The Spirit Enables God’s People

Since Old Testament times, the Spirit of God would enter into people to direct them and enable them to do something for God, whether it was prophesying, crafting something, leading, exercising supernatural strength, gathering an army, or going to war.

In Genesis 41:38, Pharaoh states that the Spirit of God is in Joseph. Pharaoh deduced it was so because Joseph was able to interpret Pharaoh’s dream and give good advice. Similarly, in Exodus 31:3, God states that he filled Bezaleel with the Spirit of God to give him wisdom, understanding, knowledge, and ability to work with precious metals and precious stones.

In Numbers 11:25-26, the spirit is said to have been on Moses and to have rested on the elders of Israel: His presence enabled them to prophesy (Numbers 11:29 clarifies this was the Spirit of God). In Numbers 24:2, the Spirit of God came on Balaam and enabled Balaam to prophesy. In Numbers 27:18, the Spirit of God is said to be in Joshua. In Numbers 34:9, Joshua was said to be full with the Spirit of Wisdom
because Moses laid hands on him (apparently, God’s Spirit gave him wisdom to lead the people when Moses laid his hands on him).

In Judges 3:10, the Spirit of the LORD came upon Othniel and enabled him to judge Israel and to defeat Chushanrishathaim, King of Mesopotamia. In Judges 6:34, the Spirit of God came upon Gideon and enabled him to blow a trumpet to successfully raise an army. In Judges 11:29, the Spirit of God came upon Jephthah, and it appears the Spirit of God led him to pass through the land until he met Ammon in battle.

In Judges 13:25, the Spirit of the LORD began to move Samson in the camp of Dan: in other words, the Spirit of God began to direct Samson to do God’s will. In Judges 14:6, the Spirit of the LORD came mightily on Samson and enabled him to rend a lion! In Judges 14:19, the Spirit of the LORD came upon Samson: the Spirit seems to have directed Samson to go to Ashkelon and to have enabled him to kill thirty men. In Judges 15:14, the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon Samson and caused the cords with which Samson was tied to weaken (as if they had been burnt), and then He enabled samson to kill one thousand men with the jawbone of a donkey.

In 1 Samuel 10:6 and 10, the Spirit of God came upon Saul and enabled him to prophesy. In 1 Samuel 11:6-7, the Spirit of God came upon Saul and enabled him to gather an army. In 1 Samuel 16:13, the Spirit of God came upon David; and in 1 Samuel 16:14, the Spirit of God departed from Saul. In 1 Samuel 19:20-21, the Spirit of God came upon Saul’s messengers (whom Saul had sent to capture David), and they prophesied. In 1 Samuel 19:23-24, the Spirit of God came upon Saul and caused him to prophesy naked all day and all night.

Thus, the Spirit of God often entered into people to direct them and enable them to do God’s will. Sometimes, the work did not appear to be supernatural (like when Gideon was able to raise an army by blowing a trumpet, or when Saul was able to raise an army by threatening to cut people into pieces), and sometimes the work was obviously supernatural (like when Samson tore a lion into pieces with his bare hands, or when the cords that bound Samson became as if they had been burnt). Most of the time, the Spirit of God chose to work through men who were committed to following Him (like Moses, Joshua, and David); but there were also times when the Spirit worked through people who were not wholly committed to following Him (like Balaam, who tried to curse God’s people; Jephthah, who vowed to sacrifice the first one who came to greet him; and Saul, who tried to apprehend David but instead ended up prophesying).

What can we conclude from these Scriptures? God is sovereign, and He fulfills His will as He esteems best. Happy are we if we submit to His will and follow the direction of the Spirit, but even if we sin or resist, God can still accomplish His purpose. Praise God!

Questions for Reflection

  • Should you expect the Spirit of God to manifest Himself in your life in the same way He manifested Himself in the lives of these Old Testament believers?
  • How is the ministry of the Spirit of God during Old Testament times similar and different to His ministry during New Testamet times?
  • Do you believe your sins and failures limit the Spirit’s work in you and through you? If so, how?
  • Has God called you to serve Him and accomplish something for Him? If so, why should you rely on the Spirit’s power and not on your own skills?

Prayer Sample

Lord God, I surrender to your will. Forgive my sins, my failures, and my shortcomings. May your Spirit lead me and enable me to serve you and to do your will. Fill me with your Holy Spirit. In the name of Jesus the Christ, amen.

Study on The Book of Revelation

In my previous post, I shared with you that I am developing a series on the book of Revelation. The series is called My Notes on Revelation, and it is my hope it will motivate you to study the Bible and to live in obedience to the Lord. Here is a list of the lessons I have published thus far. Click on them to read them (and don’t forget to check them out later, as I sometimes go back and edit the content).

Seven Centuries before Christmas

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Isaiah 7:14, KJV

Christmas is almost here. Within the next few days, you will probably hear someone read or quote Isaiah 7:14. If you would like to know the story behind Isaiah 7:14 (what it means in its original context), I invite you to read Seven Centuries before Christmas.


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©2018, Marcelo E. Carcach. All rights reserved.

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