Throughout history, people have defined themselves by physical boundaries. We have the God-given need to draw together for support, companionship, and productivity. Nations form based on common location, following leaders who either appeal to a common goal or claim power to exert their own desires on others. As goals change and leaders die, these boundaries change to create new nations, and new leaders rise along with them.
This is the nature of the nations of the earth. Like castles made of sand, the physical bonds chosen by humanity can be molded or erased at will. The waves of time, selfishness, and fear are capricious, and even the most elaborate of structures are not immune to their destructive power.
As humans we tend to cling to our castles in the sand. We work hard to build them, we put much of ourselves into them, we identify ourselves by them. This is not a bad thing, it is part of our nature. But because we do this, often we place far too much importance on human leaders and human systems. We begin to see humans as saviors, as gods to rescue us from ourselves. We insist that our systems of government are divinely favored, and that any opposition must be from the devil.
Only one physical nation ever had that distinction, and it’s time was divinely limited. When its purpose had been served, God Himself saw to its downfall. He spoke of its demise hundreds of times for hundreds of years before the fall, calling attention to the greater kingdom of which it was a part and which would only be clearly seen when it had dissolved.
The true kingdom, the only castle that can never be washed away, is not defined by boundaries on a map or by physical systems of government. The Law that governs it is not defined by laws encoded by humans. Its King will never die or be overthrown; He rules both life and death, and directs the footsteps of humans whether they will or no. The true kingdom is not and will never be a place; it is a bond between the heart of God and the hearts of those who recognize His eternal sovereignty.
The greatest of earthly leaders may possess that bond as well as the poorest citizen. The true kingdom is unique in that only within it will equality ever exist, yet it possesses greater diversity than any human system could ever achieve. Its citizens reside in every nation, it claims individuals from every culture and with every physical trait within human dna.
Unlike physical nations, its borders are immovable and unbreachable. The only way in is on the King’s Highway, and the road signs are planted in bedrock. Unlike earthly leaders, the King cannot be bribed or threatened. He simply IS. Unlike systems created by humans, its goals will never shift and no laws need ever be encoded. The King and the citizens are so closely bound that the citizens naturally embody the character of the King.
Because this kingdom is in the hearts of humans rather than defined by physical boundaries, every nation and every society is inevitably influenced by it. Nations and societies that seek that influence naturally encode systems that reflect its Law, and because the Law is the nature of the world God created those societies prosper. Nations and societies that seek to destroy that influence defy the Law of creation and inevitably fall. Sometimes, the former become the latter and fall; other times, the latter become the former and rise.
Whatever the sandcastle or the wave, the citizens of the kingdom have one responsibility. We must root ourselves in the bedrock and stand while sand and foam beat upon us and scour the beaches clean around us. We must become the foundation upon which the next castle may be built, the bulwark against the waves.
“All flesh is like grass, and all its glory like a flower of the grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord endures forever.” I Peter 1:24-25 CSB