The Spirit of God

"And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters" (Genesis 1: 2). This reference shows that the triune God, namely the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, exercise creative activity in equal measure (Genesis 2: 7).


When the Old Testament speaks of the "Spirit of God" it is referring to the Holy Spirit. He is not yet defined in His personality, but is rather described as a life-giving power.


Examples for the activity of the Spirit of God are recorded from the time of Moses (Exodus 31: 3; Numbers 11: 25-29) and the Judges in Israel (Judges 3: 10; 6: 34; 11: 29; 13: 25), who–inspired by the Holy Spirit–led the people of the Lord with courage and strength in battle against their enemies.


Kings of the people of Israel were also filled with the Spirit of God. Examples include Saul (1 Samuel 10: 6) and David (1 Samuel 16: 13). Later on, Jesus Christ referred to the activity of the Holy Spirit through King David with the words: "For David himself said by the Holy Spirit: 'The Lord said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool"'" (Mark 12: 36). Here, as in other passages of the New Testament (e.g. Acts 1: 16; 4: 25), it becomes clear that David, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, was already alluding to Jesus Christ.


In Old Testament times, the Holy Spirit filled human beings only temporarily, and not as a permanent sacramental gift like in the new covenant (1 Samuel 16: 14; Psalm 51: 11).