the Holocaust, how does today’s scatological humor and unfettered invective threaten to encourage inhumane thought that might lead yet again to division, scapegoating, and genocide by otherwise civilized individuals who have forgotten how to think critically?
- (VIDEO TIMELINE: 38:00) How has the lengthy prophecy of the two sticks in Ezekiel 37:15-28 been largely overlooked by many believers in deference to that of the dry bones which precedes it? Has its theme of unification of the tribes of Israel and their restoration to their promised homeland possibly been downplayed by professed believers who dabble in syncretism, which is countered by its prohibition against idolatry?
- (VIDEO TIMELINE: 42:00) Similarly, how does this important prophetic chapter offer insight on the enduring effort to discredit the legitimacy of the Jewish nation, which continues to the present day with accusations of Israel as an “apartheid state”? Furthermore, how can such efforts as the notion of a “two-state solution” to Jewish-Arab conflict be viewed as untenable after Israel’s victory in the War of Independence of 1947?
- (VIDEO TIMELINE: 46:00) How does the widespread phenomenon of Cultural Christianity reflect an unwillingness among many professed believers to recognize and adhere to the rules codified by YeHoVaH in scripture? How do such pretensions demonstrate the presumption of salvation without obedience and the characterization by Yeshua of those who pay lip service to Christian identity but who “practice lawlessness” (Matthew 7:21-23) and who will be summarily rejected?
- (VIDEO TIMELINE: 50:00) If indeed Israel can be considered the most volatile of all nations despite its small size, how does it continue to demonstrate the unfolding of prophecy to a largely uncomprehending world? How does the fairly constant attention that is devoted to its controversial founding in 1948 tend to obscure the significance of its capture of East Jerusalem in 1967 and the prospect of its eventual reconstruction of the Temple?
- (VIDEO TIMELINE: 54:00) Similarly, how has the intense focus upon the Temple Mount as ground zero of the Israeli-Arab conflict served to distract many citizens from examples of shifting attitudes toward this issue within the Middle East? How has the recent phenomenon of “Palestinian fatigue” among the Arab League and the gradual secularization efforts of Mohammed bin Salman in Saudi Arabia both suggested a redefinition of this impasse away from theocracy and toward economics?