Deuteronomist History

Deuteronomistic History Overall

  1. Writing Deut. history was a profound act of FAITH –> Israel’s act of FAITH in God = to recount HISTORY with God.  –> Faith in God as supreme, all-powerful. God runs history. Uses other powers to take them into exile too. Writing history is an act of faith that God is in charge. Sin and rebellion story time and time again. God constantly intervening even in this… with Judges, prophets, speaking and liberating. God’s deeds + people’s response. Israelites went through a DARK NIGHT because they depended far too much on things other than God. To have a pure naked faith in God. Relationship is what is left. What has God done with us and we with Him over the course of history. History = story of a relationship. Covenants have stipulations.  Israel experienced God in concrete historical moments.  In writing Deut history = recalling who we are as God’s people.  “the Church, in her teaching, life and worship, perpetuates and hands on to all generations all that she herself is, all that she believes” (DV 8).
        1. Who God is from Deut. history? not whimsical but one who is faithful & requires reciprocal fidelity of his people + a jealous lover who wants relationship exclusive + no deity at the time was considered to have universal power… so having 1 God who ruled over all was utterly unique & Israelite.
        2. Deut. history = writing it was a prophetic action –> Only a divine perspective could embrace these 600 years that bridge the gap between ancient stories and their present failure. The story of radical contingency and God’s love and fidelity in and through that radical contingency. God acted in human history
        1. Joshua: God parts water & defeats enemies out of fidelity to them. God says listen to me and He will wipe out enemies before them.
        2. Judges: God gives victory through judges. God’s fidelity. whenever they cry to Him, He answers. 
        3. 1-2 Samuel: God one guiding rise of David to status of king. Lord raises David as shepherd for His people & binds himself by promise for everlasting dynasty – God commits Himself.
        4. 1-2 Kings: God intervenes to confound idolatry through people like Elijah.
  1. Establishing the Kingship –> End of Judges to 1 Kings 8 = establishing of kingship 1 big thing throughout Deut. history.
  1. Sin and faith in God –> Although sin predominates this whole period… God was faithful to His covenant obligations. God still a jealous lover demanding an exclusive realtionship. God is above the vicissitudes of history. Faith in God transcends history.  Deut. history = tesimtony to faith in God’s goodness and justice… that life is worth the struggle. God remained the God of Israel.  God is the God of forgiveness.
  1. Hope for the future –>  Joshua, David, Josiah, Hezekiah show the beauty of lives reflecting the presence of God. David as image of faithfulness. Symbol of hope too.
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