Divine Separation


So profoundly muddled is today’s thinking regarding the issue of international borders that I find it necessary to bring some Scriptural firepower to bear upon it, and so today I launch a four-part series dedicated to the subject.  Our first look into the fog will be to discuss the need for many separate and sovereign nations.

Contrary to what the evolutionists and secularists among us say, humanity is not perfectible, but rather is infected with the nature of sin, as any realistic look at planet Earth will immediately show.  Naturally enough, the Bible calls this the sinful nature (Romans 7:5-25; 8:4-13), and the tendency of the sinful nature is always to lead humanity toward Hellish thought and activity.  When left unchecked, this sinful nature will literally cause life on Earth to resemble Hell, and so must in some manner be governed (limited).

For instance, after the Fall and the introduction of the sinful nature (Genesis 3) it took humanity about 1700 years to force a holy God to hit the reset button on planet Earth, which He did through the Flood (Genesis 6-8).  This pre-Flood era was marked as a time of anarchy, during which the sinful nature of humanity was allowed to exist without the limitation of human government, and the notorious results of this are repudiated by God in Genesis 6:5 as follows: The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.  Not too good, all things considered.

In order to keep the pre-Flood conditions of wholesale human violence and wickedness from recurring, when the eight remaining human beings exited the ark after the Flood, God instituted the idea of human government by way of capital punishment (Genesis 9:6), and then commanded the survivors to take this idea of human government with them to the far reaches of the planet (Genesis 9:7).  But the sinful nature must corrupt everything with which it comes in contact, and the idea of human government was no exception, for it took a mere century for humanity to find itself limited to living only in Mesopotamia under the boot heel of a one-world government run by the charismatic hero Nimrod, who despised the will of God (see Genesis 10:8-12; 11:1-6).

It did not take God long to act, and in the famous incident at Babel (Genesis 11:7-9) He so confused the languages of humanity that He effectively caused the immediate spread and separation of humanity into at least several dozen different groups (if this was done at the family level, as seems obvious from Genesis 10).  The result of such a separation and spreading of humanity by God would have resulted in many separate and sovereign nations over time, and so we must look into the reasons why God has a preference for the idea of many nations and their attendant governments rather than for a singular government over all of humanity.

The answer lies primarily with the idea of freedom, and so we must take some time to discuss this idea and its origins.  Freedom calls to humanity because we are beings created in God’s image (Genesis 1:26,27), and God is a perfectly free Being, which makes freedom (existing without constraints upon conduct) our natural state.  But because of the sinful nature we are not to be allowed complete freedom, but rather must be limited in our conduct to a certain degree.  This limiting is what is known as government, and it is therefore vitally important to understand that even though human government is necessary, it is also the natural enemy of human freedom.  Every ability of government thus comes at the price of a freedom once known to its people, and so if government were to grow too strong, all freedom would eventually be lost, for a government not properly shackled will always naturally grow to the point where it completely shackles its people.

The first Divine shackle placed upon the idea of human government was that of ensuring the existence of many separate and sovereign nations, for centralized government will eventually always enslave its people.  If there is only one government, all human freedom will soon be lost.  If there are many governments, human freedom has a greater chance of surviving and even flourishing, for the spread of totalitarianism can be checked by the existence of a stout border, and even destroyed by those of other nations who understand the nature of its threat.  In short, nations hold other nations accountable to the idea of freedom, thereby ensuring its existence.

If there is but one nation and one government, all will be losers.  If there are many nations, there will be winners and losers, but freedom will survive and even quite possible thrive, especially when people that love and export freedom arise from the mix of nations (1 Kings 10: 1-25).

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