What Did Biblical Authors Know?

Hey, thanks again for sending in your questions related to our recent sermons. We’re we’re continuing in our Psalms series, as we will be all summer. This last week we talked about Psalm 91, which is referred to as a psalm of confidence that God will deliver us, that he’ll protect from the snare and the terror of the night and the arrow that flies, that we never even saw who launched it and can’t hear it coming, all these unforeseen difficulties. God will go out before us and protect us before we even get there. And then if difficulties actually come to us, that he will shield us from them and deliver us.

So we said during the course of our sermon that that’s not to say that we will always be protected from physical harm, but even if we are physically harmed, like Jesus says in Luke 21, some of you they will kill, but not a hair on your head, they will perish. Even if we are physically harmed, we are not really harmed because our ultimate treasure was never in jeopardy, that nobody can ever take that from us. And ultimately, anything that anybody does to us only drives us further into our deepest, biggest treasure, which is more of God Himself. Paul says it would be better to die and be with Christ, but I’m confident that I will stay here with all of you because it’s better for you. But real deliverance for me is that I would get out of here.

So Paul would think it’s even better to leave. So again, we’re not talking about deliverance from physical harm. We’re just talking about always getting more and more and more of our biggest treasure, our biggest want, our biggest need, which is God Himself. And that can ever be taken away from us. So the question this week is, when the psalmist wrote this down, is that what he thought he was writing down?

Certainly, if we tie this Psalm into the rest of the canon of Scripture from beginning to end, this interpretation of this psalm is what makes sense and keeps everything consistent. But the guy who actually wrote it down, what did he think he was writing down? Did he think he’d be delivered from physical harm? Or did he maybe think he’d be delivered through physical harm to some other blessing? Because it’s not specifically described in the psalm?

And I would say, like everything else in Scripture, the author of that particular passage, whatever particular passage we’re talking about, has some knowledge, but not complete knowledge. I go back to we’ll say it was Moses who wrote Genesis. That’s what tradition says, that it was Moses. So if it was Moses that wrote Genesis, when he wrote that the seed of the woman, the offspring of the woman, will crush the head of the serpent, moses know what he was talking about? He didn’t know specifically there would be someone named Jesus or yeshua.

Who was going to come and crush Satan through cross crucifixion and then resurrection. Like, he didn’t know all of those details. He just knew God was going to do it somehow, and he wrote down what he knew. And then as time progresses on and more Scripture is written through the Holy Spirit, these authors who put together this whole masterpiece of a storyline, it becomes clear what everybody along the way was saying. And so, sure, Moses probably didn’t know all the details when he said offspring of the woman would crush a serpent.

Author of Psalm 91 probably didn’t know all the details of what God’s deliverance would mean and how God would accomplish all of that deliverance. But he knew a part. He was faithful to write his part, and God was faithful to bring all of the different scriptural authors together. One of the biggest boosts to my faith, actually, is thinking about how all of these different authors, 66 books, we’re not exactly sure the number of authors of Scripture over thousands of years all write their own part without knowing each other, without talking to each other many times, without reading other parts of Scripture that was written. Right.

They just kind of have tunnel vision on of what’s going on with them and God, and they write their little part, but then all of these little parts together make one comprehensive, coherent story. How does that happen? I think the only way that happens is with God tying it all together. And it really was God writing through all of these authors and not really just individual people, because I don’t think you could have as coherent of a story written over thousands of years where people didn’t know each other, didn’t see other parts of the work. I write chapter one, you write chapter ten, but we’ve never met and we’ve never discussed what this book is about.

And yet we put these two things together and it makes one streamline of a story that’s amazing. And so I hope that that can be a boost to your faith as well. That even if that particular author didn’t know exactly the full story, the author, the real author, knew the full story, and he was tying it all together for the end. For us to have this complete revelation of everything we need to know in order to faithfully follow God and be his disciple. So we hope that was helpful.

We thank you for asking the question and we will see you next time. Bye.