Community Origins

Reading: Deut 4:32-40.

Origins frame the ethos of nations, families, and persons.
Gen narrates Israel's origin (following the heavens, the earth, humanity, and Abraham).
Each stage in Israel's origin is ethically freighted:
Gen 1-50: by God's providence.
Gen 1-2: by God's utter sovereignty.
Gen 2-3: by humanity's constitutive relationships with God, one another, and all creation.
Gen 3: by our sinful rebellion and its consequences.
Gen 4-11: by the catastrophic trajectory of primordial human history (generations interlaced with violence, superhuman power, flood, disrespect, conspiracy, confusion).
Gen 12-32, 35: by God's election of unworthy, conniving, yet responsive Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Gen 33-34, 36: by Israel's difficult relations with neighbor nations.
Gen 37-50: by the family's internal struggles, displayed in the Joseph cycle.
Gen 37-Ex 1: by God's sustaining the family in Egypt.
Ex 1-18: by God's liberating Israel from Egypt.
Ex 19-31, Deut 4-30: by God's covenant with Israel following its exodus.
Ex 32-34, Deut 31-32: by the foreshadowing of Israel's apostasy, ruin, and restoration in the face of God's blessings.
Ex 35-40/Lev: by the contextual meaning of the apparatus of priesthood, ark, and tabernacle.
Num/Deut 1: by God's sustaining, judging, forgiving, and maturing Israel in the wilderness.
Deut 2-3, 33-34, Josh: by God's gift of the land's conquest, for the sake of the patriarchs.
These stories are Israel's heart and soul.
And the church's (1 Cor 10:11)!
Israel's first task: Remember them (Deut 4:9-11, 4:23-24)
... in word and deed.
Jesus does (Deut 8 in Luke 4:1-4).
So do his disciples ("echoes" and presuppositions of Old Testament traditions throughout the New Testament).