Developing the Community of God in the Bible
One of the most significant themes presented throughout the Bible is love. It is, in many cases, the undertone, the overt message, the context, the commandment, the moral to the story, the answer to the difficult question, and the motive. What is love without its expression? The way in which we express our love is directly unto God and by loving other people. We form relationships with people that we know in a variety of ways and each time we encounter another person is an opportunity to express love to them and thus obey one of God’s most consequential directions. It would make sense, therefore, that there would be a recurring mention of love within the community of God throughout Scripture. Though the model of community morphed into many distinctive representations all through the Bible, one thing was evident through the changing aesthetic, and that was that love and compassion were supposed to exist within it.
God crowned creation with a being made with care in His own image. After He made man, He announced that it was not good for man to be alone, and thus, woman was created as a companion. In this way, God established the first family and the first community, and they were in His own image. After this, “God blessed them and told them, ‘Multiply and fill the earth and subdue it.’” (Genesis 1:26-27) This illustrates that God considered it good for man to have a companion and He considered it a blessing to be able to have even more children and a bigger family. So God created man, and then He created someone for Him to love and that is God’s community.
Once God’s people grew and multiplied, a different kind of communities were formed; nations. Families grouped together to form tribes and tribes came together to form nations, each with its own culture and personality. When God calls out someone in repentance in the Prophets, He calls them out by nation. They sin together and thus they are called to...
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