All Current Classes Podcast
We provide a podcast of all the current classes in one podcast to make it easy to never miss a Bible class. Just copy the following podcast URL into your podcast app. www.deanbibleministries.org/podcasts/allcurrent.xml
The Holy Spirit in the Old Testament – Part 2
1 Samuel 10:1–16
1st & 2nd Samuel Lesson #042
February 23, 2016
“Father, we are so grateful we can come together as a body of believers. Father, freedom stands in the balance in this year’s election. A lot of people are unaware of that. A lot of people think those statements are hyperbolic, but they are not. We have a Supreme Court vacancy that could swing the court in the wrong direction. We need a president who will appoint somebody who is a constitutionalist. We need someone who believes in the founding ideals of this nation, and especially the founding ideals related to Christianity.
It is only biblical Christianity that provides freedom. Paganism does not provide freedom. Anything built on the shaky foundation of Darwinism cannot possibly provide freedom. Anyone who thinks a Marxist philosophy can provide equality or freedom is sadly mistaken and will reap the sad consequences of such a decision.
Father, we pray that You would give us a nation that would still have a residual of people who have the moral courage and insight and discernment to elect a leader who is grounded in Your Word.
And Father, if this does not happen, we know that this will be because You are allowing us to reap the consequences of our carnality, to reap the consequences of our rejection of truth, much as Israel did at the time they wanted to have a king like all the other nations. At times they had success, but Saul led them to a tragic and terrible defeat at Mt. Gilboa.
It is only Your grace that provided a solution. So we pray for Your grace to this nation—that we might have a solution that will change the character of this nation and cause them to turn back to You.
Father, we pray that You would give us insight into how You work as we study about the Holy Spirit tonight. We pray this in Christ’s name. Amen.”
There is probably no doctrine in the Scripture about which there is more confusion in modern times than the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. We had a renewal, so to speak, of the teaching of the Holy Spirit and the emphasis on the Holy Spirit that came out of what has been called the Pentecostal and Charismatic renewal that actually had its start just a little over 100 years ago.
Some branches of Christian theology, for example Presbyterian or Reformed theology, paid little attention to the role of God the Holy Spirit prior to the 20th century.
Due to the rapid advance and multiplication of Pentecostal heresy related to the Holy Spirit, it forced a lot of reform theologians to address the issue of the Holy Spirit. And a lot of other people as well.
In the process of studying about the Holy Spirit though, there are a lot of misconceptions. And unfortunately, our default position, I think, and especially because I think it relates to our sin nature and our own subjectivity and emotionalism, is that there is a default understanding that that is how we are to understand the role of the Holy Spirit.
The role of the Holy Spirit; He is subjective, and He is related to our emotions, and the way we identify whether we are in right relationship with the Holy Spirit has to do with emotion.
You can understand how people would get that if they are superficial readers of the Bible because the Scripture talks about the fact that the fruit of the Spirit is love and joy and peace and patience. A lot of people identify those qualities as emotional qualities.
But when you study the Bible, they are not emotional qualities. They are grounded in the intellect of the soul, and the focus of the soul. The focus of the soul is on the stability of God, Who is our fortress, our rock, and our refuge.
Then we have peace. Then we have stability. We can have real joy and happiness because it is not grounded in the shifting sands of anything within God’s creation, but is grounded on the eternal rock of our God.
Love is the product of our understanding the love of God, which is then worked out in us through God the Holy Spirit.
A lot of people don’t understand how the Holy Spirit functions even in the Old Testament. This has been a big problem for a lot of theologians in a lot of different ways.
It is important to understand, as Paul states in 1 Corinthians 14, that God is a God of order. He is not a God of disorder.
When you approach the ministry of God the Holy Spirit with the presupposition that it is subjective and emotional, then what you produce is a concept of the work of the Holy Spirit that is disorderly, chaotic.
It is the idea of mysticism.
We have talked about this in the past, two or three lessons ago, when we talked about how so many people, without really examining their view and their presuppositions, default to a mystical view of the role of God the Holy Spirit as He works within the prophets.
I took us very carefully through a word study showing that prophesy refers to a couple of different things in the New Testament, neither of which has this idea of ecstatic exuberance.
It has the idea on the one hand, that a prophet was someone who was a conduit through whom God the Holy Spirit revealed His will to His people.
And on the other hand, prophets wrote hymns and sang praises to God.
In English we have words like this, too. They have two almost disconnected meanings. They aren’t close meanings. That’s the idea with the word prophet. You have it related to Deborah, to Miriam, to others, that they sang—they prophesied by means of music. It is used in that way.
So we started looking at the Holy Spirit because these chapters in 1 Samuel 10 where we are studying, as well as later on in 1 Samuel, we are going to run into some unique circumstances related to the ministry of God the Holy Spirit to Saul, and later to David, that are at the very heart of this kind of a controversy.
