Fee and Stuart present a metaphor of a three-story house. I have modified it to a two-story metaphor with a foundation/substratum (does that make me a foundationalist?). What Fee and Stuart call the first floor; I call the house foundation or substratum.
Think of Old Testament narratives as a two-story (no pun intended) building. The house has a foundation that is the big picture of God’s acts in his world’s creation, the fall and its effects, sin and its power, redemption, and the coming of the Kingdom in Jesus. This foundation is the overall Story of God’s salvation history of humankind. The first floor centers on Israel—the Old Testament people of God. Its Story begins in Genesis 11.27 with the call of Abraham. It continues with the promise to Abraham to give him a land and a people and the rise of a nation beginning with the Exodus; the giving of the covenant and the working out of that covenant in the life of Israel; the rise of the United Kingdom and the Divided Kingdom and their restoration after the exile. The second floor contains several hundred individual narratives. Each narrative on this floor goes to make up the whole of the narrative of the first floor, Israel’s history, and, finally, the foundation narrative, God’s EPIC Adventure.[ref]Fee and Stuart. How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth, 91-92.[/ref]
We spend most of our time reading the stories on the second floor. To really grasp their intentional meaning, we must give due attention to the first-floor story and the substratum of the house.