The Bible teaches that the pomp and power of men is but pretense (Psalm 62:9). Potentates, presidents, and prime ministers are mere pawns in the hands of divine providence, being used by God to carry out His preordained plans and purposes. Both President Trump and presumptive President-elect Biden are mere means to divine ends. They are puppets whose strings are being pulled by the invisible hand of the divine puppeteer.
William Shakespeare understood the pretense of human pomp, as he made clear in Cassius’ comments to Brutus in Julius Caesar. This Shakespearean scene swiftly came to mind when I heard yesterday that the American people had elected Joe Biden as the next president of the United States.
In Act 1, scene 2 of Shakespeare’s famous play, Cassius declares to Brutus that he would rather die than bow in adoration to a man as ordinary as himself. He goes on to tell how he once saved Caesar from drowning, by carrying him from the raging waters of the Tiber River on his shoulders. Yet, Cassius complains that Rome had deified Caesar and demeaned him as a wretched creature, who was to bow to Caesar’s every careless nod. Cassius continues by telling Brutus how he once witnessed a sick, shaking, and sniveling Caesar in Spain. According to Cassius, he saw no gleam then in Caesar’s fevered eyes, the eyes whose gaze terrified the world. Furthermore, Caesar’s tongue, which ordered Romans to obey him and to transcribe his speeches into their beloved books, cowardly cried out at that time from his sickbed like a little girl for a little water. Cassius concludes by bewailing the fact that such a flawed, frail, and feeble man as Caesar can be pedestaled atop the world and given such world power.
Undoubtedly, many, like myself, are absolutely flabbergasted that such a flawed, frail, and feeble human being as Joe Biden appears on the ascendency to the highest office in our land, as well as arguably to the most powerful position in our world. However, we, unlike Shakespeare’s Cassius, should see, as the Apostle Paul did, that behind every Caesar is Christ, the true possessor of all power in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18). In the nail-scarred hand of a sovereign Christ, yesterday’s Roman Caesars, just like today’s American presidents, are wielded to work out in our world Christ’s divine plan and purposes.