When discussing the Bible, people identified as genuine Christians are often “all over the map” on any given doctrinal question, even as they advance their competing experts and evidence; so inarguably, we Christians are not all being led by the Spirit, all the time.
Honestly, should any of us say, “I choose doctrinal position ‘x’ because that is what the majority believes”? Don’t most of us say, on some occasion, “I have prayerfully considered several different positions, and ‘y’ is what I discern to be best, at least at this time, regardless of that putting me in the minority”?
The question isn’t which interpretation is traditional, or acceptable to the majority; but which one we ourselves, after prayerfully considering the alternative arguments, believe before God to be right. (I know you agree, so I don’t really understand your warning against “I have prayed and am convinced of ‘thus and so’.” After all, ultimately, all of us are subjective in our personal choices about our doctrinal positions.)
I believe Moses’ understanding of God was hit-and-miss—like yours, mine, and Peter’s:
15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.
22 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”
23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”
Everything in the Scriptures is not of equal value or validity; some verses have predominance over others. As Professor C.S. Cowles said in his essay Scriptural Inerrancy? “Behold, I Show You A More Excellent Way” [emphasis mine]—
A “more excellent way” of thinking about the plethora of human and even anti-divine personalities that speak and act throughout the Bible is to recognize that— contrary to Calvin’s determinism— God not only created human beings with genuine freedom but allowed them to exercise their free will and express themselves accordingly. In doing so he was not the least bit threatened by what they might say or do. God did not prompt the serpent or Jacob or King David or anybody else to lie. Rather, he took these occasional twisted strands of falsehood and foolishness, and wove them with the truth about himself and life into a wondrous tapestry of “God-breathed” revelation that brings glory to his name, and contributes to the overarching purpose of Scripture which is the salvation of lost humankind.
To reiterate: my fundamental hermeneutic tool for interpreting Scripture (a tool I prayerfully accepted and prayerfully retain) centers on the clear contrast Jesus made between Satan and himself —
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10 (ESV)
[With these assumptions when interpreting that verse:
“the thief” is the devil; God is unchanging; Jesus exactly represents God.]
Hence, whenever any other given Bible verse appears to indicate that God threatens people (vs. warns people), or kills people, I reject that assertion as a case of misattributing to God what Jesus clarified to actually be of Satan.
I assert that this overruling (John 10:10) filter resolves discrepancies throughout the Bible regarding God’s true nature of love: God is only about abundant life, no matter what anyone else says.