“Context is king.” Ever heard that? Many seminary professors have taught that to the young preachers in their classrooms.
It’s in error.
According to so many scholars, “What did the author mean?” is the first question we should ask when seeking to understand a Scripture. It implies that if we can get inside the head of the writer(s), we will have the full and accurate meaning of the text.
Not right. Not even close.
This morning, a friend shared a devotional from Exodus 12 concerning the Passover Lamb and the blood upon the doorpost. Christians–i.e., those who know the rest of the story and enjoy the teaching of the New Testament and the perspective of Calvary–know this was pointing to the blood of the Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus Christ. We are redeemed by the blood is the constant theme of the New Testament. And the Passover Lamb was just one of many ways the inspiring Holy Spirit chose to plant that preparation in the minds and hearts of His people.
But Moses could not have known that. He surely had no clue.
His job was to obey, whether he understood or not.
What the writer understood is informative, but not the end of the story.
Did Moses understand the “snake on a stick” from Numbers 21? No way did he know what God was up to with that. But Jesus knew. “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him may have eternal life” (John 3:14-15).
So, what Moses understood has nothing to do with anything.