Seven Epithets: 5.3 Ruah Ha-ko’desh (רוח הקדשׁ) Holy Spirit

Ruach Ha-ko’desh: Holy Spirit. It is a disservice if we only ever refer to ‘The’ Holy Spirit or, worse, consider Holy Spirit to be an ‘it’ – a thing; even if a ‘Holy Thing.’ Ha-ka’dosh means The Holy One, but Ruach Ha-ko’desh means Holy Spirit. It is like only calling me The Timothy, and so never quite drawing close to me. We may liken our experience of Holy Spirit to that of a dove or a breeze, but both are symbolic, not actual.

Celtic Christians referred to ‘chasing the wild goose’ but this referred to the (almost elusive) nature of Ruach Ha-ko’desh. You meet Ruach Ha-ko’desh on His terms, not on your demands; you do not dictate where He goes, where He guides you; we cannot see the wind, but feel its effects. And we can see the effect of Ruach Ha-ko’desh in our lives. Jesus explained this role and function in John:

But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you … But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth … He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. (John 16: 7, 13-14)

Before we even get to the Advocate glorifying Jesus, notice how Jesus refers to Ruach Ha-ko’desh? ‘He’ not ‘it.’ Advocate is but one name. There is a complete series just on the names of Ruach Ha-ko’desh, their meanings and what we can draw from them.  Ruach Olam: Eternal Spirit (Hebrews 9:14). Ruach Adonai: Spirit of God (Acts 5:9). Ruach HaEmet: Spirit of truth (John 15:26). There are many more. Each name highlights another aspect of God as Ruach Ha-ko’desh and the blessings He gives us.

As we know more about Ruach Ha-ko’desh, so we add to His names. Contrast this with, for example, Jacob which means ‘supplanter’ (he took the blessing from his elder brother, Esau). Later God changed it to Israel (‘a prince who has power with God’). But for Ruach Ha-ko’desh we find that these names are adding to His name, and still we have hardly begun to know Him and what He does for us. He glorifies Jesus just as Jesus glorifies the Father. Ruach Ha-ko’desh helps us, comforts us, speaks up for us, intercedes on our behalf, gives us wise counsel, strengthens us and provides us with support. Ruach Ha-ko’desh was there at the beginning with the Father in Holy Trinity:

Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and Ruach Ha-ko’desh was hovering over the waters. (Genesis 1:2)

And is there for us (for we are the bride) at the end:

Ruach Ha-ko’desh and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come!’ Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life. (Revelation 22:17)

‘Shalom’ is not just ‘peace’ but peace made good, full restitution: restored; made whole in body, soul and spirit. Jesus gives us THIS shalom through Ruach Ha-ko’desh.

But the Counsellor, Ruach Ha-ko’desh, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.  Shalom I leave with you; my shalom I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14: 26-27)

[from Timothy Pitt]

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