Holy Spirit’s Creative Hovering
On Friday’s post, we talked about a critical vote in Kansas that will take place today. This is a very significant vote regarding the lives of babies. The Kansas legislature passed an amendment - which must now be approved by the people of Kansas - that will keep the state from becoming a pro-abortion state on the level of California and New York. Value Them Both is a very good amendment. The legislature did so because the Kansas Supreme Court decided, in 2019, that the Kansas constitution, written in 1859, includes a right to abortion on demand. The result of the ruling was that every limit on abortion (even bipartisan limits) that had been enacted in Kansas, such as the ban on late-term abortions, the ban on taxpayer-funded abortions, and the Kansas law requiring parental consent before an abortion clinic could perform on a minor, was now unconstitutional.
A very powerful prayer gathering was held regarding this vote last Friday night in Wichita, which I was privileged to attend. Though the vote takes place today (August 2), many of those who watch/read GH15 do so early in the day. That means much prayer can still occur before many Kansans vote. Therefore, I am mentioning - and will lead in a prayer of agreement - regarding this vote again today. We should all pray prayers given to us individually by Holy Spirit; however, I believe He brought the following truth to my memory for us to pray together. I address this truth and how it relates to prayer in my book, Intercessory Prayer.
Genesis 1:1-2 says, “In the beginning…the earth was without form, and void” (KJV). The words “without form” are the Hebrew word tohuw, which means “a desolation; to lie waste; a desert; a worthless thing”; (1) “confusion;” (2) “empty (barren); a formless, lifeless mass.” (3) The basic concept is lifelessness or sterility. Verse two goes on to tell us, “the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” What does it mean when it says Holy Spirit moved?
Though I don’t think we fully understand why, we use the term yet today in Christian circles, making statements such as, “The Lord really moved today,” or “Holy Spirit was moving mightily.” But what do these ethereal statements mean? What was He doing? Was He moving from one place to another? Was He moving from one person to another? What does the word “move” actually mean in these contexts?
Actually, this usage of the word finds its roots here in Genesis. The Hebrew word used for “moving,” rachaph, literally means “to brood over.” (4) The Amplified translation actually uses three words to translate it: “was moving, hovering, brooding over.” The margin of the New American Standard version of the Bible also uses the word “hovering.” So, rachaph is a hovering or brooding over something. This begs the question, “For what purpose?”
Websters Dictionary defines brooding as sitting on eggs to hatch them; to incubate. The noun form, “brood,” is defined as “offspring; progeny; that which is bred or produced.”(5) A hen’s brood, for example, is her chicks that she has produced. “Brood” originates from the root word “breed,” which we know means procreating or impregnating.
In using this term to describe Creation, Holy Spirit is using the analogy of reproduction. He was procreating in Genesis. A Hebrew scholar informed me that rachaph is, indeed, a reproductive term in the Hebrew language, which can be used to describe a husband “hovering” over his bride. Pretty graphic, but it confirms that rachaph is literally a reproductive term. One lexicon defined this word as “brooding and fertilizing.” (6) Rachaph can be used to describe reproduction in humans, animals, plants and, figuratively, of “birthing” almost anything - an idea, a business, a nation, and more.
We know from the New Testament that Jesus was the member of the Godhead calling forth life in this Genesis setting. We are told that all things were created by His Words (see John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:16). However, it was Holy Spirit who brooded or hovered over the earth, releasing His creative energy and power at the words of Jesus, giving birth to what Christ spoke.
Another example of Holy Spirit hovering and bringing forth life out of lifelessness is in Deuteronomy 32:10-18. In this passage, Moses is recounting to the Israelites their history and begins by referring to Israel as an individual, obviously referring back to Abraham, the father of the nation. In verse 10, Moses says God found him in a tohuw condition - in other words, lifeless or barren (same word used in Genesis 1).
Like planet earth prior to Genesis 1, Abraham was in a barren condition. Neither he nor Sarah had the ability, at this point, to reproduce life. They were sterile. We are then told in verse 11 that as an eagle hovers (rachaphs) over its young, the Lord hovered over them. Holy Spirit brooded over Abraham and Sarah, releasing His life and power, giving them the ability to conceive!
We read in Hebrews 11:11 that by faith, Sarah received dunamis (the miraculous power of Holy Spirit) (7) to conceive. As Holy Spirit hovered, God was actually birthing a nation in them. The renewing Holy Spirit did to their bodies as He hovered was so complete that after this, a king wanted Sarah as his own wife because she was so beautiful. Also, Abraham received an enduring physical change and later had other children.
