"Terrorism Hits Home"
So was the headline in the Houston Chronicle on September 12, 2001. I am sure that I, along with millions of Americans, watched the new reports with horror and sadness. When I was at work, the first reports began to come in that a plane had hit one of the World Trade Center towers. Somehow, my first thought was of the bombing several years ago, and that those responsible were returning to finish the job. From appearance it looked like some sort of freakish accident. That is, until the second plane came and crashed into the second building. At that very moment in time, the whole world knew that terrorism had shown its ugly presence in the United States. I did not see the initial newscast, but was able to hear bits and pieces of news from co-workers and the radio broadcast. Later when I was able to see the television and the scenes of mass destruction, my heart sank.
As of this writing, it appears that the death toll will only be around the 6,000 mark. Had the terrorists been successful, it could have been ten times that amount. As the mayor of New York, Rudolph Guilliani announced in a news conference: the final death count would be "more than we are willing to bear". While the statement is true, and as the grim reality sinks in, we will come to acknowledge that this is one of the foremost (in terms of human life lost) events in human history.
But this is nothing in comparison to what God's word reveals.
Yes, there are lessons to be learned and there are truths to be acknowledged. This is not the greatest event in terms of human life lost. There are several events recorded in the Bible that describe much greater disasters and loss of life.
In Genesis chapters 6-9, we have the story of Noah and the flood. There were only 8 souls from among all living human beings that survived.
In Exodus chapter 14, we read that Pharoah had sent his army in pursuit of the almost two million children of Israel who had crossed the Red Sea. As God made the provision for their safety, he also provided for the destruction of this army. The entire army was drowned as the waters returned to their natural place.
In Numbers chapter 25, we read that many of the sons of the Children of Israel had played the harlot, and the Lord's servants went through and killed all those who were committing this evil. When it was over the number was about 23,000 to 24,000 people.
In Judges chapter 20 we read that a civil war took place among the children of Israel, and the tribe of Benjamin. In a period of 3 days the death toll figure numbers roughly 85,000 to 90,000 lives were lost.
Throughout the Bible, we have instances where cities, groups of cities, and entire nations are destroyed in a very short time. Sometimes a numerical figure is listed, but most of the time we are told that it is just a lot of people who died. The one factor common in all of them was the fact that most of those killed were violating God's will.
So many times in the Bible, we read the reason that God killed these people was because of their wickedness and rebellion. Often times the innocent perished along with the wicked. And we are often overheard to exclaim, why? How can this be the action of a loving God? Though we cannot know the mind of God, we can sometimes see the wisdom behind some of these events. In 1 Corinthians 10: 1-11 we are taught that lessons are to be learned from these events. The reason being, that we do not find ourselves in the same wickedness and sins.
Though, I do not fault God in any way for this horrible tragedy that just occurred. Nor do I even think that maybe God allowed it to happen. I do believe that God knew it was to happen, and perhaps God considered that mankind would see this evil and approach Him for guidance. From the beginning of the news broadcast covering this event, the word "prayer" has been heard from each interview, each news report, each broadcast, and each conversation.
Some people have learned to pray on a regular basis to their Creator. While others only seem to turn to God in times of crisis. If these events cause people to return to God and seek Him, it is understandable why God would allow such to happen. For God is seeking those who will worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:23).
I noticed in myself a cracked voice and watery eyes, yet I never really cried. I talked about these events when I went to church on Wednesday evening. I found that it helped to discuss these things and it helps to work out our emotions. Now, I understand why schools and business provide counselors after a disaster or life-taking event.
But let me offer a few other thoughts for a moment.
Somehow, you just had to wonder why this has not happened before. Even I thought in my mind, that if I was a terrorist and wanted to kill people, I would come up with a plan to take as many lives as possible. O.K. call me demented. I have had a fear of such for a long time, but like the rest of the world, just ignored my feelings. Perhaps that is why most of the world is so angry that these events took place. Acknowledging that it could happen, but being arrogant to think that nobody would try it. There is a lot of anger mixed in the emotions of those who suffered loss, and those who watched it.
Along with the anger that was expressed, I also caught a hint of panic among the people of this nation. I believe that we came within a hair's breadth of a national calamity. Within hours, the lines at the gas stations were long, and there was a run on the grocery stores in my area. Everyone seemed to be expecting the worst and fear was showing mightily. Thankfully, the President came on the air, and assured the American public that everything was under control despite the huge loss of life in New York and Washington, DC.
I believe that this event shows us that we, as a nation, are not invincible. That distinction belongs to our God and only to Him. What glory our God now has is also promised to His faithful children. They are also considered to be invincible as long as they remain faithful to His word and will.
I believe that the lessons of not being prepared have been realized, and because of such events, the lives of every American and every citizen of the world will be changed in some ways. What will happen to our economy is yet to be seen. The measures taken for security will no doubt, hinder us and deny us certain freedoms that we have enjoyed in the past. Are we willing to give up these freedoms?
But also consider this, had these terrorists been abortion doctors, and taken this many lives, our society would have upheld them and protected them. Latest figures show that over a million babies are aborted each year (that is 2,739 per day). These lives suffer great pain and are ended in such horrible ways, that the World Trade center would pale in comparison. But our society tolerates such.
Alcohol and drug related deaths on our nation's highways run in the 30 to 50 thousand range every year. Yet our society tolerates such. Cancer's resulting from tobacco products claim over a million lives each year, yet congress has failed to stop the carnage, simply because our society tolerates such. You see, our society tolerates all sorts of evil, but they cannot seem to tolerate anyone who would teach God's word. The hatred of Bible teachers and preachers is evident from our society and such hatred is acceptable in our society.
I feel, in some ways, that America has brought these events upon itself. No, we did not ask the terrorist to fly those planes into the World Trade Center, neither did we wish it to happen. Yet, we have shown forth arrogance towards others of the world, that seems to say; "we just dare you " " Many years ago, when hijackers stole the planes, many measures were put in place to stop such. Yet we have let our guard down and got lazy in our diligence to protect the flying public.
I fear that in the not too distant future, we will set up a memorial, and honor the dead, and then return to our past lifestyle and deep in the farthest regions of our minds, wait for the next horrible event.
I would hope that people see the frailty of life and the fact that life is not guaranteed to anyone. I would hope that people seek God and become prepared for the after-life. I would hope that God's saint's would help people see the light and find God while He may be found, while He is near (Isaiah 55:6).
Since we do not know what the morrow will bring, let us prepare and place ourselves in God's hands. Let us seek God and lead others in the way.
Please take time to read 2 Corinthians 4.
By Carey Scott , Sept 14,2001
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