Monday, April 3, 2017

The Holy Spirit In The Old Testament

Many think the Holy Spirit is only a New Testament belief, yet as we look at the scriptures we find him appearing many times as the Spirit of God or the Spirit of the Lord.  We will just look at few to get an idea of the frequency. 
The first appearance of the Holy Spirit is found at creation, as described in Genesis 1:2.  “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”

Pharaoh referred to Joseph as Having the Spirit of God in Genesis 41:38.  “And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is?”  In this case the Spirit was expected to lead Joseph in making wise decisions. 

In Exodus 31:2-5, The Holy Spirit is credited with giving the men in charge of designing and building the Tabernacle special understandings and skills in working with the various materials.  “See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah: And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, To devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, And in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship.”

Deuteronomy 34:9 describes the Holy Spirit giving Joshua special leadership skills.  “And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him: and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as the LORD commanded Moses.”

In Judges, he empowered the various judges with strategies and strength to deliver Israel from their enemies.  Some of those who are specially mentioned as having the Spirit of God include Othniel (Judges 3:9-10), Gideon (Judges 6:34), Jephthah (Judges 11:29), and Samson (Judges 15:14)

The Holy Spirit empowered Saul to defeat the Ammonites in I Samuel 11:5, and empowered David to lead Israel in 16:13-14.  “Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.  But the spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him.”

The most common references to Holy Spirit in the Old Testament are when he empowered a prophet to tell what God had commanded.  These included such men as Azariah, (I Chronicles 15:2), Zechariah (II Chronicles 24:20), Isaiah (Isaiah 61:1), Ezekiel (Ezekiel 2:2), and Micah (Micah 3:8)
Various other passages refer to the Holy Spirit as we see in following.

“Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth.” (Psalm 104:30)

“Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.” (Proverbs 1:23)

“And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:” (Isaiah 11:1-3)

“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.” (Joel 2:28-29)

From these and other references it is clear the Holy Spirit has been actively involved from the the very beginning.  

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