Have you ever seen a mother hen fussing: over her nest, her eggs, her chicks? She wants everything to be right. Believe it or not, this is the first image that the Bible gives us of the Holy Spirit of God. Genesis starts off by stating that “In the beginning God created the Heavens and the earth and the earth was without form and empty and darkness was over the face of the waters.” But it doesn’t stop there. After telling us that the earth (which in this case is not only literally speaking of matter and the cosmos, but is also a metaphor for us) was shapeless, empty and dark, the Bible says that the Spirit of God Hovered over the waters. Look it up in the Hebrew and it literally says that the Holy Ghost Broodedover that which would soon be brought to life.
Genesis says that God the Father wanted a world. Hebrews teaches that God the Son provided it. But it was the Holy Ghostthat moved over it to bring it into the shape, fulness and light that God desired. Right here from the very beginning we see the totality of God’s work. The Father desires new life. The Son brings it to be. And the Holy Ghost then broods over it and refines it for God’s glory. This pattern is seen in drawing and wooing of the soul, in salvation, and in the sanctification process which follows. But do we see the pattern? Most of the time, No! I’ve been praying this last year as we’re all focused on knowing God better that He reveal to me when the tests and trials of life are just the Holy Ghost brooding. You see, He is always working for my good. He is always teaching me about the nature and character and love of the Godhead. He is taking every moment, every opportunity to show me God. He is using every decision to refine me. Can you see in your mind’s eye how the Mother hen fusses? How the chicks try to wander from the nest of safety and how she brings them back in under the protection of the wing?
The Holy Ghost doesn’t just hover. He doesn’t just hang around to observe. He broods. He urges. He corrals and protects. He loves us through our foolish wanderings back into the fold. He fusses! He is never content to leave us alone. He never stops His attentive work.
When Jesus was getting ready to die, He went up into the mountains overlooking Jerusalem and wept. He groaned and grieved with great sorrow about how often down through time He had tried to gather His people under the wing as a hen would do her chicks, but they would not gather. This is the clearest synopsis we can have of the Old Testament period. The Spirit of God (i.e. The Holy Ghost) spoke through the law and the prophets and urged relationship with God but the people like baby chicks ran from the safety of the nest and refused to be gathered. Since God has issued a special call this year for us to know Him, Hear the Word of the Lord:
“Resist not the brooding of the Holy Ghost. He is working to reinforce the nest, to provide for your warmth and security. Resist not the brooding of the Holy Ghost. He is bringing forth new life. Resist not the brooding of the Holy Ghost during those times when it seems like He works against you. He is working to bring you back into the fold. Resist not the brooding. There is NO ONE better to make a fuss over you than the Holy Ghost. When the Holy Ghost broods, embrace it. He’s God! (and He’s never wrong).”