From the Part I of the Greater Ages in Abstraction, we saw that God can in no wise send the Incarnation immediately into a fallen world but must first have, at the least, a Covenant of pictures, types, that foreshadow the things that really matter. Now, we will ask, can God even commence the Prefiguring Covenant immediately after the presumed fall of the creatures? The answer will be an emphatic no.
The Two Preeminent Ages
Two Preeminent Stages, each ordered toward the Two Principles of the Fall above, must first be allowed to arise before God can efficaciously commence the Prefiguring Covenant
We will now argue that God cannot give the Prefiguring Covenant immediately after the first Fall of the material creatures.
The essential argument in this regard is to first realize that, as a child is slow to learn in the beginning ages--stuck in its lack of rationality, intrinsic selfishness and over-infatuation with the material world--so in a real sense we can foresee the material creatures being highly disposed to the fallen nature in the very beginning, just subsequent to the first fall of the world.
Consequently, just as the only reasonable way to bring a child that is naturally bent on its own selfish path into some sort of cooperation in early years is through discipline, if even painful at first [loving spanking], so we can argue that man shall be so bent into the fallen nature that a similar corrective action shall be necessary on God’s part.
Subsequently, since parental discipline involves a certain forceful intervention beyond the child’s power, so also will the beginning forms of corrective action from God involve a transcendence, if you will, that is, a power beyond the mere natural: a positive, miraculous, Divine Intervention .
Hence, we have seen the need for positive Divine Chastisement before even a Prefiguring Covenant is introduced.
However, note, the lies of the fall are two in nature: first, no regard for God’s truth or will; and secondly, living for the material world in this life, that is, for the creation instead of for God in the next life, the Creator.
But, then, we should note that it is necessary for a creature to be deceived by the first lie first before they can fall for the second lie. Why? Because, if the creature is not deceived by the first lie, which is disregard for God’s truth and law, then they will not fall for the second lie, living only for this world. This is because, if they don’t believe the first lie, then they are concerned about God’s truth and law and therefore live ultimately for God, the Creator, rather than this world, or the Creation.
Let us elaborate more to show the reasonableness of this assertion.
Look at Eve in the garden. If the dragon had said, ""God is right, you will die, but wouldn't it taste good anyway?", would His deception had worked as well? Not nearly. Which really proves this: PRIOR to the Fall, man TRUSTED in God's benevolence and DID live to KNOW and LOVE Him. Hence, while retaining this disposition, this FAITH and GOOD WILL, they would not easily leave it to "live for this world rather than the next, ", or Anti-Marriage toward God, wanting to take as your superficial partner, the material world instead of a profound relationship of love with the infinite love of God.
Hence, the dragon must first get Eve to NOT care about KNOWING and loving God. Once that is dismantled, choosing the "creation" [the fruit] over God is easy.
Hence, we expect the world to fall for Anti-Baptism FIRST, before they can digest living only for THIS world instead of the world to come [anti-Marriage toward God], hence why general wickedness is the first stage of sin to arise after the fall (Noah's day) before the stage of pursuit of the material utopia (Tower of Babel).
The First Two Preeminent Stages of Sin must be distinct and wounded by Positive, Divine, Disciplinary Intervention
To return to the analogy of the fallen child of our world, we have, again, strong argument that the material creatures are spiritually and intellectually immature, yet intrinsically very much fallen and disposed to this nature.
Similarly, again, as the only natural preliminary corrective measure to at least temporarily frustrate the selfishness of the child is positive parental discipline (without which the child will certainly grow up utterly indifferent to correction and incorrigible), it is imperative for God to “correct” his wayward child with positive discipline.
And since the first lie must come first, we have the material creatures, immediately after the fall, being very much disposed to the first lie, blatant and arrogant disregard for the truths of God and His moral law.
For now, we argue that God is never arbitrary in actions but “Revelatory”, that is, His actions are “teaching”. Therefore, the response of God to the wickedness must be corrective to the nature of the wrong. Of course, we know that the ultimate end of wickedness is eternal death, hence, at least physical death of the general wicked is necessary. The Flood accomplishes this but also in merciful form: death is slow in drowning and so affords time for repentance and, at the same time, conveys the notion of washing away “darkness and filth”, in order that things may begin anew. Hence also, the reality of a clear, cleansing “liquid” seems appropriate for a material world, regardless of any other materialistic or scientific laws.
We now see that the next response of sinful humanity is the second lie, pursuit of the Creation in place of the Creator for fulfillment, in much the same way that the fallen child is ever distracted by the things of the world, therefore requiring some form of restraint from the parents so that the child may at least temporarily realize that we must at times give up some of the things of this world in order to remind us that they cannot fully satiate but, rather, only the things of the next world (the Creation can never truly fulfill, only the Creator).
And yet, we must also realize, that the response to the sinful nature must be “appropriate”, or “teaching”, since, again, God is Revelatory even in His Interventions.
But then, physical death is no longer appropriate for the following reasons: For one, that humanity is interested in the Creation, in and of itself, is not bad, for we have seen, in fact, that the Creation is itself a gift to be received, enjoyed, and probed. Hence, in fact, God should not withdraw the Creation. The problem is rather an adverse, exaggerated infatuation with the Creation. So, a restraint, rather than a total withdrawal, is necessary, just as the good parent allows the child some recreation that is in fact warranted, and yet restrains to a modest extent for the aforementioned reasons above.
Next, we argue that at this point in history, the material creatures, as of yet, will have no impediment to communication, and therefore of cooperation. We can argue this by responding to the dismissive liberal, who argues that multiplicity of language is a mere natural phenomenon in human history, and not something that has a positive, Divine, Interventional origin.
In response, we can argue against the liberal by returning to original justice: Since God always makes the material creatures first and foremost to know, love, and serve Him, and that, hence, if the creatures who are to know God must love one another, they surely must desire to share the Divine wisdom with one another and serve one another.
But, then, a language barrier from the outset will clearly and unnecessarily frustrate such a condition, since shared knowledge is severely impaired by language barrier, as is service, since to serve, one must understand the needs of the other. Therefore, God will surely create man in unicity of language from the beginning. Consequently, moving into the first fallen stage, the disregard for God and His moral law, the frustration of language is still inappropriate since it does not correct nor teach the proper response to wickedness, which, again, is physical death.
Subsequently, as we return to the stage of lie number two, the infatuated pursuit of the material dominion, we argue that man would not divide himself deliberately, since his eyes are fixed on the Creation. All the more, therefore, will man cooperate in selfish and perverse ambition, as the Catechism argues in the early sections on Divine Revelation, and hence seek the material utopia as a united whole. Now, the solution is clear: God positively intervenes to restrain but not destroy the infatuation with the Creation by at least temporarily impairing the selfish unification of the creatures, and the easiest way seems to be by communication barrier.
Now, having divided man temporarily, so that the pursuit of the creation alone can be wounded and frustrated, the commencement of the Prefiguring Covenant is immediate.
Now, also, we ask, can God give the prefiguring covenant to all of man? Obviously not, since, like the child that constantly resists parental restraint of recreation, the world is not yet interested in the spiritual parental invitation to consideration of the extra-material things, and so must be left to fight gradually the divisions of nations by assimilating kingdoms toward more and more global scope.
Alternatively, and very appropriately, God can clearly choose a remnant nation to focus upon, which would seem to be appropriate in one sense, in that an “underdog” treasures being “special.” How much more so, then, does God choose a little “underdog” amongst the many to be His special “People”, His "Bride". And then, why not commence that very Prefiguring Covenant, the Covenant of pictures.