I started last week looking at this doctrine of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament. I started with a general introduction that God the Holy Spirit is a Person. Then liberal theology came along and said, no.
See, modern liberalism, especially in America, was built on the foundation of Unitarianism. There is a rejection of the concept of the Trinity and a belief in just a Unitarian God.
The Holy Spirit was not a distinct Person in the Godhead, according to that view. The Holy Spirit was a force.
What I am showing you, going through these passages, is that the Spirit of God is not viewed as just an impersonal force. He is not the Star Wars force. He is not a Buddhist force. He is not some kind of new age physical force that binds everything together.
The Holy Spirit is the Third Person in the Trinity of God and has a distinct role in revealing God’s Word to His people. He has a distinct role in carrying out the functions of God’s plan.
God the Father is pictured as the architect of the plan. He is the master builder. God the Son is pictured as the construction project engineer, and then God the Holy Spirit is the construction engineer.
This is what we see when we get our first introduction to the Spirit of God in the second verse of the Bible. Genesis is not the oldest book in the Bible, but it does talk about the original creation. As we will see in the next slide, we looked at this briefly last time, so this is review, that the Spirit of God is introduced in the second verse.
Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth …”
Then I believe there is a break between verse 1 and verse 2, and then we read Genesis 1:2, “And the earth was without form and void …”
The first condition is it is without form, something has happened.
Second: “…darkness is on the face of the deep.”
Darkness is the absence of light. Think about that for a little bit. You don’t have darkness unless light is gone. So darkness is not a positive quality. Darkness is a negative quality. It is the absence of light.
God is light, so for His creation to be absent of light implies something happens that removes the light. This is where I would put the judgment of Satan, between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2.
But you don’t put a lot of time in there. That is the mistake some older dispensationalists and Christians made, trying to compromise with the godless science of Darwin.
So we have a picture here of the earth. Its’ first picture is “without form and void,” terms that are used in a judgment context later on.
It’s dark, it’s “on the face of the deep,” another word that is often used with negative connotations.
And we see “the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” He was bringing it back.
What do you have with absolute darkness? What is the temperature in absolute darkness? No light. No heat. It is frozen. So the waters here are not liquid, they are frozen. It is God the Holy Spirit who is working to regenerate the planet.
In Job, the oldest book, Job talks about the fact that it is by God’s Spirit that we are created. Job 33:4, “The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.”
Now, that does not deny the intermediate means of human procreation. But it is showing that the ultimate means of all human procreation comes from God, all human creation.
Then we have other passages that emphasize the personhood of the Spirit.
Isaiah 40:13, “Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord, or as His counselor has taught Him?”, indicates the Spirit of the Lord has intellectual capability.
Psalm 104:30, “You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; and You renew the face of the earth.” Again, emphasizing that it is God the Holy Spirit who renewed the earth.
As we move through the Bible, the Holy Spirit is mentioned in Genesis 1:2 and probably not mentioned again in the book of Genesis. The reference to “My spirit” in Genesis 6:3, often that is an idiom, and when people speak it is often an idiom for oneself.
I think that God was still present on the earth in Eden, the garden of God, up until Genesis 6. There are only a couple of places where you have this kind of reference, which is not a reference to the Holy Spirit.
Then you have other references between Moses and Samuel, the Spirit of God giving wisdom and skill to Bezalel and Oholiab.
We have the role of God the Holy Spirit specifically on Moses, making him the unique prophet of the Old Testament.
Numbers 11:17, God says He will take from the Spirit on Moses and put the same Spirit on these elders who are now going to help him in dispensing justice in Israel.
We saw in Nehemiah 9:20, where Nehemiah says that God gave His “Spirit to instruct them” (that is the Exodus generation), “and did not withhold Your manna from their mouth or water for their thirst.”
The Holy Spirit was given to them in order to provide leadership for the theocratic kingdom.
That is what is so important. Understanding the role of the Holy Spirit in the Church Age is personal, related to our spiritual growth, our spiritual life.
But in the Old Testament the Spirit of God is given to enhance human abilities of leadership in relation to the theocracy of Israel, related to those who are building the tabernacle and temple, related to kings, related to generals, related to the judges and these things.
We see a personal aspect to the Holy Spirit in Isaiah 63:10, “But they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit; so He turned Himself against them as an enemy, and He fought against them.”
We will see this verse again tonight, but I want you to notice that the Spirit is called “His Holy Spirit”, qadosh, indicating the same phraseology we have in the New Testament, referring to the third Person of the Trinity as well as in Isaiah 63:11.
That took us up to our stopping point last time. And then we were moving on beyond that. We’ve gone through Genesis. We’ve gone through the rest of the Pentateuch. The Spirit of God is not referenced significantly in Joshua.
