These posts will deal with the revelation of God as a King establishing His Kingdom. In this post we will survey this claim tracking it through Genesis 1-11. You should read your bible before reading this and see if these things are so. The (much shorter) audio for this story can be found here (download or listen) starting around 1:02:50.
We know and we worship a very powerful God. He created the vastness of our universe and governs the infinitesimal parts (Hebrews 1:3). He is a King and his throne is in the heavens (Psalm 103:19). He made everything, and then hovered over its formlessness.
He spent the first seven days of Creation on the throne giving the edicts of a King to His creation. He has established right and rule over all of it. He assigned its functions and deemed their worth. He tested and judged it. He saw that it was good.
Yet in all of God’s creative power, He saw fit to create a being that would share in His likeness. A being that, like Him, would maintain some degree of rule and reign. A being that would also be an “us.” He made man in His image, in His image He made them. And He gave them dominion by the blessing of His word. And He showed them love by His blessing. And He established their steps in front of them. He loved them with an everlasting love. He walked with them.
He showed them that He is to be trusted, that His Word is true and powerful. That He is a King to be honored and revered. He was a King that was with them in the Garden, in His Temple.
He displayed His Kingship over man by giving them a word of warning. More like a command. Eat anything and do anything. Just don’t eat that. Trust Me.
His Word is truth. His Word is steadfast. His Word is right. His Word was challenged.
A snake. It was a snake that uttered the first lie. He first perverted God’s eternal Word, and then He craftily contradicted it. He appealed to that side of man that was hungry for more power, more control, more rule. That side of man that is suspicious of his King. That side that is prone to doubt, and prone to leave the God he loves. Then man fell in. And great was that fall.
The fall into the ocean of doubt left a mountainous wake. We no longer trust God. We don’t know Him. We don’t see Him. We hurt. We labor. We do it all in vain. We go back to the dust from which we were created. And yet we continue, by the sweat of our brow and by the pain of our love.
God could have destroyed them there. He has the power to un-make them. Instead, He made them a promise and some coats. They didn’t realize it, but this was designed to point to a better Man. A faithful Man in whom there is no deceit nor shadow of change. A Man tempted, but a Man who would prevail. A Man that would suffer bruises, but would not neglect to administer the final blow. A Man whose covering would truly shield us from our frigid shame. A Man who was there in the beginning. A Man who not only trusted the Word, but who is the Word.
And so they were exiled from the presence of God. They suffered the murder of their own son, not realizing that this, too, pointed to a better Son who also was going to be murdered. A Son that will one day put an end to all murder. A Prince of Peace, as it were.
And so evil continued. It went from nonexistent to the status quo in the matter of a generation. And it increased. It was pitiful. Sorrowful, even. So terrible that if you could have seen it, or if you could really see it today, you’d have wished there was nothing there. Nothing is at least better than this. The King took note, and then He acted.
Not a faithful subject among them. They had all neglected the King. Yet He liked one of them. And because He liked him, He spared him. A big boat would carry him to safety. Noah could even take his family, and a few thousand animals.
And God uncreated the world. Where once land had emerged, it was now covered again with water. And a dove hovered over the face of the deep. And then land emerged. The dove returned with a message of peace.
The earth was allowed to teem again. Noah was given rule over it. There was freshness in the air. A new thing had been done. A new promise had been made. The spectrum in the sky had been assigned its function. The Warrior King had set down His bow in a symbol of amnesty.
Still, in all its drama, the “recreation” was a disappointment. The boat couldn’t have been the King’s true vehicle of deliverance. Surely there must be a better and more sufficient device in which we can find refuge from His wrath. There must be something better emerging from the water than the same old land, any dove could find that. Show me the Dove who can locate where the truly new life is found. Show me the Dove who descended on Him (Matthew 3:16-17).
And because it was insufficient, the earth’s underkings quickly went back to what they did best. They sought power, fortune, fame, and status. Tall things have always been impressive, so they constructed a city and manufactured a tower. One tall enough to even withstand a flood of biblical proportions.
Yet the cities of man have never compared to the Garden of God. The kings of this world can only think of height when the Kingdom of God demands that we lay ourselves low. And so the true King confused them. He gave them over to themselves, that they might seek their own glory, confusing their own languages, starting their own wars, and creating their own misery. Zealously sitting upon their own thrones.
But in the multiplicity of voices, the King is making for Himself a beautiful song with a harmony of voices that will see, proclaim, and admire His greatness someday in the fullness of peace (Revelation 7:9-10).
And this will start with an old man and his barren wife.