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Holy Spirit in the Old Testament

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The attributes, actions and roles of the Spirit of God in the Old Testament

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The Roles of the Spirit of God

Creator Spirit
Genesis 1:2 ESV
The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
Job 33:4 ESV
The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
Breath of Life
Genesis 2:7 ESV
then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.
Bone of Bone, Flesh of Flesh… woman is not our Life or Spirit
Genesis 2:23 ESV
Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”
b. You are Dust , Only Spirit Remains
Genesis 3:19 ESV
By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
c. God’s Spirit will not contend with evil, Destroys all breath, leaves remnant
Genesis 6:3 ESV
Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.”
Genesis 6:17 ESV
For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die.
Genesis 7:15 ESV
They went into the ark with Noah, two and two of all flesh in which there was the breath of life.
Wind of Restoration
Clears away water, allows for breath, brings rainbow, displays covenant
Genesis 8:1 ESV
But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the livestock that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided.
God’s Spirit at Work: Attributes, Actions, and Roles
Spirit of Wisdom, Prophesy, Interpretation
Genesis 41:38 ESV
And Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find a man like this, in whom is the Spirit of God?”
Broken Spirit: Because of SLAVERY = Service not to God
Exodus 6:9 ESV
Moses spoke thus to the people of Israel, but they did not listen to Moses, because of their broken spirit and harsh slavery.
Bring out to SERVE God
Exodus 3:12 ESV
He said, “But I will be with you, and this shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.”
Spirit of Intelligence, Knowledge, Craftsmanship, Generosity Ex 28:3
Exodus 28:3 ESV
You shall speak to all the skillful, whom I have filled with a spirit of skill, that they make Aaron’s garments to consecrate him for my priesthood.
Exodus 31:3 ESV
and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship,
Exodus 35:21 ESV
And they came, everyone whose heart stirred him, and everyone whose spirit moved him, and brought the Lord’s contribution to be used for the tent of meeting, and for all its service, and for the holy garments.
Exodus 35:31 ESV
and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, with intelligence, with knowledge, and with all craftsmanship,
Spirit of Discernment and Prophesy
Numbers 11:17 ESV
And I will come down and talk with you there. And I will take some of the Spirit that is on you and put it on them, and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, so that you may not bear it yourself alone.
Numbers 11:25 ESV
Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke to him, and took some of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders. And as soon as the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied. But they did not continue doing it.
Numbers 11:26 ESV
Now two men remained in the camp, one named Eldad, and the other named Medad, and the Spirit rested on them. They were among those registered, but they had not gone out to the tent, and so they prophesied in the camp.
Numbers 11:29 ESV
But Moses said to him, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets, that the Lord would put his Spirit on them!”
Spirit of Following God: Follow Fully => Enter Promise
Numbers 14:24 ESV
But my servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit and has followed me fully, I will bring into the land into which he went, and his descendants shall possess it.
Numbers 27:16 ESV
“Let the Lord, the God of the spirits of all flesh, appoint a man over the congregation
Numbers 27:18 ESV
So the Lord said to Moses, “Take Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand on him.
Spirit of Wisdom, Leadership and Courage
Deuteronomy 34:9 ESV
And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him. So the people of Israel obeyed him and did as the Lord had commanded Moses.
Spirit leaves Enemies because of fear of God
Joshua 2:11 ESV
And as soon as we heard it, our hearts melted, and there was no spirit left in any man because of you, for the Lord your God, he is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath.
Joshua 5:1 ESV
As soon as all the kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan to the west, and all the kings of the Canaanites who were by the sea, heard that the Lord had dried up the waters of the Jordan for the people of Israel until they had crossed over, their hearts melted and there was no longer any spirit in them because of the people of Israel.
Spirit of Leadership, Power, Deliverance, Redemption, Justice
Judges 3:10, 6:34, 11:29, 13:25, 14:6, 14:19, 15:14, 15:19
Othniel, Gideon, Jephthah, Samson (Birth-Fight-Redemption)
Spirit on Saul: Prophesy, Holy Anger, Kingship 1 Sam10:6
1 Samuel 10:10 ESV
When they came to Gibeah, behold, a group of prophets met him, and the Spirit of God rushed upon him, and he prophesied among them.
