Friday, September 21, 2012

The Holy Spirit and the Incredible Hulk

Last night, the bible study I attend spent an hour discussing how the Spirit of God is portrayed in the Pentateuch.  Among other passages, we covered Numbers 11:17, 25-30; Judges 6:34; 14:6, 19;  and I Samuel 10:6; 16:13-14.  After discussing more than thirty five verses, we were asked which adjectives best describes the Holy Spirit of the Old Testament.*  My answer, you ask?: HULK SMASH.  Now, before you judge me, allow me to make my case here.  In Judges, we see the Holy Spirit moving upon Gideon to overthrow the alter of Baal and slay more than seventy people.  Furthermore in this same book, we find the Spirit of the Lord moving upon Samson to slay thousands of Philistines.  Now let's turn our attention to I and II Samuel where the Spirit moves "Saul to kill his thousands and David to kill his tends of thousands" (more Philistines), not to mention, rending apart lions.*  All of this rending, and tearing, and killing leads me to conclude that perhaps our modern conceptions of the Spirit of God are a bit tame.  Quite frankly, I find the Holy Ghost of the Pentateuch rather frightening.  I mean, come on!  Who wants to be on the wrong end of that?!  Please don't get me wrong here.  I'm not trying to sacrilegious.  All I'm saying is that when it comes to the Spirit of the Lord, we won't like him when he's angry.

*The term Holy Spirit is only used twice in the Old Testament.  Both times appear in the book of Isaiah.

*The quote is take from I Samuel 18:7

*The term Holy Ghost is not, to my knowledge, found in the bible.  It used when singing the doxology probably because it rhymes with "hosts".  

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