March 18, 2008

What hast thou done?

"What hast thou done? thou hast mistaken quite
And laid the love-juice on some true-love's sight:"
Oberon, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Act III, Scene II

Oberon blames Puck for causing the ridiculous mix-up of lovers depicted in Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream. Although the confusion was based mostly on Oberon's nebulous directions, he can still blame Puck for the mistake. We all know fairies are flawed beings, falling easily prey to the wiles of the magic love-juice. Puck was given the responsibility to resolve the lovers' disputes, but fails miserably and succeeds in making things much worse until the play is finally resolved.

Not so our God! Daniel 4:35 says:

All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing,
and he does according to his will among the host of heaven
and among the inhabitants of the earth;
and none can stay his hand
or say to him, "What have you done?"

I love this verse. It displays so eloquently God's majesty and power. I picture God's hand, immeasurably larger than the multitudes scattered below, stretching out around the universe, controlling all things and shaping the course of history. We are unable to stay his hand or question his decisions, quite unlike the unhappy Oberon angered at his mischievous attendant. And again, the results of God's endeavors are far different than the results of Puck's well-intended interference. We have no need to to stay God's hand or question his decisions.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28, ESV

It's a comforting thought, is it not? We are not ruled by petty fairies who mistake Lysander for Demetrius. Of course, it is not that we have no part to carry out to make our actions align with God's moral or individual will, but God's sovereign will will be fulfilled no matter what. We can rest assured of God's promise to never leave us. His promise to the Israelites from Joshua 1:5 still holds true:

No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you.