Friday, January 14, 2011

The Spirit in the Old Testament

Below are some instances of the manifestation of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament. The common denominator is that people are chosen, called and anointed for service in the community by the Holy Spirit.

"Moses went out and told the people what Yahweh had said. Then he collected seventy of the people's elders and stationed them round the Tent. Yahweh descended in the cloud. He spoke to him and took some of the spirit which is on him and put it on the seventy elders. When the spirit came on them they prophesied – but only once. (Numbers 11: 24 25)

"The Israelites wept for Moses on the plains of Moab for thirty days. The days of weeping for the mourning rites of Moses came to an end. Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him, and him the Israelites obeyed, carrying out the order which Yahweh had given to Moses." (Deuteronomy 34: 8-9)

"And the Spirit of Yahweh clothed Gideon around; he sounded the horn and Abiezer rallied behind him." (Judges 6: 34)

"The Spirit of Yahweh was on Jephthah, who crossed Gilead and Manasseh, crossed by way of Mizpah in Gilead, and from Mizpah in Gilead crossed into Ammonite territory." (Judges 11: 29)

"The Spirit of Yahweh will then seize on you, and you will go into ecstasy with them, and be changed into another man. When these signs have occurred, act as occasion serves, for God is with you." (1 Samuel 10: 6-8)

"From there, they came to Gibeah; and there was a group of prophets coming to meet him! The Spirit of God seized on him and he fell into ecstasy with them. Seeing him prophesying with the prophets, all the people who had known him previously said to one another…. Is Saul one of the prophets too?" (1 Samuel10: 10)

"Yahweh said, 'Get up and anoint him: he is the one!' At this, Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him, surrounded by his brothers; and the spirit of Yahweh seized on David from that day onwards." (1 Samuel 16: 13)

"Now the Spirit of Yahweh had withdrawn from Saul, and an evil spirit of Yahweh afflicted him with terrors." (1 Samuel 16: 14)

"News was then brought to David, 'The Philistines are besieging Keilah and plundering the threshing floors.' David consulted Yahweh, ' Shall I go and fight these Philistines?' Yahweh replied to David, 'Go and fight the Philistines and save Keilah." (1 Samuel 23:2)

"The Spirit of Yahweh speaks through me, his word is on my tongue; the God of Jacob has spoken, the Rock of Israel has said to me…" (2 Samuel 23: 2)





Monday, January 10, 2011

The Holy Spirit the Master Craftsman

"Yahweh then spoke to Moses and said, 'Look, I have singled out Bezalel, son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and have filled him with the Spirit of God in wisdom, knowledge and skill in every kind of craft…" (Exodus 31: 1-3)

  • Spirit and wisdom
  • Spirit and knowledge
  • Spirit and skill

God chooses, God calls and God anoints.

Others who were called and anointed:

  • Moses
  • Joshua
  • Gibeon
  • Samson
  • Samuel
  • David

Each of the above is called to a different mission but the call and the anointing is from the same Spirit. Bezalel was endowed by the Spirit for the service of the community.

In my work of website and graphic designing, I depend entirely on the Holy Spirit. When I come upon an intractable problem, I lay down my tools and turn to the Holy Spirit in prayer. He has never failed me. The best job I have done is through the inspiration and power of the Holy Spirit.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

The Spirit gives life

"It is the Spirit that gives life, the flesh has nothing to offer. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life." (John 6: 63)

  • Spirit and life
  • Spirit/flesh
  • Spirit and the word

How does the Spirit give life? The Holy Spirit gives life to the word of God. He supplies the meaning and vitality in the word. He shows us how to apply the word in our life. He recalls the word to our mind when we need it most. Without the Spirit, the Bible would be literature. I need the Spirit to know the truth in the word of God.

In the Eucharist, the Spirit uses the word of Jesus at the last supper, which is known as the words of consecration to make ordinary bread and wine into the life-giving flesh and blood of Jesus Christ. The Spirit in deed gives life. The flesh has nothing to add.