Scripture Reading: Isaiah 27:1-29:29 / 2 Corinthians 12:1-10 / Psalm 106:40-48
When I looked at the date of our Bible reading, I couldn’t help but think about 9/11/01. Many people remember exactly where they were and what they were doing when they heard the news of the terrorists attacks. I was in the church office when I heard the report and went to my mother’s house to watch the breaking news on television. I couldn’t believe the destruction and panic. I watched as the Twin Towers burned, thick clouds of smoke filled NYC streets and there was great chaos at the Pentagon.
What unfolded was horrific as both twin towers collapsed and the fourth high-jacked plane was intentionally crashed in Pennsylvania. America was in shock…we had never experienced a terrorist attack of this magnitude and all of America was watching, weeping and praying. A total of 2,977 people were killed in New York City, Washington, DC and outside of Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
I looked up in the skies and saw no commercial or private planes. For 3 days, all air traffic was halted and the busy Chicago flight pattern above our house was now silent and quiet. It seemed like all of nature was stilled and lamented over the destruction. As news began to unfold, stories of heroism, courage and sorrow began to emerge. Innocent victims were remembered and an all out effort to capture the remaining perpetrators of terror diligently ensued.
Terrorism and unwarranted attacks are not part of our American way of life. 911 rocked our world bringing a great dose of reality and brokenness. For the first time in centuries we felt defenseless, victimized and helpless. Yet that terrible day can’t even compare to the terrorism, attacks, and victimization that was common throughout Israel’s history.
More wars have been fought over that small strip of land that we call Israel than any other place in the world. Isaiah speaks of judgment and terror to come against Israel. This act of terrorism would be of God’s doing because they forsook Him and followed other gods. Isaiah writes, “…the understanding of this message will bring sheer terror.” (Isaiah 28:19)
But God did not abandon them in their sin. He promised to send a deliverer, a promised Messiah. “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed.” (28:16) Despite the impending terror, God promised them hope in the form of a tested, proven and powerful cornerstone. The tower of Christ’s life collapsed under the load of mankind’s sin but Jesus overcame sins terror by rising above its hold of death and the grave. We trust our lives to the One who overcame the terrorism of sin…He is the original “Homeland Security”!