I’m working on a paper on Paul’s political vision and am thinking a bit about the identity and mission of Israel that shaped Paul’s conception of the identity and mission of the church.
Israel’s call to be a “holy people” was a thoroughly political commission. Their social and economic practices were to be radically different from those of the nations. Their leaders were ensure the sort of justice that reflected their worship of the God who bends low to regard the lowly (Ps. 138:6), the God who hears Hannah’s prayer (1 Sam. 1), the God who settles the barren woman in a home as a happy mother of many children (Ps. 113:9), the God executes justice for the orphan and the widow, who loves the stranger by giving him food and clothing (Deut. 10:18).