Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Holy Spirit, Part 8

Looking into 2nd Kings, we find that Elijah finally enjoyed the kind fate that Obadiah was afraid would overcome the prophet in his day: “Then they (the prophets) said to him (Elisha), ‘Look now, there are fifty strong men with your servants. Please let them go and search for your master, lest perhaps the Spirit of the Lord has taken him up and cast him upon some mountain or into some valley,’” 2nd Kings 2:16. We know that God made His angels to be flames of fire and spirits, Psalm 104:4. They were likely the chariots of fire that separated Elijah from his protégé.

It is also known, as told from the lips of our Lord, that the angels conducted the Old Testament saints to their rest, Luke 16:22, because one duty of the angels is to minister to those who are the inheritors of salvation, Hebrews 1:14. Though the angels were present at the moment of Elijah’s translation into Heaven, the Holy Spirit was directly involved. Either the prophets believed that Elijah had been conducted away into solitude again, and they wished to find him, or they expected to find the prophet’s body at least to give him a burial. Either way his epitaph reads like Enoch’s: God took him, for he pleased God.

Pressing on, we reach 1st Chronicles. David was a fugitive from Saul, the present and first king of Israel at this time. Some men from Judah and Benjamin found him in the stronghold where he had been hiding and wished to join him. David warned that if they sought to betray him to Saul that God would avenge David on them, since he was innocent of all Saul sought to kill him for. “Then the Spirit came upon Amasai, chief of the captains, and he said, ‘We are yours, David; we are on your side, O son of Jesse! Peace, peace to you, and peace to your helpers! For your God helps you,” 1st Chronicles 12:18. Amasai was divinely inspired to speak words of peace to David, to quell any doubts or fears he had in receiving them, and to let him know that God had indeed sent them to help him. The result was instantaneous and expected: “So David received them, and made them captains of the troop.” John writes “He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit (or Spirit) of truth and the spirit of error,” 1st John 4:6. Admittedly used a little out of context here, the truth it attests to applies. David had the Holy Spirit come upon him from the day of his anointing until the day of his death, 1st Samuel 16:13. David recognized the truth when he heard it from the mouth of one who cannot lie (not Amasai, but the One who inspired him to speak) and he received them in peace.

At the end of David’s life, the king of Israel is passing on the duty of building the Lord’s temple to his son, Solomon. When he hands over the blueprints, as it were, for the temple we read “David gave his son Solomon the plans…for all that he had by the Spirit,” 1st Chronicles 28:11-12. As the Holy Spirit made Bezazel ready and filled him with the Holy Spirit to construct the tabernacle, so too did He give David knowledge of the temple and its building by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit was the actual architect behind both buildings crafted by men for the earthly service of sacrifice to God.

Moving past the time of David and Solomon we reach the reign of King Asa. Asa was a godly king who was responsible for much reform in Judah. On the heels of a crushing victory, in which God put the Ethiopians to rout, Asa was met by a prophet of God. “And the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded: And he went out to meet Asa, and said unto him, Hear ye me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin; The LORD is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you. Now for a long season Israel hath been without the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without law. But when they in their trouble did turn unto the LORD God of Israel, and sought him, he was found of them. And in those times there was no peace to him that went out, nor to him that came in, but great vexations were upon all the inhabitants of the countries. And nation was destroyed of nation, and city of city: for God did vex them with all adversity. Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded,” 2nd Chronicles 15:1-7. Again and again we find that the Spirit of God falls upon the men who are provoked to speak in the Lord’s name; they speak in His name, that is, with His authority, because His Spirit is back of each man, inspiring the message Israel was to hear. Dozens of times we find repetitious statements such as “the word of the Lord came to me” or “the Spirit of the Lord” directing His prophets. It is Zechariah 4:6 once more.

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