Then we come to the period of the Judges. The period of the Judges is the period immediately preceding that of Samuel, so we start to see the significant role of God the Holy Spirit with reference to leadership.
I want you to take your Bibles, and we are going to be going to these passages. I’ll put the key verses up, but I want you look at the passages, and you can put notes in your Bible as we go from one passage to another so that you can later trace these steps from verse to verse as you go through the Bible.
Judges 1and 2 describe the basic themes, basic structure—the introduction to the period of the Judges, which is a period of moral relativism.
Just like the horrific immorality of this nation today they were a nation that rejected God and looked at themselves as the source of right and wrong. Everybody had his own standards.
The theme, stated twice in the book of Judges, is there was no king in the land (that meant they rejected God as the ultimate authority). Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
This is the period of the judges.
The first time we have a mention of the Spirit of God is in relation to the judgeship of Othniel. Let me just mention one thing to you, that the previous chapter gives us a great overview of what was going on in the time of the judges.
We see that the generation that came after Joshua in Judges 2:11 says, “Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord and served the Baals.” They got involved with the sexually immoral fertility religions of Baalism and worshipping the Ashtoreth.
In Judges 2:12 “They forsook …” That word is a technical word used in covenant language that relates to abandoning one’s loyalty. In other words, they are committing treason against their king. They forsook, they abandoned, they committed treason “against the Lord, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of Egypt, and followed other gods from among the gods of the peoples who were around them ….”
In this nation, we had a nation that was grounded upon a Judeo-Christian morality and absolutes by our Founding Fathers. For some of them, it was a philosophy. For others, it was a true Christian conviction.
But they understood that Hinduism, Buddhism, Shintoism, Animism, any form of polytheism, were incapable of producing a society of freedom. Only biblical Christianity grounded in the Old Testament and the New Testament could give real liberty and freedom.
We are doing the same thing that happened then. We are rejecting the God of our fathers, and we are pursuing our own pleasures and our own values. It will destroy us, just as it destroyed many generations in Israel, and has destroyed nations throughout history.
In Judges 2:14 we read, “The anger of the Lord was hot against Israel so He delivered them into the hands of plunderers who despoiled them and He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around …”
I want you to notice; twice he uses the word “hands.” “Hands” is often used, not literally in terms of the physical hands, but in terms of power, control. So we have that metaphor, and I will talk a little bit more about that in just a minute.
“… they were delivered into the hands of plunderers … and He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around so they could no longer stand before them.”
That is Leviticus 20:26, the fourth cycle of discipline.
Judges 2:15, “Whenever they went out to fight, the hand of the Lord was against them for calamity.”
This may be what is going on in this nation. No matter what your hopes and dreams may be for this political season for a turn around, God may prevent it just as He did for the Israelites. What may be coming may be worse than any of us have imagined. You better prepare yourselves for that because this is a pagan nation. The Christian base in this nation doesn’t exist anymore.
When I read the polls as to people that evangelicals are voting for it tells me one thing. Evangelicals are vacuous in their spiritual life. They don’t know the Bible, they don’t understand biblical absolutes, and not 0.00001% could give you one of the five divine institutions correctly, as necessary for the foundation of this country. They don’t know it. If they did they wouldn’t be voting the way they are voting. They don’t understand anything about nationalism.
There are only a couple of candidates who understand the importance of securing the borders. There is only one who understands it in a constitutional way. Anyway, that is the issue. We have to preserve all the divine institutions.
Israel did not, so God “sold them into the hands of their enemies and His hand was against them …”
But God was always gracious. In Judges 2:16 we read, “Nevertheless the Lord raised up judges who delivered them out of the hand (see, “hand” again—that’s power) of those who plundered them.”
So, “hand” is a figure of speech for power.
Now that is the standard. So we see the first judge coming up in Judges 3:10 and we see the first cycle of rebellion, and then judgment and then deliverance.
Judges 3:7, “The children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, they forgot the Lord their God and served the Baals and the Ashtaroth.” Verse 8, “Therefore, the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel and He sold them into the hand of Cushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia.”
Mesopotamia is basically Iraq today. Let’s put this on the front page: the Iraqis are overrunning the Israelites. That is what happened in this first cycle.
Judges 3:9, “When the children of the Lord, the Lord raised up a deliverer for the sons of Israel to deliver them …”
Preview of coming attractions: next week we are going to get into the next chapter, chapter 11 of 1 Samuel. What is going to happen is that the citizens of Jabesh-Gilead on the Transjordan side, the eastern side of the Jordan, are going to come under attack from a particularly nasty ruler of Ammon, which is modern Amman, Jordan. The Ammonites controlled the area that was much of what is now Jordan.
So they plead for deliverance. It’s a continuation of the same cycle, I just want you to remember that. They are looking for another deliverer. Saul is going to be the deliverer in their case.
