Cnut was, according to legend, to have shown that the Divine Right of Kings was wrong when he infamously sat on his throne at the edge of the sea and ordered it to not come any closer or to wet his boots and clothes. The water invariably came nearer and (what a surprise) he got a tad bit wet. This proved to his subjects that he was just an average man and that God was not listening to him.

If this was his intention is another matter.