Your dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, you that dwell in dust…
There are two senses in which men may be considered dead while yet living inhabitants of the earth.
(1) They may be civilly dead: utterly deprived of all political rights and privileges. To this the prophet refers undoubtedly. Ezekiel in a vision saw them as a "valley of dry bones." Here is a call for the restoration. "Thy dead men shall live" — live politically, restored to their own country, reinstated in all their rights, placed again amongst the nations of the earth.
(2) Another sense in which men may be considered dead whilst living inhabitants of the earth is spiritually; Observe then —
I. THE SPIRITUAL CONDITION of unregenerated men. They "dwell in the dust."
1. Scientific materialists are in the dust. All their attention is taken up with material substances, combinations, forces, operations, laws. They have no world outside beyond the tangible and the visible.
2. Mercenary worldlings are in the dust.
3. Voluptuous sensualists are in the dust.
4. Ceremonial religionists are in the dust.
II. THE URGENT CALL MADE on unregenerate men. "Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust." But why awake?
1. Because the sleep is injurious. Physical sleep is refreshing, but spiritual sleep is pernicious; it enervates the powers; it is a disease that wastes and destroys.
2. Because the sleep is sinful. It is a sin against our constitution, against the ordination of Heaven, against the well. being of the universe.
3. Because it is perilous. In their dreams they feel that they are "increasing in goods and have need of nothing, whereas they are poor and wretched, blind and naked."
Parallel VersesKJV: Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.