The Holy Spirit Among the Kings

    We pick up where we left off Friday, having examined the Holy Spirit in the lives of Kings Saul and David. After 2 Samuel 23:2, the next reference is in the ministry of Elijah, the prophet…

1 Kings 18:12

    Elijah wants to have a face-to-face confrontation with Elijah but Obadiah fears that he will go get Ahab but the Spirit will “carry” away Elijah to some place where Obadiah does not know. In what way could the Spirit carry away Elijah? We do not know. We might easily presume that since Obadiah believes it could have happened, then perhaps it had happened more than once before.

1 Kings 22:24; 2 Chronicles 18:23

    Here is the incident between the prophet Micaiah and the kings Ahab (of Israel) and Jehoshaphat (of Judah). Zedekiah himself had been claiming to have been led by the Lord Himself back in verse 11. So, how do you know who is speaking the truth? Both men claim to be speaking the word of the Lord.

    Remember, from Deut 13:1-6 and 18:15-22, there are two tests for prophets: 1.) Can they accurately predict the future? 2.) Are they teaching the Law of Moses accurately? Here, Micaiah challenges Zedekiah and King Ahab (vs 28).

2 Kings 2:16

    The “sons of the prophets” wonder if Elijah has been carried away. We know that Elijah was taken up into heaven (vs 11). This reflects the same idea from 1 Kings 18 that the Spirit could miraculously transport Elijah to some safe place.

1 Chronicles 12:18

    David’s military commander is said to have the Spirit. This particular verb means “clothed” (It is also used in Judges 6:34). The Greek word in the LXX used here, ενδυω, is the same verb Jesus will use when He tells His apostles that they will be “clothed” with the Holy Spirit in Luke 24:49.

2 Chronicles 15:1

    The prophet Azariah prophesies to King Asa and warns him that if he turns away from following God, God will no longer be with him.

2 Chronicles 20:14

    Jahaziel of the tribe of Levi, gives a Spirit-guided message to King Jehoshaphat and encourages him in the Lord.

2 Chronicles 24:20

    The Spirit of God comes over (“clothes”) Zechariah, son of the priest, and he gives a message to the whole people assembled together, which leads to his death (See Matthew 23:35).

Nehemiah 9:20, 30

    Notice (vs 20), God gave them the “Spirit” for the purpose “to instruct” them. This verb means to “instruct, teach, give insight, be smart.”

    In verse 30, we have a different verb used with an interesting turn of phrase. The verb “bore” (משך) means to “seize, carry off; to pull, drag; stretch, draw out,” suggesting the idea that God had to drag the Israelites kicking and screaming to get them to be faithful. The verb “admonished” (עוד) means to “bind, sustain, be a witness, warn, admonish.” 

    The Hebrew text says, “You admonished them by your Spirit by the hand of your prophets.” The use of the word “hand” draws a contrast to the “hand” of the peoples of the land into whom God gave Israel. In other words, they would not be dragged by the hand of the Spirit, through the prophets, so God gave them into the hand of their enemies.

    What have we learned about the Spirit in the days of the kings?

    1. While the “Spirit” is only mentioned 18 times in the days of the monarchy, the word “prophet” is used 137 times! Certainly many of those refer to false prophets but the point is that the Spirit was very active once the monarchy was established.

    2. The Spirit largely spoke to kings and the nation of Israel through inspired men; He also, apparently, gave inspired wisdom and knowledge to certain military men, like Saul and Amasai, as He did the judges.

    3. We have not noticed the miracles performed, largely in they days of Elijah and Elisha, but they would / could only have been done through the power of the Holy Spirit and we would see that miracles were done almost always through the mediation of a prophet of God.

    Soon, we’ll examine “The Holy Spirit in the Poetry Books.”

–Paul Holland