The words used in this passage to describe Holy Spirit’s hovering over Abraham and Sarah to bring forth life are identical to those used in the Genesis Creation.
A third example of Holy Spirit bringing forth life as He hovered or brooded over someone is found in Luke 1:35, the conception of Christ. The angel of the Lord came to Mary, telling her that she would bear a child. She responded by asking, “How can this be since I am a virgin?” (v. 34).
The answer was, “Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you” (v. 35). “Overshadow” is the Greek word episkiazo, which means “to cast a shade upon; to envelope in a haze of brilliancy; to invest with supernatural influence.” (8) It is in some ways a counterpart for the Hebrew word rachaph. Thayer says it is used of Holy Spirit exerting creative energy upon the womb of the Virgin Mary and impregnating it.” (9)
The word is only used two other times in the New Testament. At the transfiguration of Jesus in Matthew 17:5, the passage says the cloud of the Lord “overshadowed” the disciples. Episkiazo is also used in Acts 5:15 when people were trying to get close to Peter - in his shadow - that they might be healed. Have you ever wondered how Peter’s shadow could heal anyone? It didn’t. What was actually happening was that Holy Spirit was “moving” through/out from Peter - hovering - and when individuals stepped into the cloud or overshadowing, their healing was born.
Perhaps you have seen a similar phenomenon. I have. I’ve been in services where God was moving in such a strong way that before people were touched or even prayed for by anyone, they were saved, healed, or delivered. What happened? They came under the episkiazo, the hovering, of Holy Spirit.
Maybe you’ve been in a meeting where the Spirit of the Lord began to hover over the entire room and move in a particular way. At times, God does this over entire communities and nations. In many of the classic revivals of the past, stories are told of individuals who came into close proximity of churches where God was moving in mighty ways. When doing so, they began to weep, went to the church, walked inside, and said, “Something drew me here, and I want to get saved.” This is rachaph, episkiazo. The moving or hovering of Holy Spirit had become so broad that He was brooding over an entire geographical area to bring forth life.
This is what I believe Holy Spirit wants us to ask for today: His hovering presence over the entire state of Kansas to produce life. Ask Him to release His influence over the hearts and minds of voters. Ask Him to permeate the atmosphere all across Kansas. And remember, at Creation it was the words of Christ that released Holy Spirit’s creative power. The New Testament actually calls God‘s words seeds (Mark 4:14; 1 Peter 1.23).
Be the voice He needs you to be today. Declare life over Kansas and America. Bind the spirit and power of death over Kansas. Bind deception and lies; loose the spirit of truth.
Let’s be the Ekklesia today.
Pray with me:
Father, we realize that though we won a monumental battle regarding the lives of babies and the destiny of America on June 24, the war is not over. The national decree initiating a covenant with death was reversed, breaking a national curse off of us. Yet, the war continues, now on a state level. We are determined to stay engaged.
You have said prophetically that we can see tremendous victory regarding this issue over the next several months. We ask for a heightened level of Ephesians 1:17 wisdom and revelation to guide us through it.
Today, we do as we believe You instructed us, asking that Holy Spirit hover over Kansas - hover over voting booths and hover over the minds of Kansans. Influence their thinking. Neutralize the deceptions and lies of those who are promoting abortion. Make their arguments of no effect. Birth a new era of life in Kansas, one so powerful that it leavens our entire nation. We ask that miracles occur through this hovering overshadowing, just as they did in the book of Acts. We ask for your glory to be manifested through it, just as it was at the Mount of Transfiguration. And we ask that life be formed/birthed, just as it was in Sarah and Mary. And we ask this in the powerful name of our Creator, Jesus. Amen.
We decree the release of Holy Spirit’s hovering over the state of Kansas today.
Portions of today’s post were taken from my book Intercessory Prayer (Ventura,CA Bethany Publishing House,1996) pp 137-142.
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James Strong, The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (Nashville, TH: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1990), ref. no. 8414.
Spiros Zodiates, Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible - New American Standard (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 1984; revised edition, 1990), p. 1790.
C.F. Keil and F. Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament, Volume 1 (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., reprinted 1991), p. 48.
William Wilson, Old Testament Word Studies (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1978) p. 175.
The Consolidated Webster Encyclopedic Dictionary (Chicago: Consolidated Book Publishers, 1954), p.89.
Francis Brown, S.R. Driver, and Charles A. Briggs, The New Brown-Driver, Briggs-Gesenius Hebrew and English Lexicon (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1979), p. 934.
Strong, The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, Ref. no. 1411.
Ibid., ref. no. 1982.
Joseph Henry Thayer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 12977), p. 242.