The Glory Of Kings
: a meditation on the calling of Christian scholarship
Even before the fall, Adam was dependent upon God to know how he ought to serve God in the dominion which God granted him over all the earth. There is a passage of Scripture in which we learn about a certain way that man is called to cultivate and keep, to fill, subdue and rule the creation. It is the passage that tells us about the naming of animals. “So out of the ground Yahweh-God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name” Genesis 2:19. So God reveals to man that part of his calling to rule involves naming things.
But do we find it strange that the man does not inquire of God concerning their names? And might we find it even stranger to begin with that God brings the animals to the man to see what their names are? In the calling of scholarship --itself a form of naming the creation-- some would have us look to Scripture to provide specific criteria for every field of study. But this is not the example we have in the Scripture itself. Rather, man calls out the names that he reads upon the "book of nature," God's general revelation in the creation. This is also the meaning of that ancient proverb concerning the glory of man's kingly dominion over the world's treasures: “It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search them out” Proverbs 25:2.