Spirit on David: Anointing => Everlasting Covenant, harmful spirits fled from him
1 Samuel 16:13 ESV
Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day forward. And Samuel rose up and went to Ramah.
Spirit of Prophesy: Rebuke to Repentance/Obedience
2 Chronicles 15:1, 20:14, 24:20
2 Chronicles 24:20 ESV
Then the Spirit of God clothed Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, and he stood above the people, and said to them, “Thus says God, ‘Why do you break the commandments of the Lord, so that you cannot prosper? Because you have forsaken the Lord, he has forsaken you.’ ”
Spirit of Restoration and Rebuilding Ez 1:1
Ezra 1:5 ESV
Then rose up the heads of the fathers’ houses of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the Levites, everyone whose spirit God had stirred to go up to rebuild the house of the Lord that is in Jerusalem.
Spirit of Instruction and Warning
Nehemiah 9:20 ESV
You gave your good Spirit to instruct them and did not withhold your manna from their mouth and gave them water for their thirst.
Nehemiah 9:30 ESV
Many years you bore with them and warned them by your Spirit through your prophets. Yet they would not give ear. Therefore you gave them into the hand of the peoples of the lands.
Spirit of Praise and Worship
Psalm 51:11 ESV
Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding
Proverbs and Ecclesiastes
Spirit of Judgement and Burning
Isaiah 4:4 ESV
when the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and cleansed the bloodstains of Jerusalem from its midst by a spirit of judgment and by a spirit of burning.
Spirit of Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Might, Knowledge and Fear of Lord; leads to Righteous Judgement
Isaiah 11:2 ESV
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 the fear of the Lord.
Isaiah 42:1 ESV
Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my Spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations.
Brings Liberty, Good News, Bind Brokenhearted, Opens Prison to Bound
Isaiah 61:1 ESV
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
Spirit Poured out from On High => Fruitfulness, Peace for His People, Changing the World; Judgement Remains in the Wilderness
Isaiah 32:15 ESV
until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness becomes a fruitful field, and the fruitful field is deemed a forest.
Isaiah 44:3 ESV
For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.
Spirit of the New and Everlasting Covenant
Isaiah 59:21 ESV
“And as for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the Lord: “My Spirit that is upon you, and my words that I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouth of your offspring, or out of the mouth of your children’s offspring,” says the Lord, “from this time forth and forevermore.”
Grieve Spirit => He became their enemy
Isaiah 63:10 ESV
But they rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit; therefore he turned to be their enemy, and himself fought against them.
His Spirit in Us => New Heart
Ezekiel 36:26–27 ESV
And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.
Ezekiel 37:14 ESV
And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the Lord.”
Ezekiel 39:29 ESV
And I will not hide my face anymore from them, when I pour out my Spirit upon the house of Israel, declares the Lord God.”
Walk in His statutes, careful to obey His rules, we will live in our own land, He will not turn His face from us!
Spirit poured out on all: Men-Women, Young-Old, Free-Slave: Prophesy, Dreams, Visions
Joel 2:28–29 ESV
“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even on the male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit.
Spirit to Declare Transgressions
Micah 3:8 ESV
But as for me, I am filled with power, with the Spirit of the Lord, and with justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression and to Israel his sin.
Spirit stirs us to Act Hag 1:14; He is with us According to Covenant Promise => Fear Not
Haggai 2:5 ESV
according to the covenant that I made with you when you came out of Egypt. My Spirit remains in your midst. Fear not.
Spirit of Power to Move Mountains
Zechariah 4:6–7 ESV
Then he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts. Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain. And he shall bring forward the top stone amid shouts of ‘Grace, grace to it!’ ”
Spirit of Remorse and Grace
Zechariah 12:10 ESV
“And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn.
Spirit of uncleanness will be cut off
Zechariah 13:2 ESV
“And on that day, declares the Lord of hosts, I will cut off the names of the idols from the land, so that they shall be remembered no more. And also I will remove from the land the prophets and the spirit of uncleanness.
Guard our Spirit, do not be faithless
Malachi 2:16 ESV
“For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, says the Lord, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the Lord of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless.”
Questions for Discussion
What aspect of God’s Spirit in the Old Testament surprised you the most?
What roll encouraged you?
What will you do to learn more about God’s Spirit?
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