Zeus, Marduk, and GOD

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Thunderously Genesis begins. And it continues, “And God said, ‘Let there be light’ andthere was light. (Footnote 1: Genesis 1:3) The rest of creation unfolds in the same manner: God speaks and it is. God, effortlessly and extravagantly,calls forth creation out of nothingness.The significance of God’s supremacy in creating can be easily missed unless you compare it with other stories of creation.

Take the Ancient Greekcreation story. Uranus fathers Chronos only to have Chronos overthrow hisrule. Then Chronos fathers Zeus, and Zeus rises up and overthrowsChronos. It is in this tumultuous battling of the gods that the world comes tobe formed. Compare that with “and God said, and it was.” Or consider the Babylonian creation story.

Zeus

Tiamat, a god of chaos anddestruction, rules until she is destroyed in fierce battle with Marduk.Marduk then establishes Babylon as a symbol of his glory. Here again thereis battling of the gods. But no swords clash in Genesis chapter one. There,all that can be heard is the loving breath of God speaking creation.

This creational truth is of singular importance to the believer. Since the fall,creation has been a tumultuous and dangerous place for humans.Yet the believer has hope for the ultimate triumph of goodness, and this hopeis buttressed by the supremacy of God in creation. We have a fervent hopethat as it was in the beginning, so it shall be in the end.The human story begins in the Garden of Eden and ends in the City of God,the New Jerusalem. This is our trajectory. And this trajectory is essential toChrist’s vision of His ministry. Christ heralds the advent of the Kingdom of God here on earth. Jesus proclaims that God is on the move. Or as C. S.Lewis put it in the Chronicles of Narnia, “Aslan is on the move.”Yes, we get mired in the details of our lives and miss it.

Yes, we can beovercome by the misery and evil of this present age. But Christ calls us tosee that His Kingdom is on the move, active and real today. And we areheading towards its fulfilment.This does not mean we take the dour mindset of looking for the apocalypse with every new crisis. It means we hope for the final reign of goodness in theface of each new crisis. The Kingdom of God is at hand. Neither Tiamat, norChronos, nor the devil can hold it back.