Monday, September 13, 2010

Remembering 9/11

I remember where I was on 9/11/2001. I was at home with my 5 month old Nathan and we were getting ready to go over to my parents house as the packers were there to move them to Atlanta. My husband called me right after the first tower hit to tell me to turn on the television. Something big was happening at the World Trade Center. My godfather worked in the towers. Scott had called my godmother and received news my godfather was out and okay. We watched the rest of the terrible tragedy at my parents' house as their things were packed that day. I remember crying and wondering how this could happen. It was horrible. We must never forget the lessons from that day. Here is a little article I got from God's World News about 9/11.

Light and Shadow

"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea." Theworld doesn't understand the Psalms. But even in the shadow of death, God reveals his strength for all to see.

"Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord."

For decades, "rights" groups fought to outlaw God's word and prayer in America's public life, public schools, and courtrooms. Judges blessed their efforts. Television scorned Christians and prayer. Then nine years ago this month, the 9/11 World Trade Center attack plunged thousands of families into mourning. The Pentagon attack in the nation's capital proclaimed America's frailty.

In its weakness God bowed America's head. And those enemies of prayer became unusually silent. President George W. Bush and many high officials bowed in worship at the National Cathedral. The Bible was read to the nation. No one chanted "separation of church and state."

Senators and Congressmen gathered before the Capitol and sang "God Bless America." Later, they held a prayer meeting. Churches overflowed. Crowds in town squares across America sought the "ever-present help in trouble." And in Jesus' name they prayed.
The well-known old hymn "Abide with Me" says, "Swift to its close ebbs out life's little day." Our time on earth is very little. "Earth's glories pass away," says the hymn. The 9/11 attacks severely forced Americans to think about that.

How many of them thought about this: "I triumph still, if thou abide with me"?

Nine years ago, President Bush promised triumph over America's enemies. Yes, bringing justice to mass murderers is good and right. But the "triumph" in that hymn is far bigger than military triumph. Many of the terrorists' victims saw that clearly. They saw the Lord face to face.

Christ has triumphed over sin and death for all believers. And God will at last triumph over his enemies. He will crush them and punish them forever. "'It is mine to avenge; I will repay,' says the Lord" (Romans 12:19). God's revenge is good and right.
So what about human revenge?

"Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath," writes the Apostle Paul (12:19). It is a sin for individual people to take revenge. Jesus told people--not nations--to turn the other cheek. God gives his vengeance authority instead to governments. That why he tells us, "If you do wrong, be afraid," for the government "does not bear the sword for nothing" (13:4).

But some people do not "leave room for God's wrath." They like to say the Lord changed from a God of wrath in the Old Testament to a God of love in the New Testament. Wrong. "I the Lord do not change" (Malachi 3:6). God has always been a God of love. He is still a God of wrath.

The World Trade Center was a symbol of U.S. business success. The Pentagon is a symbol of U.S. military power. Those tragic 9/11 attacks reminded us Americans not to place our hope in our vast wealth and power. They reminded us that there is no lasting triumph apart from Christ. They reminded us of the utter evil of God's enemies.

The United States is full of sin. It's hard to call it "Christian" anymore. But in the eyes of Islam, it is the world's Christian stronghold. That's mainly why Muslim terrorists hate America. Their false religion allows them to believe Allah will reward them for murdering "infidels" (enemies of Islam).

During the 1990s, America's highest leaders, as they are doing today, did much to tear down U.S. military strength. Military officers warned against it. But they obeyed orders. Then President Bush called for making national defense stronger again. Many liberal opponents disagreed with him. Some--especially in the media--even mocked him.

New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd ridiculed Mr. Bush. He fears "The Threat That Doesn't Exist," she wrote. Federal funds for national defense, she said, should instead be spent on education.

The 9-11 attacks occurred two days later. How foolish to pretend that the world is full of good people that simply need more education.

The New Testament in Romans 13 declares government "God's servant, an agent of wrath"--not an agent of education. That servant may take revenge. In this world of false gods and sinful people, sometimes it must.

A strong national defense is necessary. But even triumph over terrorism is not enough to save America. Evil is the enemy. And education on the world's terms plays into its hands. The only defense--the only triumph--is in the true and living God of the Bible. That means Christian education.

"In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me."
-- Norm Bomer

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