Sunday, 20 May 2018
Ruach - The Hebrew word means both 'spirit', 'breath' and 'wind', so is a powerful image of the way that G-d's Spirit moves in and over us.
G-d breathed His Spirit into us at the moment of creation and again at each new birth as life is given. The Spirit was felt and heard by our people at Mt. Sinai as G-d came down on the mountain and the vast sound - like a trumpet, or was it thunder - poured out as YHVH gave the Torah to Israel. In a hugely symbolic echo, the sound of a rushing wind poured through the Upper Room on the day of Shavuot centuries later when the Spirit was given to the disciples, who then spoke in tongues to declare G-d's praises to the people in a re-enactment of Mt. Sinai. Yeshua breathed on the disciples after His resurrection and gave them peace.
The Ruach, then, is a peace-giving wind that gives life and empowers while it makes a lot of noise! The Spirit's job, Yeshua said, is to point people to Him - that is why He sometimes makes a lot of noise: making a lot of Yeshua to be heard in a world that has altogether too much noise. But the Ruach is also the still small voice that spoke to Elijah at Mt. Horeb after the wind, fire and earthquake. The Spirit speaks quietly into our hearts with minute precision, telling us exactly what is going on, what to do and say, and how to serve G-d best in every circumstance. The Ruach also rustles the pages of our Bibles, as Yeshua explained, reminding us of what Yeshua said, bringing everything to mind as we read, convicting us of sin or bad attitudes and making us more like Yeshua; conforming us to His image.
The Spirit is G-d's cleansing fire who purifies our hearts and makes us a living sacrifice offered through love on His altar, a pleasing aroma to our God. So this Shavuot, as we think and pray, as we praise and worship, as we seek the Spirit and His work in our lives, remember that He is the Promise of the Father, sent in the name of Yeshua, to search our hearts and bring glory to God.