Thursday, June 28, 2007

Holy Spirit - Wind

Holy Spirit – WindI would like for us to spend four weeks thinking, praying, and learning about the Holy Spirit. There are three main illustrations of the Holy Spirit that are used in the scripture:

Holy Spirit – Wind
Holy Spirit – Water
Holy Spirit – Fire
Holy Spirit - Wine

The Greek word for Spirit (pneuma) comes from a root word that means “wind,” or “to breath, or blow.” The Hebrew word for Spirit (ruach) is translated spirit or wind depending on the context. For example, God parted the Red Sea for Moses and the Israelites by causing an east “wind” (ruach) to blow. One scholar counted that nearly 40% of the time, “ruach” means “moving air” (as in wind, or breathing).

Genesis 6:17: “And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath (ruach) of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.”

Exodus 15:8: “And with the blast (ruach) of thy nostrils the waters were gathered together, the floods stood upright as an heap, and the depths were congealed in the heart of the sea.”

Jesus links the Holy Spirit with wind while speaking to a Pharisee name Nicodemus, in the middle of the night:

“Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.' 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit." (John 3)

In Acts 2, the arrival of the Holy Spirit is accompanied by the sound of a “rushing, mighty wind.”

On the cross, Jesus quoted a psalm that said, “into your hands I commit my “Spirit” (Pneuma). The gospel of Mark doesn’t include that quote, but says that he “breathed (pneuma) His last. " Some have suggested that when Jesus said “I commit my “pneuma,” He really meant “my every breath” not “spirit.”

Clearly, the connections, or similarities between the Holy Spirit and wind or air that is being moved / blown are VERY strong in the Scripture. I am of the opinion that this is not mere coincidence. This close association is intended to reveal critical truth about the Holy Spirit. What can we learn based on this close association between moving air (wind, or breath) and the Holy Spirit?

Genesis 1:2: “...and the Spirit (ruach) of God moved upon the waters.”

Genesis 3:8: “Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God moving about in the orchard at the breezy (ruach) time of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the orchard.” (This is from the NET Bible… I like it because I think “breezy” or “wind” is more closely related to “ruach,” than is the traditional “cool of the day.” Some scholars have suggested that God arrived in the midst of a might wind storm. That might be part of the reason why Adam and Eve hid.)

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