So the first deliverer is Othniel, the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother. Caleb is his uncle. He is Caleb’s nephew.
Then we are told that God not only raises him up, but the Holy Spirit gives him a power. But it is not the empowerment we get for the spiritual life, it is the skill to conquer the enemy, to protect and deliver Israel.
All of these judges, in that sense of delivery, are types of the role of the Messiah who will come ultimately to deliver Israel finally and completely.
So we read here in Judges 3:10, “The Spirit of the Lord came upon him (Othneil), and he judged Israel. He went out to war, and the Lord delivered Cushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand; and his hand prevailed over Cushan-rishathaim.” What we have here is deliverance.
And once again we see the idiom of the hand. We will see this, the hand of the Lord, it talks about the power of God.
We have talked a lot about idioms over the last several years, and different figures of speech. Idioms are one form of figures of speech. Another is a simile which says something is like … you might say something is as white as snow—that is Christ’s death will make us as white as snow.
That is a comparison. You have a good picture of fresh fallen snow, so white and pure, nothing has touched it, no discoloration at all. That is a simile.
But if you just call something, something, then that is a metaphor, without stating a comparison. A simile is a stated comparison where you use a word like “like” or “as,” and a metaphor is an unstated comparison. So using a phrase like “the hand” is an idiom that derives from a metaphor.
Well, I’ve got an example here of some really bad similes and metaphors from high school students. I just had to find a way to squeeze this in here. This was taken from students’ assignments to write similes and metaphors.
“Her eyes were like two brown circles with big brown dots in the center.”
“He was as tall as a 6’3” tree.”
I like this one, “Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides gently compressed by a Thigh Master.”
“From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you are in another city and jeopardy comes on at 7:00 instead of 7:30.”
“John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.”
“She had a deep throated genuine laugh, like the sound a dog makes just before it throws up.”
“The ballerina grows gracefully on point, and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.”
“He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck either, but a real duck that is actually lame, maybe from stepping on a land mine or something.”
“Her vocabulary was as bad as like, whatever.”
You’ve got to think about that one for a minute.
“She grew on him like a colony of e. coli, and he was room temperature Canadian beef.”
That’s about it, really bad analogies.
So this is a metaphor for power. The Holy Spirit comes upon him. In the Hebrew this literally means just that, “was upon”.
It is the verb hayah which is a general “to be” verb; it is past tense, so it is translated “was”; and the preposition al (upon). It’s not “in”, okay? The Holy Spirit indwells us; we look for the preposition “in” us, okay? This is upon.
This is important because later on in Samuel we will talk about the demons and Saul. The demons are upon Saul. But they are not in Saul. This is an external influence by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit came upon Othniel.
Then the next judge where the Holy Spirit is mentioned is in Judges 6:34, and this is our good friend Gideon.
Gideon, as well as others in Judges, is listed in the great chapter Hebrews 11, the Hebrews hall of faith chapter. A lot of people try to interpret the Old Testament in light of the fact that they are mentioned as great men of faith in Hebrews 11.
But great men of faith also have great feet of clay. Every one of these guys, from Barak and Deborah on, they all had some little flaw. And the flaws get worse.
Othniel is the only one about whom no flaw is mentioned. When you get to Samson, he is the only one about whom nothing good is mentioned, because the book of Judges is written to show the anatomy of a cultural collapse, and a cultural deterioration. It is not a book written to praise Israel’s obedience, but to reveal what happens when a culture is disobedient.
So we have Judges 6, and they are in another cycle. This is the third major cycle. They are being attacked by the Midianites, a coalition of the Midianites and others that are coming in every time it is harvest time. As soon as the children of Israel bring in the harvest, they come in and they take everything that has been produced. This is sort of like how the Russians did in Ukraine in the thirties, leaving just barely enough for the culture to survive.
So they are getting ready to come in again, and we find Gideon hiding out. The Angel of the Lord comes to him and taps him on the shoulder and says, basically, you’re the man. And Gideon says, no, I really don’t want to be.
They had this whole interplay where the Lord tells him exactly what He wants him to do. And Gideon says, just to make sure You want me to do this, we are going to do this little exercise with the fleece. Now what Gideon is trying to do is not to discern the will of God. It is amazing how many people think Gideon is trying to find out what God wants him to do.
God has already made it very clear what He wants him to do—go defeat the enemy. Gideon is trying to get out of it by giving God something to do that is going to be impossible.
So he is going to put out the fleece and he is going to say, “Okay, if this is what You want me to do, we are going to put out the fleece; and if there is dew on the fleece only, and everything else is dry, then I will know that this is what You want me to do.”
So the next morning he got up, the fleece was soaking wet, and everything else was dry.
Then he said, “Oh, I guess God can do that, maybe He can’t do the opposite.” The next morning he said, “I want the fleece to be dry and everything else wet.”
