Where was the Holy Spirit in the times of the Old Testament?
We previously discussed where Jesus was before the New Testament, but it is even more logical to ask that question about the Holy Spirit. Jesus and the Apostles are very clear that the Holy Spirit is God and is part of the Trinity (along with the Father and Jesus, the Son). If that is the case, why did it take until the New Testament to learn about Him?
But it turns out that - like Jesus - the Holy Spirit is all over the Old Testament, once you know what to look for. The first mention is Genesis 1:2.
The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. (Genesis 1:2 ESV)And it pops up again just a few chapters later in Genesis 6:1-3.
When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not abide in[a] man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” (Genesis 6:1-3 ESV)The "Spirit of God" or "God's Spirit" or "My Spirit" appears all over the Old Testament. The last reference is in Malachi 2:15.
Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth. (Malachi 2:15 ESV)
So, if the Holy Spirit appeared all over the Old Testament, what the special significance of Pentecost? Before this event, the Holy Spirit would endwell or empower just one person at a time. For instance, it came upon King Saul when he was anointed king of Israel by Samuel, but then left him and eventually came upon King David when he was anointed king. After Pentecost, anyone who became a Christian received the Holy Spirit, and could be empowered by Him.
God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Anytime you think the Old Testament and the new Testament might be in conflict, check again!