The Difference Maker. (#5 - The Holy Spirit: Who or What?)
God of my forefathers, I cry unto You.
You have been the refuge of good and wise people in every generation. When history began, You were the first enlightener of minds... Through all the ages You have been the Lord and giver of life, the source of all knowledge, the fountain of all goodness.
The patriarchs trusted You and were not put to shame:
The prophets sought You and You committed
Your word to their Lips:
The psalmist(s) rejoiced in You and
You were present in their song(s)...1
Indeed the Holy Spirit is eternal, one of the three persons of the Trinity. He was active in the ancients, present from the dawn of Creation, hovering over the waters.2
From the birth of the Hebrew nation-when God called Abraham, saying "I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing--"3 the Jewish people perceived the Spirit of God to be the creative and life-giving power of God.
The Holy Spirit equipped God's people to be faithful and remain faithful though driven from their land, while in exile, and enslaved. Look at the understanding of Elihu, one of Job's loyal friends who came on the scene toward the end of Job's trials,
"The Spirit of God has made me and
the breath of the Almighty gives me life."4
The poetry of David captured this understanding,
"All creatures look to you to give them their food at the proper time . . . When you send your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground."5
Special dispensations of Holy Spirit power were given to rest upon men and women of God like Moses, Caleb, Joshua, Samson, Deborah, Esther and David for work that God had for them to do. Prophets were given particular messages from God for specific peoples and times, and God empowered the prophets to deliver what were usually very difficult messages. Always, the Jewish people as a whole were aware of the mysterious presence of God around them, sustaining them, rescuing them, drawing them back to himself.
The Holy Spirit has forever been a difference maker in the lives of men-even before he came to indwell believers-imparted after Jesus' ascension into Heaven. Besides the aforementioned, the Holy Spirit inspired the writers of the Old Testament, recorded of course in Hebrew, just as he did the writers of the New Testament - written in Greek, usually with Aramaic for dialogue.
"For prophecy never had its origin in the human will,
but prophets, though human,
spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit."6
A closing prayer~ Eternal Father of my soul,
Let my first thought today be of You,
let my first impulse be to worship You,
Let my first speech be Your name,
let my first action be to kneel before You in prayer . . .
I praise and worship You, O Lord!7
For You, O God, are the Difference Maker.
Make a difference in me, I pray.
1 - Excerpts from a Diary of Private Prayer, John Baillie, 1886-1960, "Fifth Morning"
2 - Genesis 1.1-2
3 - Genesis 12.2
4 - Job 33.4
5 - Psalm 104, 27.30 [Actually, this whole psalm of David is beautiful to meditate upon.]
6 - 2 Peter 1.21
7 - from Baillie's Diary of Private Prayer, "First Morning"