When that happened, he couldn’t get out of it anymore. Then God narrowed his numbers down to only three hundred.
All of this takes place, and then we get down to Judges 6:34. The sign of the fleece came after the Spirit of the Lord, “But the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon; …” And he gathered all of his clan, the Abiezrites, together. It is after this that he tries to get out of obeying the Lord.
Which tells you something. The coming of the Spirit of the Lord on Gideon wasn’t for spiritual empowerment, because he tries to get out of it immediately after that.
The coming of the Spirit of the Lord was for military capability only.
But we have different language here. We have the word lavash, which means in some places, to wear something, or to clothe yourself with something.
I thought it was interesting, the Complete Jewish Bible translates it “the Spirit of the LORD covered Gideon.” It is still an external influence.
The Tanakh version of 1917 translates it “the Spirit of God clothed Gideon.” The point is that this is still an external influence; it is not internal. It gives Gideon the ability to defeat the Midianites, which he does. Then he immediately leads them into sin.
He sets up an ephod, which is a priestly garment, and he says, worship this. He acts humble because the people wanted to make him king, and he said, no, no, no, no, no. I am not going to be king.
But then he has a son, and he names the son “my father is king.” So Gideon is really a mixed bag, as are a lot of believers in the Old Testament. He has a few moments when he trusts God, so he enters into the hall of faith chapter in Hebrews 11.
That always gives me great encouragement. In many cases these guys failed more than they were successful. Just like most of us in our Christian life. But God, in His grace, recognizes that they stood in the gap at a critical moment, and for that they are praised.
In Judges 11:29, we have the fourth major incident dealing with the attack of the Ammonites coming across in the Transjordan area, God raised up Jephthah in Judges 11:29, which tells us, “Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah, …”
Now this is the same language that was used to describe Othniel. One point I am making is, there is not a cookie cutter, formulaic language that describes this role of the Holy Spirit. They are all different, but they are all external.
The same language is used with Othniel, “The Spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah …” This occurs in verse 29, “The Spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah, and he passed through Gilead and Manasseh, and passed through Mizpah of Gilead; and from Mizpah of Gilead he advanced toward the people of Ammon.”
So he was focusing on them, and then he makes a vow. This vow is really interesting. There is a lot of controversy over this vow. A lot of people think he couldn’t have really said what he said. Yes, he could.
He is paganized. That is the theme of Judges—how a culture becomes paganized. Each one of these guys is worse than the guy before.
He is between Gideon who leads the nation into idolatry, and Samson, who is a vicious, violent womanizer, and a rebel against every authority in his life, including God.
Jephthah fits right in the middle. But he is going to trust God at a critical moment, and God is going to give him victory over the enemies of Israel.
God is going to use him just like he uses us to do great things. But he makes a mistake because he is basically biblically ignorant about God. He makes a vow to the Lord that is vague and is a barter.
Like a lot of people do—“well, I’m going to make a deal with God—I’ll clean this up if He will help me with this.”
Under the Old Testament Law though, you were bound to keep your vow. So he makes this vow, and it is not as simple as what the text says, “and Jephthah made a vow to the Lord...” This is a public vow, he is making this in public. It’s like going into the courtroom, putting your hand on the Bible and swearing that this is exactly what you are going to do and everybody knows it. This is not something where he wakes up in the morning and in silent prayer makes this vow. That is not what is going on here. It is a public vow.
In Judges 11:30, “And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord: ‘If You give the people of Ammon into my hands (vs. 31), then it shall be that whatever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me when I return in peace from the sons of Ammon, it shall be the Lord’s, and I will offer it up as an olah.’ ” That is a burnt offering.
It is a very technical term, one of the first offerings mentioned at the beginning of Leviticus. In the first chapter of Leviticus you have a description of what an olah is. It is a burnt offering where the entire offering is consumed in fire on the altar. But he is thinking that a lamb or a goat is going to come out of the house.
Remember, I have taught about how houses were in the ancient world. You know how we have a connected garage, and you put your car in the connected garage. I know when I was growing up and the weather got cold in February in Houston, which it didn’t do this year, my parents would put a dog bed inside the garage for the dog to have a little shelter away from the cold.
That was part of the house in the ancient world. You would bring in your prized animals in the cold weather so they would be protected from inclement weather.
So Jephthah was very shallow in his thinking and thought, well, when I come home a goat or a sheep is going to run out the front door. And he has made this bargain with God.
Now, I want you to notice—he makes the bargain right after the Spirit of the Lord comes upon him. As I pointed out with Gideon, the Spirit of the Lord clothes Himself with Gideon, and Gideon makes this foolish attempt to get out of God’s will.
The point is, the role of the Holy Spirit has nothing to do with their spiritual life, nor has anything to do with guiding or directing them. It is just a military capability.
