September 11, 2001 -- Shades of Pearl Harbor!
It is now being referred to as another date which will live in infamy just as F.D.R. labeled December 7, 1941. Mass media people are using the label "Attack upon America" in ongoing coverage of terrorists' hijacking of 4 commercial aircraft and resulting crashes into the prestigious World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon in Washington DC, and a rural area in south central Pennsylvania. Others are using terms such as "act of war" in reference to incomprehensible acts of September 11, 2001. It is a certainty that the final toll of casualties will far exceed that of the Pearl Harbor sneak attack on December 7, 1941! And it will be a long, long time before a final tally will ever be determined.
In the afternoon hours of September 11 announcements began to flow about prayer services being held in the evening in many churches.
Prayer focus, when there is an occasion to mention prayer, has been on the comfort of victims' families, persons involved in many ways in rescue efforts taking place at the sites of the tragedies, and leaders who are involved in the many facets related to the events of September 11, 2001.
Somewhere in this shocking and unsettling event we have to face the fact of God's place and position as we make the attempt to establish contact with Him.
There may be a temptation to unjustly accuse God of His participation in this horrifying incident -- why did God permit this or intentionally cause this to happen? What kind of God allows such unjust and unfair things to happen? Or is there even a God existing in the first place, and if so, where was this God as these catastrophic events unfolded?
It is wiser and certainly far better to start with assessing what kind of nation we have become over past years before we place God in the defendant's chair in the court room and begin to prosecute Him! In fact, it's never a smart move on our part to attempt to do so -- you never win in that situation!
And speaking of court situations -- most will remember that we have had court rulings over the years that have not deepened and enhanced our relationship with our Creator. Some of these are:
Prayer banned in public schools.
Bible reading banned in public schools.
Destruction of unborn children is a "constitutional right" for women. So far the toll is at least 40 million victims since the infamous Roe v. Wade decision of 1973!
Various rulings which banned such things as nativity scenes on public property, the display of the Ten Commandments in public buildings, student led prayers before athletic events or graduation ceremonies, etc.
In addition to this we have become a nation that has increasingly tolerated and even condoned sexual immorality in its many repulsive forms, engaged in widespread desecration of the day of worship by commercialization and passionate pursuit of pleasures, and fashioned for ourselves a number of idols which have clearly replaced the living God Who is Sovereign over all things!
For more details on the aforementioned subjects go to United States Holocaust Gallery and Popular Deities of American Culture -- use the return/back feature on your web browser to return to this area.
The one word that seems to be very much avoided in our culture, including the church, is the word "repentance." It means to honestly admit to being guilty of transgression against God and one's fellow human beings, and to seek God's mercy and forgiveness, intending to turn away from all known sin. In the Christian faith repentance means not only turning away from sin, but committing one's life to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and seeking to do His will in every day experiences.
Perhaps the tragic events of September 11, 2001 have been permitted by God with the intent of reminding us that as a nation we have grievously strayed far from Him, and we simply cannot continue to live and survive so long as the majority of our citizens choose to ignore Him and the holy standards He has established for all human behavior and relationships! Those standards apply not just individually, but collectively as well.
Therefore as we approach God in prayer, let there be such concerns as the following expressed:
Confession of our failures as a nation in obeying God and honoring Him (read Daniel 9 for a guide line on this).
Personal heart searching as to where we have failed in our responsibilities and profession of faith.
That God will speak through the tragedies that have happened, reminding us of our mortality, failures, and limitations.
For comfort and healing of thousands of victims' families.
For many thousands of persons involved in retrieval and rescue -- again, our limited minds cannot begin to fathom what these people will be dealing with in efforts to sift through the rubble of collapsed sky scrapers for bodies of thousands of victims!
For the huge numbers of medical personnel involved in treating the injured.
For many who are in leadership positions, beginning with our president -- and the many critical decisions that have to be made, and will be made in weeks and months ahead. Particularly disturbing, however, is a too common expression of "We will do this...do that, etc!" attitude coming from political leaders following the tragic events of 01/09/11. Scripture reminds us that the sane approach in human endeavors should be, "If the Lord will...we shall..." (Ref: James 5:13-16 in NT). Persons in positions of power and leadership often stumble over this one!
For the rebuke, where necessary, of those in the mass media who descend to a very low level of exploiting these tragedies for their own selfish purposes, advancement, and profit! There is always a problem with this as some, in the quest to outdo their competitors, abandon all sense of ethics and decency in the handling of information related to tragic events!
That our nation may once again be truly one "nation under God" and one that indeed trusts Him as professed on coins and currency!
For some appropriate Scriptures, please check the following:
Deuteronomy 28 - Conditions of obedience in order to experience blessings and the conditions of disobedience which will result in a multitude of national calamities! Some seem to think the USA can beat this, or we are exempted from these conditions
2 Chronicles 36:11-21 - Summary as to how a culture self destructs!
Jeremiah 7 - A solemn call with details on repentance.
Luke 6: 46-49 - How to establish a solid foundation for life, individually and corporately.
John 15:1-16 - A relationship which is absolutely necessary for time and eternity!
After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illuminated with his glory. And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, "Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a habitation of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird! For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury." And I heard another voice from heaven saying, "Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.
For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. Render to her just as she rendered to you, and repay her double according to her works; in the cup which she has mixed, mix for her double. In the measure that she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, in the same measure give her torment and sorrow; for she says in her heart, 'I sit as queen, and am no widow, and will not see sorrow.' Therefore her plagues will come in one day; death and mourning and famine. And she will be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges her. And the kings of the earth who committed fornication and lived luxuriously with her will weep and lament for her, when they see the smoke of her burning, standing at a distance for fear of her torment, saying, 'Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour your judgment has come.'
And the merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her, for no one buys their merchandise anymore: merchandise of gold and silver, precious stones and pearls, fine linen and purple, silk and scarlet, every kind of citron wood, every kind of object of ivory, every kind of object of most precious wood, bronze, iron, and marble; and cinnamon and incense, fragrant oil and frankincense, wine and oil, fine flour and wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, and bodies and souls of men. And the fruit that your soul longed for has gone from you, and all the things which are rich and splendid have gone from you, and you shall find them no more at all. The merchants of these things, who became rich by her, will stand at a distance for fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, and saying, 'Alas, alas, that great city that was clothed in fine linen, purple, and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls! 'For in one hour such great riches came to nothing.' And every shipmaster, all who travel by ship, sailors, and as many as trade on the sea, stood at a distance and cried out when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, 'What is like this great city?' And they threw dust on their heads and cried out, weeping and wailing, and saying, 'Alas, alas, that great city, in which all who had ships on the sea became rich by her wealth! For in one hour she is made desolate.'"|
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