Sending forth spirit

Sending forth spirit August 7, 2010

Some thoughts arising from a discussion of Proverbs 29:8, 11 with Toby Sumpter.

Verse 11 says that a fool “sends forth all his spirit, but a wise man holds it back.”  ”Sending forth spirit” is what Yahweh does in creating (Psalm 104:30), what Jesus does on the cross (John 19:30), on Easter (John 20:22), from the right hand of the Father (John 15:26; Acts 2).  But the proverb indicates that there’s a human analog to that divine sending: Fools at least send forth spirit that creates turmoil and strife.  Through the words of a fool, he communicates the spirit of confusion.  Surely fools are not the only ones who can send forth spirit.  By wise and timely words, the righteous and wise send forth spirit, in spir ing holiness, courage, faithfulness.

Timely: That’s a key.  The wise man holds back spirit.  He doesn’t hold it back forever, or all the time.  But he holds it back until the right time.  Just like Jesus: Jesus is filled with the Spirit from the first, gives authority and power to His disciples when He sends them to the lost sheep of Israel, but He does not send forth the fullness of His Spirit on them until His death and resurrection.  He doesn’t breathe out all of His Spirit until they are ready, until the time is right.  Untimely inspiration, even in a righteous cause, is folly.

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