Friday, February 28, 2014

The Holy Spirit, Part 6

Turning back to the topic at hand, we find the Holy Spirit in 1st Samuel 19. A vengeful and demonically possessed Saul is seeking David to kill him. He has servants track David to Naioth in Ramah. The servants come upon a group of prophets led by an elderly Samuel, only to have the Holy Spirit come upon them and they prophesy rather than catch David, 1st Samuel 19:20.

Three times Saul tries this until he determines to go. The same happens to him, but this time the Spirit of God humbles Saul by making him strip and lie on the ground naked before Samuel, prophesying and apparently unable to control himself. God was chastening Saul to rebuke him and bring him back to his senses, see Hebrews 12:5-7. But it did not; so much to the point that Saul rejected the guidance of the Holy Spirit and did not seek Him out, but turned to a medium that summoned a demon for Saul to confer with, 1st Samuel 28:7. Rather than an evil spirit, Samuel was brought back by God’s allowance to reprove Saul once more, and to warn the errant king that God would soon chasten him unto death, 1st Samuel 28:19; 1st Corinthians 11:31-32. Here we find another instance of what God stressed concerning the Holy Spirit in Genesis 6:3, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh.” Whether we are a saint of God’s or not, God will not permit His name and our association with it to be mocked, scandalized and blasphemed forever. As Peter writes, “For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God,” 1st Peter 4:17.

Awful consequences arise when we sin against the Spirit. Jesus warned that this sin was unforgivable. It is the sin of attributing God’s power to some other agency. The Holy Spirit is the witness who leads one to Christ and infuses us with new life when we believe the gospel. Rejecting Him is tantamount to refusing to acknowledge that we need to partake in a relationship with our redeeming Creator; we need to believe that what He said was true, and what He did was for each one of us. The Pharisees of Jesus’ day rejected His witness by attributing God’s miraculous power to Satan, Matthew 12:24, 32. Though Saul was not guilty of this sin, he did attempt to communicate with God’s enemy rather than pursue reconciliation with his offended Savior. It was the final act of disobedience. Ananias and Sapphira likewise transgressed when they attempted to deceive the Holy Spirit. Satan prompted them to do so I am sure much like Saul, Acts 5:3. This demonstrates that even a saint who is sealed by the Holy Spirit can be influenced by demonic forces. Outright possession is no longer tenable, but Satan and his demons can win our attention so to speak by appealing to the flesh. In the case with Ananias he learned that by lying to the Holy Spirit he was in fact lying to God, since they are one and the same, Acts 5:3-4.

We find a single direct mention of the Holy Spirit, or the Spirit of the Lord, in 2nd Samuel. It is a significant mention, so I will quote the passage in full. “The Spirit of the Lord spoke by me (David), and His word was on my tongue. The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spoke to me: ‘He who rules over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God,’” 2nd Samuel 23:2-3. We could expound much from these verses, including the qualities of leadership, whether king, president or otherwise, that God searches for in men, but we will restrict our search to the Holy Spirit’s mention. First, the Holy Spirit spoke by, or through, David the Psalmist. This is congruent with the NT teaching Paul gave, 2nd Timothy 3:16. It is also compatible with Peter’s doctrine, 2nd Peter 1:21. David testifies here that this Psalm (and by inference all of David’s Psalms at least) were inspired by the Holy Spirit; that is, he did not write them merely by human agency or understanding. The Holy Spirit’s word was on David’s tongue. What word was that? Simply that God was telling David that a ruler ought to be just, since that ruler represents God as an authority, and since God is just and a greater authority than any human monarch, that ruler should rule in remembrance of these things. Again we see that the Spirit of the Lord and God Himself are synonymous; they are the same. Not that the Holy Spirit and God the Father are the same person, but they are the same God, equal in power and authority. We shall delve more into this as we enter the New Testament.

1 comment:

  1. Great post, Ian. While God may give multiple chances, there is a limit to his forbearance. because they are his children, Christians will be given less latitude than the unsaved because he wants to correct them before it gets worse.

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