Monday, 31 October 2016
We the People: Israel and the Catholicity of Jesus,
Tommy Givens, Fortress, 2014, page 279
Givens now turns this round the other way. What can Israel remember?
The only basis of Israel's appeal is that it bears G-d's name, that it is remembered as the people of its G-d. Its only hope is its G-d and this hope keeps it from forgetting.
Moshe used exactly that lineof argument during the wilderness journey!
The law's sentence of exile and gentile enmity has shut up all Israel in disobedience, so that Israel's life through and beyond the death of exile is presented exclusively as the unconditional and merciful work of its G-d. No decision or practice of Israel's own constitutes the basis of its life and promise.
We need to understand this well indeed, for it still speaks to our condition today.
This does not mean that no-one observed any of the covenant law in exile, not that G-d's mercy renders Israelite obedience immaterial. It meansthat Israel' condemned condition was not attenuated by such observance and that practices of obedience were a witness to Israel's hope rather than the basis of it.