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Lessons From Terror
Jarrod Jacobs


As all of us are keenly aware, the "Twin Towers" are no more. A portion of the Pentagon is in ruins as well. These acts were the result of planning, spying, and a deep-seated hatred for the United States. The product of such hatred is the destruction of American landmarks, and the death or injury of untold thousands. As I write these lines, it is not known what the actual death-toll might be, nor do we know the number of injured people buried in the rubble and ruin from the attacks. Some ten years ago, I was in one of the "Twin Towers" — the second one to fall. It had an observation deck on the 110th floor, from which you could see for many miles in any direction. Such an experience helps me to appreciate the destruction which occurred on Tuesday, "911", as it has been called. I am sure others who read this article have been to the World Trade Center, and/or perhaps have visited the Pentagon, and have an idea of the destruction that has taken place.

As I watched in horror the tragic events of September 11, I was numb with shock, as there was no way to put into words what one feels at a time when one's own country is being attacked from an unknown enemy. Through the day that fateful Tuesday, many thoughts went through my mind, and I wish to use this space to consider a few of my thoughts in light of what the Bible says. Perhaps this will help all of us to put these horrible acts in perspective. In light of the horrible acts of terror we faced together as nation, let us realize ....

We Are Vulnerable

If nothing else, we need to understand that this country is not "invincible" nor immortal. Let us understand this now, for it is when the heart of man is haughty that destruction follows (Proverbs 18:12). We remember that the boastful claims that "God Himself" couldn't sink the Titanic soon drowned in the sea with many of her passengers.

How many would have imaged that the headquarters for our military was vulnerable to an air assault? We now know that the original plan was to hit the White House and the President! In light of the relative "ease" with which the World Trade Center and Pentagon was hit, is there any doubt that a more skillful pilot might have been able to hit the White House and/or Air Force One?

God Must Be Our Refuge

When we recognize just how weak and vulnerable we are, we must humbly turn to the Lord for strength and protection. David said, "The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence" (2 Samuel 22:3). He wrote, "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1, 7, 11). He spoke of God being his refuge some 18 times in the Psalms. Is this our attitude? Being as vulnerable to attack as we are, in whom do we place our trust? Are we relying on man or God to protect and bless us? Solomon said, "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart..." (Proverbs 3:5). Will we do this?

Our Greatness Is Not Found In Our Physical Prowess

The Bible tells us, "Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance" (Psalm 33:12). The reason this country is in the position it is in is not because of our: money, bombs, legislation, jobs, etc., but because we were founded upon the basis that God is the Lord, and we must fear and follow Him (Ecclesiastes 12:13)! The founding fathers of this country recognized God as Supreme; but our continual drifting from this truth and away from God will do nothing but bring more and more sorrow!

This country is great because God made us great. "The most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will" (Daniel 4:17, 25, 32, 5:21). Just as in days gone by, when God is through with us, we will be gone, and another nation will take our place. Are you not sure about this? Then, answer this: Where is the Roman empire today? Or, the Greek empire? How about Babylon? Remember the phrase "The sun never sets on the British Empire"? They stole that phrase from the Spanish after they defeated their Armada. Yet, even Britain today is not what she once was!

Let us not fool ourselves. Our greatness comes from God and no where else. One quote often attributed to Alexis De Tocqueville states: "America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great." When we forget our God and His word, God will "give us up" (Romans 1:24, 26, 28) and we will go the way of past empires, and the way of Israel and Judah. God's will will be done in all things, and not ours. Therefore, let us recognize and worship the Source of our strength (2 Samuel 22:33; Job 36:5).

We Can Overcome With God's Help

Did any of our dear readers see the two houses of Congress stand together and sing "God Bless America" on that Tuesday evening, September 11? If this is truly our wish for God (Not Allah, Buddha, ourselves, etc.) to bless America, then we will overcome with God's mighty hand. However, if this type of deed is superficial, if it is only "for the camera," if it is something we soon forget once we start feeling better, then I fear for this country and its hypocrisy!

It is only by and through the strength of our Lord that we can overcome and endure as a nation. Let us ever be grateful to God for His blessings upon this land. Paul told us it is a command that we show gratitude to God. "Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you" (1 Thessalonians 5:17-18). How grateful are we to God to live in a free country, where we can worship Him without fear of retaliation? How grateful are we in Tennessee, in Indiana, Texas, Ohio, Wyoming, Hawaii, and the majority of the country that are we living in areas which have been untouched thus far by the hands of terrorists? Then, give thanks to God!

Our Enemy Is Known

Unlike the perpetrator(s) of Tuesday's (9/11/01) attacks and killings, our true enemy is known. Our enemy is Satan! Satan wishes to strike fear in the hearts of men and women, much like those terrorists tried to do on September 11.

Christ tells us in no uncertain terms that Satan is our enemy (Matthew 13:39). Satan hates us, and wishes us harm. Satan is a liar and a murderer (John 8:44). He is our adversary who wishes to devour men (1 Peter 5:8). He uses every trick he has in order to deceive men and to keep them from following the Lord and being saved in Heaven (2 Corinthians 11:3, 13-15). Much like those terrorists did, he uses our own strengths against us at times, and we end up destroying ourselves spiritually because we are not vigilant.

Yet, just as God is the Strength of this nation, so also is He the strength of every person in the world! He will not allow us "to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it" (1 Corinthians 10:13). We can look to God for help in times of trouble and temptation, just as we need to look to Him for help and comfort in times of national calamity.

Conclusion

David said, "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah. There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early. The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah. Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth. He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire. Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah." (Psalm 46).

May God help us as we strive to cope with these present problems. May we humbly turn to God and submit to Him in all things. May this wake some up out of their spiritual slumber (Romans 13:11) and may many become Christians before it is too late (2 Corinthians 6:2).

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