Saturday, June 09, 2007

Called into Faithful Community

I found yet another Bible study handout from several years ago; I've included just a few of the texts here, since most are very familiar and you easily can check out the rest from your own Bible or online. Notice I'm not even compulsively linking to the texts! Notice, too, at the end I've cited the basic source I developed this from.

Called into Faithful Community | Living as Exodus People


* Called
* Faithful
* Community
* Living Exodus
* People


* Genesis 1:1 - 2:4 - Creator of All
* Genesis 6:1 - 9:17 - Keeper of Covenant
* Deuteronomy 4:32-38 - Lord of History
* Leviticus 19:1-18; 25:1-55 - Designer of Community
* Deuteronomy 6:1-25 - God of All

Genesis 1:1 - 2:4 - Creator of All

Not only does God create everything; God also provides for the environment all creation needs to live faithfully and fully. God creates humanity in the Image of the Divine - Imago Dei; in Genesis 2:3 we encounter the Bible's first use of the word "holy."
Genesis 2

3 So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation.
...holy time, in which all of us live and which is essential for everyone.

Genesis 6:1 - 9:17 - Keeper of Covenant

Our God Who freely and faithfully covenants with us, the People of God
Genesis 6

18 But I will establish my covenant with you; and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. 19 And of every living thing, of all flesh, you shall bring two of every kind into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female.

Genesis 8

1 But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and all the domestic animals that were with him in the ark.

Genesis 9

8 Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, 9 ‘As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, 10 and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark. 11 I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.’ 12 God said, ‘This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: 13 I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16 When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.’ 17 od said to Noah, ‘This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.’
But what is the nature of covenant? What other covenants are in the Bible? Try tracing them!
Deuteronomy 4:32-38 - Lord of History

32 For ask now about former ages, long before your own, ever since the day that God created human beings on the earth; ask from one end of heaven to the other: has anything so great as this ever happened or has its like ever been heard of? 33 Has any people ever heard the voice of a god speaking out of a fire, as you have heard, and lived? 3 4Or has any god ever attempted to go and take a nation for himself from the midst of another nation, by trials, by signs and wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and by terrifying displays of power, as the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your very eyes? 35 To you it was shown so that you would acknowledge that the Lord is God; there is no other besides him. 36 From heaven he made you hear his voice to discipline you. On earth he showed you his great fire, while you heard his words coming out of the fire.

37 And because he loved your ancestors, he chose their descendants after them. He brought you out of Egypt with his own presence, by his great power, 38 driving out before you nations greater and mightier than yourselves, to bring you in, giving you their land for a possession, as it is still today. 39 So acknowledge today and take to heart that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other. 40 Keep his statutes and his commandments, which I am commanding you today for your own well-being and that of your descendants after you, so that you may long remain in the land that the Lord your God is giving you for all time.
Leviticus 19:1-18; 25:1-55 - Designer of Community
Leviticus 19

1 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 2 Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them: You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.
The rest of this chapter are ordinances for ordering and living within a just and righteous society, with "I am the Lord" or "I am the Lord your God" following each declaration; this section includes giving of the Ten Commandments.

And Leviticus 25 is the Jubilee text! As well as isntructions for redemption of land, real property and chattel. "Jubilee" so points to Jesus' establishing the Sovereignty of God, Kingdom of Heaven, Reign of God - whatever expression you prefer - and, of course, the Reign of Christ is the fulness of God's reign and the fulness of Jubilee.
Leviticus 25

1 The Lord spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai, saying: 2 Speak to the people of Israel and say to them: When you enter the land that I am giving you, the land shall observe a sabbath for the Lord. 3 For six years you shall sow your field, and for six years you shall prune your vineyard, and gather in their yield; 4 but in the seventh year there shall be a sabbath of complete rest for the land, a sabbath for the Lord: you shall not sow your field or prune your vineyard. 5 You shall not reap the aftergrowth of your harvest or gather the grapes of your unpruned vine: it shall be a year of complete rest for the land. 6 You may eat what the land yields during its sabbath—you, your male and female slaves, your hired and your bound labourers who live with you; 7 for your livestock also, and for the wild animals in your land all its yield shall be for food.

8 You shall count off seven weeks of years, seven times seven years, so that the period of seven weeks of years gives forty-nine years. 9 Then you shall have the trumpet sounded loud; on the tenth day of the seventh month—on the day of atonement—you shall have the trumpet sounded throughout all your land. 10 And you shall hallow the fiftieth year and you shall proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you: you shall return, every one of you, to your property and every one of you to your family. 11 That fiftieth year shall be a jubilee for you: you shall not sow, or reap the aftergrowth, or harvest the unpruned vines. 12 For it is a jubilee; it shall be holy to you: you shall eat only what the field itself produces. ...

... I am the Lord your God.
Deuteronomy 6:1-25 - God of All
Deuteronomy 6

1 Now this is the commandment—the statutes and the ordinances—that the Lord your God charged me to teach you to observe in the land that you are about to cross into and occupy, 2 so that you and your children and your children’s children may fear the Lord your God all the days of your life, and keep all his decrees and his commandments that I am commanding you, so that your days may be long. 3 Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe them diligently, so that it may go well with you, and so that you may multiply greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, has promised you.

4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. 6 Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. 7 Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. 8 Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead, 9 and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
"Into the land" is the deuteronomic historian's (Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings) constant refrain; it clearly shows God's Jubilee passion for the total and complete needs of creation, which supremely includes physical and temporal sustenance as well as spiritual.

Ideas source, etc.

The Bible Speaks: Old Testament, Unit 1: The Shaping of a Faith Community
© 1998, Curriculum Publishing PC(USA), Louisville, Kentucky