This is my second shot at this, I had composed a great sermon on the raining down of the Holy Spirit but it did not save, well here we go again.
More than a century ago before the age of Ozone holes and other pollution the rain that fell on the earth was the same rain that fell at the beginning of time and creation. In the same way the Holy Spirit of God has rained golden drops of grace on us since time forgotten, ancient days, modern times, and will so until the end of time and beyond. Some theologians believe that the Holy Spirit really had not arrived until the time of the Acts of the Apostles. This is due to an over-literal reading of Christ’s words, “”But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”—John 14:26. However, this is not the case. In fact the first mention of the Holy Spirit is before the beginning of time, “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”-Genesis 1:2.
A common misconception is that the Trinity came consecutively. But what we need to understand is that they are all the same being, and yet different forms. Before you say WHOA, this sounds like some sort of Pagan religion. Think of the Trinity as the States of Water. I just taught this to an elementary school class the other day. We have water, ice, and steam. All are the same element, they have the same properties and yet exist as different forms, and by different names. Think of it another way, when you take a drop from the ocean, it is the same thing but in a different form, size, shape, and name. But once you return it, it becomes part of the ocean. But I am focusing on the Third Being in the Trinity, the Holy Spirit. Long before Christ came to earth we see references to the Spirit in the Bible and even in extra-Biblical accounts. There are references to the Spirit of the Hebrew God in Babylon, Egypt, and even as far as China.
There are two giants in the faith I would like to look at in this sermon and their personal relationship with the essence of the Father. The first of these is the progenitor of our faith, Abraham.
Abraham, or Abrahm as he was once called hailed from the land of Ur, now known as modern day Iraq, many believe around Baghdad, or possibly Mecca. We see that God first appears to Abraham in the earlier chapters of Genesis. But we know from other references in the Bible that no one could look upon God’s face so when the Lord called Abraham it was His Spirit. In fact, almost every instance of God speaking in Genesis to any of the Patriarchs involves a “voice” or a “calling” the actual original ancient Hebrew has the grammatical sense of a non-specific proper noun, meaning a thing but with the same properties as a person. In every instance though of Abraham’s interactions with the Spirit it is to do the following:
1) To teach Abraham.
2) To correct.
3) To guide.
The most obvious examples of the Spirit taking the forms of the Trinity was in the visit of the Three. In Genesis 18:1-8, Abraham was in the terebinths of Mamre when three men “in the presence of God.” There has been debate that these beings are angels but Abraham clearly addresses them as Lord. God goes onto destroy Sodom and Gomorrah and the rest is history. The next example of Abraham’s interaction with the Holy Spirit is in the form of Melchizedek. In Genesis 14:18 we see that Abraham recognises Melchizedek for who he is by giving him proper tithes and offerings. You may be wondering why am I just recounting Biblical history? Abraham was a father of nations, a world traveller, a general, and a holy tribal leader. And yet when it came to the Holy Spirit Abraham submitted to the will of God and His Spirit and he felt that grace.
The next giant of the faith I would like to examine is Moses. A cornerstone of our faith, and a fighter for the Lord and human rights. Hello brothers and sisters in Christ. Today we continue on from the last sermon on the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament. Last day we looked at Abraham and how God frequently communicated with him through His Spirit and how certain characters in the Bible were the representation of that Spirit. Today we will be looking at Moses. Moses, a Prince of Egypt felt God on his heart. The Spirit of God guided Moses even before he knew of the God of the Hebrews. The Spirit guided the basket through the Nile, protected him in the house of pharoh, and helped him to grow in wisdom, stature, and honour. But unlike Abraham, Moses came to be aware of God’s presence the way many of us do; through a horrible hardship, event, or crisis, whether it is through our own doing, or by some external force.
After the murder of the Egyptian overseer Moses was compelled into the desert, but the question is what compelled him to do so? What preserved him throughout the desert? And what brought him to the well of the Sheihk of Median? The Spirit of God; It was an unseen force pushing him foward, unlike Abraham Moses did not know what was pushing him foward, the Spirit was much more subtle than with Abraham. It was not until decades later in the form of the burning bush that the Spirit addressed Moses. But why this different form? So very different than Abraham’s or others experiences. Throughout Exodus we see a very indirect relationship between Moses and the Spirit of God, this is due to the fact that it was inside Moses, and the miracles of God were evident outside. The Spirit of God gave Moses the strength, determination, and wisdom to lead the three million people of Israel from Egypt to the Promised Land. Judaism considers Moses to be the greatest man who ever lived, but it was the Holy Spirit who made him great.
When things got too much for Moses, at one point he even asked God to kill him. God’s response was,
“And The Lord said unto Moses, Gather unto Me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto The Tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee. And I will come down and talk with thee there: and I will take of the Spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone.” (Numbers 11:16-17 KJV).
Like Moses when we cannot handle life’s load, God’s Spirit reinforces, strengthens, and gives us hope. Even since the beginning of time we see this. Let us take comfort and hope from Moses’ interactions with the Spirit of God because the same issues we have today, Moses had thousands of years ago. The Spirit of God may not speak to us from a burning bush but speaks just as loudly in our hearts, through His Word, and through our spiritual elders.