The First Superpower

Shortly after the Flood, God divided the earth among the families of Noah (Genesis 10:32).

As they journeyed from the east they came to the land of Shinar. At Shinar, Nimrod, a great warrior and hunter, led a rebellion against God's command for the descendants of Noah to re-colonize the earth. He knew that it would be impossible for him to rule over the families of the earth if they were scattered abroad. So he inspired the building of a tower that the people would look to so they would not be scattered abroad (Genesis 11:4). But God intervened and confounded the languages of the people, thus forcing them to be scattered through the earth.

As the families of Noah settled their lands they eventually developed into nation-states. God is the author of families, tribes and nations. God's historic desire is for nation-states to live according to His laws. The government of nation-states is supposed to serve the people of that nation. Just as a loving father provides for the needs of his family, the nation-state should provide for the needs of all its families. God gave the families of Noah an inheritance in the earth. That inheritance or land was given to those people to sustain them. It was theirs to have and to hold. Thus the nation-state is to maintain sovereignty over its land and people. Sovereignty means that nations have the right to hold their land and govern their people.

Some nation-states developed in a way that allowed freedom for the individual to grow and prosper. Other nation-states developed along dictatorial lines and subjugated their own people. The annals of history stand in silent testimony to the success or failure of nation-states.

Many of the dictators of nation-states gained enough power, resources and control over their people to conquer other nation-states. Names like Alexander the Great and Ghengis Khan come to mind. The subjugated countries were called empires because they were under one ruler. But empires were built through the conquest of nation-states.

In many ways the Bible is a historical record of a series of superpowers that have come and gone. Many were strong in their day but left no lasting legacy or mark on the world. Others, however, changed the course of history for millennia to follow. The book of Daniel contains a prophecy of both historic and future importance. In it God reveals a sequence of superpowers that have and will continue to shape the world as we approach the time of Jesus Christ's return.

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