Wednesday, October 5, 2022

The Holy Spirit Pattern

Big Idea: God’s Spirit, a divine energy invisible like the wind, is revealed from Genesis to Revelation. 

I Heard His Last Breath

I was at a West African hospital with missionaries who had just been in a rollover car accident. As a missionary nurse I collaborated with local doctors and nurses. I found myself by candlelight in the simple hospital room consulting with Dr. Bah, the chief of medicine at the West African town of Kissidougou.

Wrecked car in Africa
I worried about Stephan who was unconscious with bandages wrapping his head. His wife and two little kids were waiting at home. It was unthinkable that God would let this faithful man die. I had seen God miraculously intervene many times and prayed for mercy.

About 2 AM I checked Stephan’s lungs again which had been filling with fluid. He took a deep breath, and then I heard a rattling sound. Then nothing. Dr. Bah came in and examined him. In silence he looked sadly at me, shook his head and left the room.

The Holy Spirit Pattern

From the very beginning of Genesis the Spirit of God shows up.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters. Genesis 1;1-2 NLT

Word patterns reoccur throughout the entire Bible. Many of these patterns, also called themes, begin in Genesis, and continue significantly through the entire Bible. One of the first patterns to show up is the Holy Spirit.

The Hebrew Word for Spirit

The Hebrew word from the original language translated spirit, ruakh, is also translated in other contexts as wind, or breath.  It shows an invisible energy from God Almighty. The breath of God. See the Holy Spirit move in the wind. We do not see it but we see its effects (John 3). This energy helps create the world. The Holy Spirit works with the Father and the Son at creation. The Bible states, “Let US create” (Genesis 1:26). The noun for God is plural; not multiple god’s, but God revealed in three persons.

The Spirit that Animates Every Being

This powerful presence of Spirit animates every human being from age to age. God's sustaining breath is not just in believers in God, but all humans and even in every creature. In Noah’s account, the Spirit of God is in the animals too (Genesis 17:15). God is everywhere and God’s power is at work in everything. (see Colossians 1:15-17 Acts 17:28. Romans 11;36. 1 Cor. 29:11-12)

I was never more startled at the animation of breath till I heard my friend Stephan’s last one.

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Psalm 150:6

Check out this BibleProject video on the Holy Spirit for more insight.


[The four blogs in October are based on the four primary patterns (also known as themes) in the movements of Genesis presented by the BibleProject.]

Up next: Tree of Life Pattern
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1. Have you ever reflected on life seeing a creature breathe, such as an animal, a newborn, or someone near death? Did you ever think of where it comes from or goes? Did you see God in it?

2. The Holy Spirit is the energy that gives all people, even all creatures life. What does that tell you about God? What about those who breathe but don’t realize it is God?

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