Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Still hoping

In the Old Testament, the outpouring of the Spirit of God is limited (with few exceptions) to the leaders and particularly to the prophets. It is through these Spirit-anointed leaders that Yhwh often speaks, directs, and intervenes on behalf of the people (e.g., Deut 34:9; Judg 3:10, 6:34; 1 Sam 16:13; Neh 9:30; Isa 42:1; Ezek 2:2). Joel, however, anticipates a time when all Israel would share in the Spirit of prophecy and know the Lord personally (Joel 2:28–32; cf. Jer 31:34). Philip notes that “for Joel, prophecy, visions and dreams appear to be characteristic of an intimacy with YHWH, made possible by the outpouring of the Spirit.”[Finny Philip, The Origins of Pauline Pneumatology (WUNT 2/194; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2005) 67]The prophet seems to envisage a corporate gift of prophecy that will enable every member of the community one day to stand “among YHWH’s council and (hear) his word at first hand (Jer 23:18).” [Leslie C. Allen, The Books of Joel, Obadiah, Jonah and Micah (NICOT; London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1978) 99] In other words, Joel’s vision anticipates a prophetic community that will hear from and speak directly to God. Already Moses yearned for the day when all the house of Israel will be gifted with the enabling presence of God’s Spirit (cf. Num 11:25–29). Joel anticipates the fulfillment of Moses’ hope. Each will know God in an unmediated way through the Spirit (Joel 2:28–29).—Standing in the Breach, page 471

<idle musing>
Unfortunately, it seems we are still hoping for it. Perhaps because our culture is so antisupernatural and the church as a whole has absorbed that same mentality.

Lord, send you Spirit upon us that Joel's vision might become reality!
</idle musing>

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