Teaching About the Spirit of the LORD in the Old Testament

In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit would often come upon someone chosen by God to teach, to warn, or to save God’s people from destruction. As you have studied, “the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah” and he saved God’s people from the Ammonites (Judges 11:29).

We learn from the story of Jephthah that God wanted to save His people, even though they were undeserving, perhaps they would come back to true faith and obedience to the LORD. We also learn that Jephthah depended totally on the LORD to give him victory, and the Spirit of the LORD came upon him and the LORD saved his people from the Ammonites. Perhaps for some of these reasons Jephthah made the list of “heroes of the faith” in Hebrews 11:32.

As typical in the Old Testament regarding leaders and prophets, the Holy Spirit came UPON Jephthah. But the Holy Spirit did not prevent Jephthah from making a foolish vow and murdering his daughter. The Holy Spirit may have worked upon him to move him to repent, to not murder his daughter, and he may have refused to repent, the Bible does not tell us.

In the New Testament, the Holy Spirit INDWELT John the Baptist from before he was born (Luke 1:15). On the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came to indwell Jesus’ followers (Acts 2:4; Acts 2:38)). Ever since the death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ the Holy Spirit has come to indwell those who trust in Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

You might discuss with your class why this change in the work of the Holy Spirit from working UPON and WITHIN God’s people in the Old and the New Testaments, why this is so, and the difference this makes.

Go to the International Bible Lesson Commentary and International Bible Lesson for additional Uniform Sunday School Lesson Series Resources.

May God bless your teaching this Sunday!

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