So with the renovation of our church sanctuary in full speed mode – I missed an opportunity to blog about an interesting phrase that is used throughout the accounts of the various judges over Israel. As we have discussed – after the death of Joshua and all of the leaders of his generation, the Israelites fell into a pattern of evil and disobedience of the Lord’s commands (Joshua 2:8-11). The cycle of disobedience – cry for deliverance – and raising up a judge is repeated over and over throughout this period. The main point is to show how quickly God’s people rebelled and strayed from what Moses & Joshua had instilled within them.

During a discussion with one of the men of our church – it was brought up how many times the judges were described as “the Spirit of the Lord coming upon them”. Not only in Judges – but elsewhere in the Old Testament do we see this happening… and usually with stunning results! Refer these few times in Judges alone:

  • Judges 3:10 – Spirit comes upon Othniel – result: victory in war.
  • Judges 6:34 – Spirit comes upon Gideon – result: blew trumpet, raised army, defeated Midionites. (Before this happened – remember that Gideon walked in fear – even toppling his fathers idols during the darkness of night!).
  • Judges 11:29 – Spirit comes upon Jepthah – result: defeated Ammonites.
  • Judges 14:6 & 14:19 – Spirit comes upon Samson – results: kills lion, slews men of Ashkelon.

In the Old Testamant – the Holy Spirit came upon men for specific purposes. This infusion of power was usually only for a moment and lasted through that certain situation. The result of this was an empowering of that person to do a mighty work which they would have been unable to do alone.

Fast forward to Jeremiah – where this Prophet speaks of a time coming when this was going to change. Unlike the OT – in the future the law would be “IN their minds” and “ON their hearts”. (Jeremiah 31:31-34).

Fast forward further in the story – to Jesus in Luke 3:22. When Jesus comes out of the baptismal waters, Scripture records that the Holy Spirit came UPON Him as a dove. Following the OT pattern we have already seen – what great task was this empowering Jesus to accomplish? Both the mighty miracles He would perform as well as the definitive work of the cross.

Next in Acts 2:1-4 we see the Day of Pentecost… when the Holy Spirit fell upon the 120 worshipers in the upper room. But this time it is different! Instead of the “Spirit coming upon them” as we saw over and over again… this time they were “filled with the Holy Spirit”.

Instead of the Spirit coming ON them – He came IN them!

The results are the same as when in the OT – the individual being infused with the Holy Spirit were empowered to accomplish something mighty beyond their own ability. But after Acts 2 – the Holy Spirit came IN people… and the result was they were empowered to do something mighty which was beyond their ability. And not just for a limited time – but this time it was permanently within them!).

One more thing… if we back up to the prophet Joel and see his words in Joel 2:28-29 we are told that this “pouring out of the Spirit” will be for everyone! (That means you and me as well!).

 

So what are we waiting for? Receive the promise of the Holy Spirit – stand in that power and might (just like Samson) – and do the mighty works of God that you are unable to do on your own!

 

Be Fruitful & Multiply,

PK

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