Jephthah does the same thing. And a lot of Evangelicals, who are weenies (and I have said that in front of those who are weenies), just can’t stomach the fact that he immolated his daughter on a burnt offering pyre.
He burned her alive because that was what his vow was. He was a pagan. He was a believer, but he had been paganized so much that he thinks like a Canaanite. That is the point of the story—to show how depraved even this leader is that God graciously chose to rescue Israel.
We are told in Judges 11:34, “When Jephthah came to his house at Mizpah, behold, his daughter was coming out …” dancing and having a celebration.
And he tore his clothes off. This is what you do when somebody dies. You rip your clothes off, you tear them to shreds, and you go into extreme mourning. He knows exactly what’s happened.
Later on in the text it says, “and he did to her exactly as he vowed.” Judges 11:39, “and he carried out his vow with her which he had vowed.” The language is very clear. He did exactly as he vowed. What did he vow? He vowed to offer whatever came out the door as a burnt offering.
So the Spirit of the Lord is coming upon these people to give them capability to defeat the enemy. But it is not spiritual.
The same thing happens with Samson. Judges 13:25 uses the word to impel or to move, “And the Spirit of the Lord began to move upon him …” Again, it’s an external influence, and the same kind of language that is used elsewhere.
This is all important for understanding how the Holy Spirit is moving in this particular time.
The last time I also mentioned Oholiab and Bezalel. There the language is a little different.
Going back to Exodus 31:3, God said, “And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship,
Exodus 31:4, “to design artistic works, ….” See, it is not to sing, to praise, to submit to one another, to be thankful to God. Those are spiritual qualities. That is the result of the filling of the Holy Spirit in Ephesians 5. This is something totally different.
It is to fill them with the Spirit to “to design artistic works, to work in gold, in silver, in bronze,
Exodus 31:5, “in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in all manner of workmanship.”
It is the verb mala, which means to fill. But it is for the purpose of doing a job that is related to the construction of the tabernacle.
Then we come to the kings. We see that the role of the Spirit was to empower the judges, to give them wisdom, to give them military skill to defeat the enemies of Israel and to deliver them.
The Holy Spirit gave the craftsmen skill in what they did so that they could make the beautiful furniture of the Ark, and there was no tabernacle or temple in the ancient world that had furniture that was as glorious as the furniture in the temple of God, in the tabernacle of God.
In 1 Samuel 11:6 we see the first reference to the kings, of Saul and David. We will talk about them and contrast them because there is a definite comparison and contrast going on.
1 Samuel 11:6, “Then the Spirit of God came upon Saul …”
This is the same language you have with Othniel and also with Jephthah. It is simply, He was upon Saul when he heard this news. Again, this is external influence.
Then we have a little different language in relation to David in 1 Samuel 16:13, “Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel arose and went to Ramah.”
The same verb is used of Saul, in 1 Samuel 11:6, and of David in 1 Samuel 16:13—tzalach. It means to rush, to cause someone to prosper, to cause someone to succeed. That is the same verb that is used in all the instances with Samson, too, by the way. It has the idea of rushing upon him to bring about prosperity and success. So both 1 Samuel 11:6 and 1 Samuel 16:13 are using the same word that is used for Samson, external.
Then we have another example of the Spirit of the Lord in relation to David in 1 Chronicles 28:11–13. This is one that had not caught my attention in the past. And that is when David is preparing the plans for the temple.
Remember, God said, “David, because you are a man of war, you cannot build the temple, that will be reserved for Solomon.”
But David did all the work. He got all the building materials together. He pulls in a lot of those who eventually will do the work. He makes all the blue prints, all the drawings. He designs the temple.
Here we learn that he did all that by means of the Holy Spirit. The drawings, everything in relation to the temple are by means of the Spirit.
In 1 Chronicles 28:12, “And the plans for all that he had by the Spirit, of the courts of the house of the Lord, of all the chambers around of the treasuries of the house of God, and of the treasuries for the dedicated things;”
That is another way the Spirit of the Lord worked in David. He worked in him in terms of inspiration as he wrote psalms. He empowered him in his victories over Goliath, over the Philistines and over the other enemies of Israel. And He empowered David in terms of wisdom—but also in terms of giving him wisdom in laying out the plans for the temple.
In 1 Samuel 16:13 the Spirit of the Lord came upon David when Samuel anointed him to be king.
But in 1 Samuel 16:14, the next verse, we read, “But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul and a distressing spirit from the Lord troubled him.”
We will get into the demonology issues related to all of this, but let me say again, the evil spirit is external, not internal. It is not demon possession. It is just demon influence. But we see here the clear statement that the Spirit of the Lord leaves Saul.
