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Holy Spirit Devotional #2 The Holy Spirit in the OT

 Genesis 1:1-5


In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 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.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.


While the Holy Spirit is often seen as a New Testament actor, in fact he was there in the beginning. The Holy Spirit is more than just a force or a movement, he is God. As God he is the creative actor in the creation of the world. He was there when the world was created, he was there when Adam and Eve sinned, he was there when Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, he was there when Jesus died on the Cross and was raised again. If that is the case, if he is eternally God along with the Father and the Son, it means that he is there always and always has been there. So when we often see him as only being present in Worship, only being present in those times we feel joy or happiness we miss his real presence. As believers he is with us always and he is always our helper.



Numbers 27:15


15 Then Moses spoke to the Lord, saying: 16 “Let the Lord, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation, 17 who may go out before them and go in before them, who may lead them out and bring them in, that the congregation of the Lord may not be like sheep which have no shepherd.”

18 And the Lord said to Moses: “Take Joshua the son of Nun with you, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand on him; 19 set him before Eleazar the priest and before all the congregation, and inaugurate[d] him in their sight. 20 And you shall give some of your authority to him, that all the congregation of the children of Israel may be obedient.


What we find here is amazing, that all the way back in the time of Moses God was active through the Holy Spirit. The Spirit filled Joshua. We read here that Joshua’s main credential for being the leader of the Israelites was that he had the Holy Spirit. God gifted Joshua, with the Spirit in order that he might lead. The Holy Spirit was active with the Israelites and Moses and with Joshua as a guide and leader through the wilderness to their appointed destination. The Holy Spirit leads with purpose and with power. As we see here, he is involved in God’s plans and God’s purposes for God’s glory.



Ezekiel 36:22-29


22 “Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for My holy name’s sake, which you have profaned among the nations wherever you went. 23 And I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am the Lord,” says the Lord God, “when I am hallowed in you before their eyes. 24 For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. 25 Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. 28 Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God. 29 I will deliver you from all your uncleanness. I will call for the grain and multiply it, and bring no famine upon you. 


The Israelites, because of their sin, had given God a bad name among the nations. They lived in sin and disobedience. God sent them into exile but he promised that he would restore them and renew them and forgive them. This text is interesting because in it, God said that he did all of that for his own glory. He returns his own people to him for his own glory that he would be praised. Notice how God said he will change this. He says in verse 27 that the Spirit will cause them to walk in his ways. We know from the new testament that the Spirit teaches us of everything God commands and convicts us when we stray. The Spirit was active amongst the remnant in Israel in their restoration for God’s glory.



Isaiah 11:1-5


There shall come forth a [a]Rod from the [b]stem of Jesse,
And a Branch shall [c]grow out of his roots.
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.

His delight is in the fear of the Lord,
And He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes,
Nor decide by the hearing of His ears;
But with righteousness He shall judge the poor,
And decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth,
And with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked.
Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins,
And faithfulness the belt of His waist.



This passage is a prophecy about Jesus. The spirit was with Jesus, in fact they were one. Jesus says, in John 12 that he speaks only what the father speaks. This does a couple things first it shows the oneness between Jesus and the Father, but it also shows the participation of the Holy Spirit. When you consider this verse it is the Holy Spirit who is active in speaking as well. The Spirit and Jesus were one and the Spirit was with Jesus during his earthly ministry. His promise was that when he went away form this earth that the Spirit would remain, reminding of all that he taught.



Isaiah 61:1-3


“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to [a]heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
To [b]console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”


When the Holy Spirit comes to remind us of what Jesus taught, he comes to bring us a message of great joy. Now, of course he corrects and convicts us of sin, but ultimately the message is one of promise and hope, that Jesus has set us free from sin and death. He takes our ashes and gives us beauty. He takes us from conviction to promise, from the despair of sin to the hope of eternal life through Jesus Christ.

About the author

Erik Liljegren

Erik Liljegren

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