It has been pointed out to me that I ignored the flood in my consideration of violence. And so I did, and it was foolish for two reasons.
Firstly, it is the first example of divine violence. God did kill quite a few people.
Secondly (and more importantly for my thesis) it is the first example of God’s international judgement. God showed that he is capable of dealing with the evil of humanity through his own divine power.
Since a major component of my thesis is that we do not have to engage in war because we can trust God to control/take care of/judge the nations in his own providential power, thevalue of the flood is that God demonstrates this power and his willingness to use it.
So what do we do with God’s violence in the flood? Is there value in a kind of reverse analogia entis that says “God has done violence, so we can/should/are called to?”
Well, I think that the doctrine of providence (and the story of the flood) says the exact reverse. In the same way that Jesus suffered for our sins so that we don’t have to, God enacts judgement and justice so that we don’t have to. Instead, our job is to be faithful to our calling: worship God, proclaim his word, love his world and his people as Christ does.