This has caused great confusion for some people because in the New Testament the sealing of the Spirit is part of our understanding of eternal security. So what they read back into the Old Testament is illegitimate.
They are trying to interpret the Old Testament by means of the New [Testament]. When you do that, it’s like, “oh, they lost the Holy Spirit. So they could lose their salvation.” No, that is not what is going on here.
The role of the Holy Spirit did not have anything to do with their salvation, or their sanctification, but was given in terms of providing administrative and leadership skill for the nation.
So now the Spirit of the Lord leaving Saul is just going to go downhill, and things are going to get really, really bad for Israel from 1 Samuel 16 to the end of 1 Samuel, because the Lord has departed. The leader is without divine guidance.
Samuel is going to die shortly after 1 Samuel 16, so there is not going to be prophetic guidance for Saul. And the Holy Spirit is gone.
God just says, “okay, you want it this way? He backs off; I’m going to let you find out what it will be like without Me.” We may see that in this country.
David recognizes that he could lose the Holy Spirit after his sin with Bathsheba, the murder of her husband Uriah, and all the sins related to that. He prayed to God when he confessed his sin.
And he said in Psalm 51:11, “Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.”
He prays that because he knows that God removed the Holy Spirit from Saul. He is praying that God would not discipline him like He disciplined Saul by removing God the Holy Spirit from him.
Another interesting example (although the Spirit is not specifically stated), is Hiram in 1 Kings 7:13–14, who is from Tyre.
He is the son of a widow from the tribe of Naphtali. He is Jewish, his mother is Jewish, and his father is from Tyre. But he is filled with wisdom, and understanding, and skill.
Those three terms—wisdom, understanding and skill—and working with metal and wood are all terms used of Oholiab and Bezalel. The only thing missing in this verse is a specific reference to God the Holy Spirit.
But God the Holy Spirit was seen in Exodus as being the one who filled Oholiab and Bezalel with wisdom and understanding and skill in working in bronze and wood. So, we can infer that God the Holy Spirit is the one who is empowering Hiram to do the same kind of thing that Oholiab and Bezalel did because he is the chief architect and builder of the temple.
That deals with a flow from the early kings and the united monarchy.
We also have a number of prophets who were empowered temporarily:
Azariah is mentioned in 2 Chronicles 15:1–7.
Jahaziel who operates during the reign of Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 20:14–18.
Then the prophet Zechariah during the reign of Joash in 2 Chronicles 24:20. These prophets were all empowered temporarily.
Most of the prophets, however, were empowered by the Holy Spirit throughout most of their ministry. So, we have those examples among the prophets.
Other prophets were filled continuously, for example, Elijah and Elisha.
2 Kings 2:9, Elisha asks for a double portion of God’s Spirit upon him. Elijah says, “what do you want?” And Elisha says, “I want a double portion of your spirit.” Both Elijah and Elisha were filled with the Holy Spirit during their ministries.
Micah says in Micah 3:8, “Truly I am full of power by the Spirit of the Lord and of justice, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin.” His ministry is empowered by God the Holy Spirit.
And then we come to the last couple of sections I have in here—civil administrators. Moses is empowered as a prophet and as an administrator in the civil government.
Numbers 11:17, God is speaking and says, “Then I will come down and talk with you there …” Remember, He came down and talked to Moses face to face. Then He says, “I will take of the Spirit that is upon you and will put the same upon them …”
These are the seventy elders. So the Spirit is going to be given to the seventy elders to carry out the civil and administrative responsibilities. It’s the only divinely based bureaucracy in the history of the planet. Since then all bureaucrats and bureaucracies have had problems. This is the one that is divinely inspired.
We have another example in Numbers 27:18, “And the Lord said to Moses: ‘Take Joshua the son of Nun with you …’ ”
Remember, Joshua is the only one in the Old Testament that didn’t have any parents; he was the son of Nun. I throw these things out there because maybe you will remember them through these really bad puns, and you will remember a little bit about what the Bible teaches. So Joshua is the son of Nun.
It says, “ ‘Take Joshua the son of Nun with you, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand upon him;’ ”
God has already given the Spirit to provide leadership for Joshua. Joshua has the Spirit guiding, directing, and empowering him as he is going to defeat the Canaanites.
All these are references to how God the Holy Spirit works, up through the early or former prophets. The former prophets are the writers of Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings.
The latter prophets, because they come later on, are Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and The Twelve.
Daniel wasn’t a prophet. His book was always in the writings. It wasn’t put in the section called the prophets in the Old Testament, but in the writings.
Let’s go on and see the role of the Spirit in prophecy. How do the latter prophets speak of the Holy Spirit? This is really interesting because especially in Isaiah, we see passages that are clearly Trinitarian, that clearly indicate the full deity of God the Holy Spirit and the full deity of another character that is referred to as the “servant of Yahweh”.
