Romans 11:17-24 reads:
But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you. Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off. And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again. For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree. (ESV)
This has a significant implication for the history recorded into the Old Testament. It is possible both to be adopted into that history, and also to be disowned from that history. Thus, whatever its cultural make-up, Jesus’s church can claim the Old Testament as its own history: we were rescued from Egypt, we hung our harps on the willows, and we were preserved by Yahweh in exile.
It is also, of course, a sobering warning. It is possible for people and churches and cultures to live for centuries, even millennia, preoccupied with a history that is glorious but which has ceased to be your own.