Categories: Sermons

Meditate On This: The Holy Spirit and the Old Testament

In the church I grew up, the Holy Spirit was rarely referenced. In fact, it was almost exclusively referenced during an individual’s baptism, at the point in which they were baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. I think there are a lot of reasons as to why the Holy Spirit is not discussed, but one may be the difficultly in grasping the work of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is this unseen, divine presence of God. And for a lot us, that’s difficult to process.

This past Sunday, we introduced a new series on the Holy Spirit by starting in the Old Testament. If you think about it, that’s a strange place to start. Most of our understanding of the Holy Spirit comes from within the Gospels, but that’s not where the teaching actually begins. You do not need to go behind the first two verses in Scripture to find a reference to the Spirit of God. In the formless and empty void that was creation, we are told that the Spirt of God was hovering over the waters. The Spirit of God was active and participating in the creation of the world.

But it’s not just Genesis where the Spirit of God shows up. In Numbers, the Spirit of God shows up in order to held Moses and the seventy elders lead a group of disgruntled followers. In Exodus 31, the Spirit of God is placed upon the craftsmen working on the Temple. And don’t even get me started on the book of Judges! The Spirt of God is working overtime throughout that book! Time after time, the Israelites find themselves breaking God’s commands, being punished, then crying out to God, which eventually leads to the Spirit of God empowering someone to save them.

So why start a series about the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament? Because that’s where God starts the story about the Holy Spirit. The way that Spirit works throughout the ancient texts of the Old Testament influenced how the writers of the New Testament understood the Holy Spirit. And how they understood it influences how we understand it.

I’m excited for this series because I believe that understanding the Holy Spirit and the work of the Spirit can transform our lives. So dig in and be willing to listen to the Spirit.