I want you to pay attention. In some verses we have the Lord Yahweh speaking about sending “My Spirit”, clearly two personages.
In other places we have God the Father, or the Lord, speaking, referencing both His Spirit and His servant. That is three divine Persons, and that is called the Trinity much later on.
They did not even have the word Trinity in the New Testament. But, it accurately reflects what is there.
Let’s look at a few of these:
Isaiah 11:12, This is a Messianic prophecy. “The Spirit of Yahweh shall rest upon Him ….” Who is “Him”? “Him” is the Messiah. Clearly you have the Father inferred in the background, Who is sending the Spirit of the Lord Who is going to “rest upon Him?” the Messiah. You have these three Personages.
In Isaiah 30:1, “ ‘Woe to the rebellious children’, says Yahweh.” We would say this is God the Father. This is Yahweh speaking. That is the first divine Personage.
“Who take counsel, but not of Me. And who devise plans, but not of My Spirit.” This is talking about God the Holy Spirit here.
Isaiah 42:1, “Behold My Servant whom I uphold, …” Who is speaking? God the Father.
“My Elect (or My Choice One) One (the Messiah—God the Son) in whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him.”
We have the reference to the Father, Son, and Spirit in this one verse in the Old Testament. The Trinity is in the Old Testament. Who knew? How about that? It’s just not defined.
The Trinity is in the New Testament, too, but it is not defined as the Trinity. We just have a more clear expression of three divine Personages.
Then we have the words of the servant in Isaiah 61:1. The servant is the Messiah, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me.” We have the Person speaking who is the Messiah.
In all these passages the Spirit of the Lord is clearly viewed as a Person, not a force. “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me Because the Lord has anointed Me.”
Looks like a third Person just mentioned there. There is “Me”, the servant, there is the Lord who has anointed Me, the verb there is mashiach, and the Spirit of the Lord. Looks like a Trinity to me.
“To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted. To proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;” That is what Jesus did at the first coming.
Another passage—we mentioned these already tonight:
Isaiah 63:10, “But they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit;”
Twice you have this reference to the Holy Spirit. In fact, the Tanakh even translates it the holy spirit, but it is lower case, not upper case. But that is what the language of the Hebrew reflects, so that is what they have to translate.
Then in Ezekiel the Spirit of God is always moving Ezekiel around. It’s really interesting, and I don’t have a lot of those.
Ezekiel 11:5, “Then the Spirit of the Lord fell upon me, and said to me, ‘Speak! “Thus says the Lord; ‘Thus you have said, O house of Israel, for I know the things that come into your mind’ ” ’ ”.
The Holy Spirit falling upon him isn’t some kind of ecstatic thing, because what comes out of his mouth is very rational and very articulate. So what we do is from a post charismatic environment. We want to read charismania and ecstasy back into the Scripture, and that is just backwards.
Prophetically, the Spirit is going to be a part of the New Covenant.
Ezekiel 36:27, “I will put My Spirit within you …” Notice that is inside. This is clearly a new covenant. In the future, God will establish His new covenant with the House of Israel and the House of Judah at the Second Coming of Christ. “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, …”
Ezekiel 37:14, “I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live …”
Then we get to some of the Minor Prophets. They are not called Minor Prophets because they are not significant, or less significant, but because their writings are shorter and smaller. Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel are very, very large books that took up a couple of scrolls. These are very, very short—three, four, or five chapters.
Joel 2:28, “And it shall come to pass afterward …”After what? After the battle of Armageddon. After the Second Coming when Messiah comes and rescues Israel from the destruction of her enemies.
God says, “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, your young men shall see visions.”
When we look at clear passages where prophecy, dreams, and visions are used, they are not ecstatic. They are used to communicate clear, rational truth. But you have to know the key for interpretation.
Joel 2:29 continues, “… I will pour out My Spirit in those days.”
And then, to close out:
Zechariah 4:6, “… This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel, (who is the king figure in Israel after they returned from Babylon. He is not really a king, but he is the ruler) “not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,” says (who?) the Lord of hosts.’ ”
There are two divine Persons there.
So, you do have a multiplicity of persons in the Godhead in the Old Testament. This helps us to understand the role of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament, in the life of Saul, to empower him to deliver Israel from her oppressors.
“Father, thank You for the opportunity to study these things. May we be reminded that just as God the Holy Spirit enabled these deliverers to deliver Israel from their oppressors, the Holy Spirit Who indwells us, empowers us, and fills us with Your Word, is the same Holy Spirit Who can give us the ability to be delivered from the things that create problems in our lives. When we walk by the Spirit we can realize that fulfillment in our lives. He gives us hope. He gives us purpose. He helps us to understand Your Word and to apply it.
Father, we pray that we will be challenged by all that we study to walk more closely with the Holy Spirit. In Christ’s name. Amen.”