Judges 3:7-11 – WHEN THE SPIRIT WORKS 

Have you ever watched a craftsman at work? It’s fun to watch someone who has a specific skill perform his skill well. 

A friend of mine named Dan took a couple of old doors, and transformed them back to life.  He also took an old chair and restored into something beautiful. 

Ed, another friend of mine, used to take a dirty old wooden floor, sand it down, put materials on it, and turn it into a beautiful, shiny wooden floor. 

Glass blowers can make beautiful vases, bottles, and other things simply by blowing into hot glass. 

Have you ever thought of God as a craftsman?  He takes a crusty old sinner and turns him into a trophy of God’s grace.  And the Spirit of God, who entered your life the moment you were saved, is also a craftsman. He is inside your life to produce learning, power, peace, fruit, and a host of other things.  As the Spirit works, using us as the natural resources, He produces a masterpiece of mature Christianity. That is, if we cooperate. 

The Book of Judges covers a dark time in the history of Israel. Every man did that which was right in his own eyes.  Most of the time Israel lived in apostasy, away from God. But God would raise up judges, military and civil leaders who would be used of God to deliver Israel. Judges 2:11-23, 17:6 

We want to examine a brief account of the career of the first judge, Othniel. Othniel was either a nephew or brother of Caleb. He had already distinguished himself as a military hero, winning the hand of daughter by conquering a city (Judges 1:12-13).  Othniel’s work is summed up in our text. 

The most important characteristic of Othniel’s life was that “the Spirit of the Lord came upon him”.

God’s Spirit, craftsman that He is, produced a wonderful masterpiece in the life of Othniel. 

Using Othniel as an example, I want us to see what happens when the Spirit of God works. The Spirit hasn’t changed. If He produced a masterpiece in Othniel, he can inside of us as well. There are five things that will happen when the Spirit of God works. 

  1. THERE IS A PERSON – Vs. 9

It was a dark time – Talk about verses 1-7.

In answer to prayer God raised up Othniel as a deliver.

God’s Holy Spirit works through people.  Therefore there needs to be a person available whom the Spirit of God can use. 1 Corinthians 12:13, Romans 8:9,14,16

The Spirit of God worked inside of Othniel, but the verses listed above make it obvious that the Spirit wants to work inside of every Christian. 

Othniel was obviously available. We must make ourselves available to the control of the Spirit of God. We are available when we do not grieve nor quench the Spirit. Ephesians 4:30-32, 1 Thessalonians 5:19 

  1. THERE IS CONTROL – Vs. 10

We do not know exactly what Othniel did to defeat the enemy, but we do know that God’s Spirit controlled him. If you are going to defeat the enemies of God, and be used of God, you must be under the control of the Holy Spirit! Ephesians 5:18, Galatians 5:16 


It says that “He judged Israel, and went out to war.” He led the people.

When you are controlled by the Holy Spirit there will be times when the Spirit will lead you to take charge of a situation. God might call upon you to talk to a sinning brother or sister, or invite a person to church or teach a Sunday School class, or work on the building or serve on the board. Even when not in charge, we should lead by example. Galatians 5:22-23, 1 Timothy 4:12 


The enemy was defeated, and Israel was defeated from bondage.

The Spirit of God is in your life to deliver you from the bondage of sin. Romans 6:14

The Spirit of God is in your life to help others be delivered from sin. Acts 1:8, Hebrews 3:11-12, 10:25 

  1. THERE IS REST – Vs. 11

There was rest for almost 40 years because of the Spirit working upon Othniel.

We are promised rest as the Spirit of God works inside of us. John 14:16-17, 26-27