THE LAST WORDS OF DAVID
As a man living as close to God as the covenant under which he lived allowed, David knew the source of the prophetic word. His last words are most provocative. "Now these are the last words of David. David the son of Jesse declares, And the man who was raised on high declares, The anointed of the God of Jacob, And the sweet psalmist of Israel, The Spirit of the LORD spoke by me, And His word was on my tongue" (2 Sam 12:1-2, NASB). It is remarkable to consider God's word being upon the human tongue. The mind of God articulated through His offspring! What was true of David was also true of Moses and all the holy prophets. Their words were not their own! They were God's spokesman.
How did the Word of God get to us?
It came through holy men. The Word of God was upon their tongue. They spoke of realities that transcended their own abilities. Their words were not their own, they were God's word upon their tongue.
Not By the Will of Man
As prodigious as the human will is, it is not capable of generating a single Word, or even syllable, from God. When this simplistic truth is perceived, it revolutionizes our approach to the Word of God. Here is the clear proclamation. "For no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God" (2 Pet 1:21, NASB). The NIV says, "never had its origin in the will of man." In his first epistle, Peter unveils the spirit of the prophets. They earnestly desired to identify the nature and times of the Messiah of Whom they prophesied, as well as the time of His appearing. That is what they wanted, or willed. But their desire, fervent though it was, was not adequate to the task. "Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that was to be yours made careful search and inquiry, inquiring about the person or time that the Spirit of Christ within them indicated when it testified in advance to the sufferings destined for Christ and the subsequent glory. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in regard to the things that have now been announced to you through those who brought you good news by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven--things into which angels long to look!" (1 Pet 1:10-12, NRSV).
Rules of interpretation were available to these holy prophets, but could not bring the meaning of their own prophecies to them. Their hearts were certainly right, and their lives were holy, but all of that was to no avail. They engaged in "careful search and inquiry," but their efforts did not yield their hearts desire. Contextual considerations did not bring a harvest of understanding to them. For many of them, there was no "author's intended meaning." They were not mere robots, to be sure. The Word came through them, but was not of them.
All of this is not intended to denigrate efforts to understand the Word of God. The point is that Scripture was provided ONLY as men were moved along by God's Holy Spirit. How did God's Word get from God to us? It was given through the instrumentality of the Holy Spirit, moving upon holy men.
The Spirit of Christ Was In Them
The key Man in Scripture is the Lord Jesus Christ. The salvation which He authored and maintains is the predominate experience in Scripture. Peter again speaks precisely on this matter. "As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful search and inquiry, seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow" (1 Pet 1:10-11, NASB).
Notice, "the Spirit of Christ" was "within them." The thoughts were His, the message was His! This is one reason why the Holy Spirit is called "the Spirit of Christ." He operates in strict accordance with Christ's agenda. The purpose of the Spirit was to illuminate men concerning the Lord's Christ. When the prophets spoke, it was the Spirit that "predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow." Seven times in the Revelation Jesus refers to "what the Spirit saith" (Rev 2:7,11,17,29; 3:6,13,22). How did the Word of God get to us? The Spirit of Christ revealed the mind of God through Holy men.Spoken To You By God
Scripture is equated with a word spoken by God Himself. How poignantly this is stated by the Lord Jesus. "But regarding the resurrection of the dead, have you not read that which was spoken to you by God, saying, 'I AM THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, AND THE GOD OF ISAAC, AND THE GOD OF JACOB'? . . . " (Matt 22:31,32a).
Jesus is referring to inspired writing--the Scriptures (Ex 3:6,15,16). He refers to what had been "read," calling it "that which was spoken TO YOU by God." Those who are averse to personalizing the Word of God do well to give heed to the words of the Savior! Jesus refers to Scripture--not the original text--and says it was spoken to His hearers "by God." This could not be said if God was not imminent in the passing of Scripture from one generation to another. To some, this might seem too simplistic. Arguments may be presented that lead men to believe the text may be corrupted. However, after all of the arguments have been presented, Christ's Word still stands--untouched by the theories of men.
How did the Word of God get to us? It was spoken by God through men who wrote Scripture. That may seem elementary, and thoroughly unsatisfactory to those with a love for the wisdom of this world. Yet, this is what the Lord stated to bring matters into perspective!